Meet the Maker

"I’ve learned to never underestimate the power of humor in design. Silly character expressions or fun little details are what make a children’s illustration piece unique. Most kids are very observant and will definitely take notice."

Damian, in-house product designer for Christmas Tree Shops, grew up with artist parents and decided early on that this was his calling as well. After he studied art in college, Damian’s first job gave him hands-on training in graphic design, printing and production. "In my spare time, I was creating chalk art murals for coffee shops and restaurants before it was ‘a thing,’" he says. Damian is inspired by other artists’ works and also gets ideas from nature and spending time outdoors. "I’m also a big believer in Pinterest," he says. "It’s probably my biggest go-to for inspiration." Flexible with his style, Damian gravitates to a look or technique depending on the project. To kick off the kids’ melamine dinnerware collection, he worked on brainstorming sketches and then a rough layout before experimenting with different digital and traditional approaches. "I always strive to do something that I know is right for our customer, but feels different enough and unique," he says. "I aim for the ‘wow’ factor when they see my products in store."