Zander Schlacter on Creative Inspiration

by | Mar 19, 2023

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I run a home decor brand and design studio that does many things! Our primary focus is on creating high end, unique home textiles and decor, in addition to completing fine art projects, select design commissions, and collaborations focusing on maximalist colorful print work.

In 2021, I collaborated with HOMOCO and the Ace Hotel on a line of swimwear, apparel and accessories. We launched the collaboration with a retail popup installation, which was an intersection of my interest as a surface pattern designer and an artist who fabricates sculptural work. I designed sculptural interpretations of a clothing rack, a full length mirror, and a towel rack.

What’s a typical day in your life look like?

Every day is different. I spend most of my weekdays working at my studio, and sometimes  get to bring my dog, Alfie, with me! Running a small business affords me the luxury of working from home sometimes, depending on what I have to do. I spend a lot of time writing emails and doing administrative tasks. I try to carve out as much time to do creative work like design and sketch– it’s so important to make time to do brainstorming and process based explorations, even though they’re not obligations to others.

What inspires you, or has contributed to your creative growth and why?

My mom is an artist and a really creative and resourceful person. She’s always making something cool, whether it’s sewing her own clothes or arranging flowers for the house. Her design aesthetic really informed my sense of color and pattern, but beyond that, she taught me what it means to live a creative life outside of being an artist or running a business.

I like working in a creatively designed space full of color and texture. I have an inspiration wall setup in my studio with images, drawings, and objects I’ve collected. My partner Buzz is also an artist and I feel inspired by a lot of our conversations. I’m also inspired by art made by children– they have such an unfiltered approach to art making.

Tell us a bit about your capsule collection with Otto Studio. Why did you choose the patterns? What was your inspiration behind these patterns?

On a technical level, I love the challenge of designing a seamless repeat. Often, my home decor pieces feature non-repeating designs, so I was excited to have the opportunity to realize some of my concepts as repeating artwork. I was inspired by Op Art, Memphis Design, and eccentric forms from the natural world, like funky gemstones and out-of-this-world flowers.

What would be your one piece of advice for someone considering DIY wallpaper?

Otto Studio’s wallpaper is removable and renter friendly– don’t be afraid to try something bold! I would also recommend making a moodboard, really thinking about the other colors, patterns, and surfaces in your space and how the wallpaper choice will complement your existing decor. I also love to make a digital mockup to try things out.

And on the subject of advice…what would your advice be to your younger self, knowing what you know now about your career and journey? And to anyone else who is starting out as a creative?

My advice to anyone starting out is to take risks and don’t be afraid to try new things that seem daunting or out of your wheelhouse. Don’t limit yourself to one type of design– you never know what is going to spark joy or inform your other skills and practices. Just start doing something, learn from all of your experiences, and just let it unfold! Don’t compare yourself to others on social media. Be nice to yourself and others. 🙂