It was partly out of necessity that Darcy Clarke turned to design. In 2000 he moved to Byron Bay from Sydney, where he had studied art and architecture at COFA, and worked at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Darcy started to design lighting and furniture pieces as a way to create an income in a country town. Within four years he was exhibiting his wares in Milan. “I don’t think of what I do in terms of a career,” he says. “It is a life, or an adventure.” Today he runs the business from bases in Byron Bay and Brisbane. “The more I go on in business the more I realise that things come out of the thinking and allowing of it first. You set things in motion and stuff happens.”
Which five words best describe you? Bitumen, leather, diesel, wood smoke, amber - my perfume combo.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I’ve been on this path for a while. It started at school and I got fully into things at university. I had a mad thirst for information and adventure. I started the Darcy Clarke design business and then had to learn about business. I’ve lived the craziness of business then wrote a business guide for creative people called Creating a Difference. I remember my first business objective was to make money and aim for the top. That is why I went to exhibit in Milan as soon as I could - I had a powerful desire to do that back then. Now I’m still aiming for the top and ready to launch other adventures.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Self-belief is a big one. Also, confidence and trusting in one’s self. All good things and they seem simple, but this all influences any decision-making.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Wow, there are many. I think making the change in my business from a making studio to a designing studio. It hasn’t been easy but some of the designs I have now are great, and I have much more time and freedom to create. I’ve also achieved everything in business from selling my designs. There hasn’t been any grant money - I’m very proud of that.
What’s been your best decision? Every decision is the best one. I’m super glad I kept faith in the NED seat design. I designed it in the early days then dumped it for several years, then brought it back into the range. Now it is a key design. I love it a lot.
Who inspires you? People who get out and do great stuff. There are five designers whose work I enjoy - Paola Navone, Tom Dixon, Jaime Hayon, Patricia Urquiola, Gaetane Pesce.
What are you passionate about? Seeing creative people do well, friends, the ocean, coffee, soccer, nature, art, design, business.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I would love to have the funds to make amazing things or, more to the point, anything I wanted, and travel the world as an artist creating these things. That is just one, I have a heap of dreams floating.
What are you reading? Nothing right now. The last book I read was The Antidote - Happiness for people who can’t stand positive thinking by Oliver Burkeman. Actually, that is a cracking read.
images courtesy of darcy clarke