5 QUESTIONS | ERIC TRINE

Designer and Commercial Artist, Long Beach, CA

Eric Trine is an object based designer and commercial artist continuing in the tradition of Californian modernism - simple, approachable, casual, and cool. The studio focuses on furniture and accessory design for the home, and small scale design/build for commercial clients.  

Q: So to begin with I have to ask the question that everybody wants to know the answer to. How did #FRIDAYFANCYDANCE begin? 

A: My studio-mate, Dan from Camp Design Group, had this ongoing joke where he would play Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night” at 5pm on Fridays. It kind of sprung from that - and just kept going. I still like to think of it as a joke that keeps happening every Friday. 

Q: The follow up question to this is how important has Social Media been to a studio like yours in this day and age?

It’s so important but it’s also so normal. I’m 32. I grew up with social media. I was on Friendster when I was 19, then Myspace, and then Facebook, and then the mobile social media started up, and I just always kept up with it. Social media isn’t part of a marketing strategy that I look at objectively, it’s deeply woven into the very fabric of my life. 

Q: At what point did you start working with steel, and did you know from the beginning that it was a material that lent itself so well to “commercial art”? 

A: I started with steel in early 2008. I love welding because it lends itself to quick fabrication. I like working as fast as possible because it transforms the distance between thinking and making into a single experience of thinking through making. Quick, impulsive bursts of making is how I develop my ideas and pieces. If I have too much time, I can reason myself out of making anything - because, really, we don’t need more stuff - so I try to suspend that judgement and just make. 

"I love welding because it lends itself to quick fabrication. I like working as fast as possible because it transforms the distance between thinking and making into a single experience of thinking through making." 

Q: Would you please share with us your thoughts (briefly) on color and why you use so much of it?

A: I’ll answer this question with an anecdote from my friend Paul Wackers, the painter. Someone asked him, “Where do you get your inspiration? Why do you paint the things you paint?” And he simply just said, “Because I wanted to see it.” I love that. There are so many colors out there - when I open a swatch book from the powder coaters, I just want to try all the colors, because why not? From a business standpoint, I keep making colorful work because people keep buying it. People want color.

Q: From the outside your design process appears incredibly fluid as you move from one project to the next. Would you say that this is a fair description or behind the scenes is a there a lot more planning and calculation with each new design?

A: That is a very fair description. I also have a hybrid practice, because I make products, but I also do some custom work and weird art projects too. I make a lot of stuff, but not all of it is product. There is very little planning or calculation with everything I do, I don’t even know how much money I make every year. 

Photos courtesy of : Eric Trine

Photos courtesy of : Eric Trine

Q: What are your plans for the coming year what are you most excited about? 

A: Getting more organized! Ha! But really, just tightening everything up - making a catalog, updating my website - just making everything a bit more professional and business-like so I can serve my customers.

Eric Trine / Product Gallery