All of our Johnny Was stores are one-of-a-kind. Depending on where they are and the vibe of the area, each location has its own unique certain something. But there’s one thing that doesn’t change, all the beautiful hand-painted murals by Chris Lord, owner of Christopher Lord Designs. He’s the guy responsible for most of the beautiful backdrops in our stores from San Francisco to Fort Worth.
Recently he wrapped up our newest destination in Corte Madera, located in Marin County CA. A gorgeous spot in Northern California with views of San Francisco Bay. To get an insight into Chris and how he works, he shot a video for us at our newest spot, as well as spilled some of his secrets and what he loves about giving each Johnny Was space its own artisan touch.
Chris, your work is beautiful, how do you get inspired for each Johnny Was space?
CL: They are all inspired by the clothing of course! I pick and choose the designs that I like on difference pieces, so occasionally you may see a mural that looks like something in your closet. Also, since all the spaces are different, I have to tweak the designs to fit, like if the walls are tall I’ll create vine-like floral formations that reach upwards and then spill onto the adjacent walls.
Does the location ever guide your colors or designs?
CL: Absolutely. I've recently started adding local or native flowers to the designs. For example, Montecito received California Poppies and Maui received Plumeria, Hibiscus, Ohia Lehua, Bird of Paradise and the King Protea. Also, while they are all great and carry their own beauty, if I had to pick a favorite it would be the Maui store....because it’s Maui.
Do you always work by yourself?
CL: Yes, I work solo. I've brought my sister only a few times to help but I'm typically a one-man band. I handle all these projects co mpletely from start to finish so the hours are tough. I typically put in 10 to 14 hour shifts per day/night, and that's often graveyard shifts. I really miss my family after 5 or 6 days but also love the opportunities.
How do you learn to paint?
CL: Years ago I studied art history, color theory, and design but I’m mostly self-taught. My whole family is artistic so it just seems to come naturally to me.