Back to top

Inspiration Profile: Marcus Hay

Ah, Winter has arrived with a vengeance here in New Zealand and sometimes, in these cold and dark days, it can be hard to get inspired.
So here we go with a lovely Inspiration Profile from stylist and creative director, Marcus Hay. He is an expat Australian living in New York and I have featured his work here on my blog several times. Enjoy - have a great and warm weekend everyone.

Marcus Hay - Photo: Jonny Valiant.
Blue/Green Trend Story - Photo: Kat Teutsch.
What do you do: I am a style and creative director, interior designer and writer. My company is called Studio Hay + Co and we work out of my home/studio in Chelsea. It's a busy hub of activity as there is always a multitude of varied projects going on - anything from photo shoots to apartment fit outs.
Where do you live: New York, USA
What are you working on: I work freelance so on a variety of projects, including my own personal ones. I just did a whole lot of work for Bloomingdales, styling tablescapes. This week I am working on a kids fashion shoot, designing the sets and sourcing props.
Elle Decoration - Photo: Jonny Valiant


Left: Inside Out magazine - Photo: Jonny Valiant. Right: Decorating with Fabric - Photo: William Geddes.

Who/what inspires me:  I find inspiration everywhere - as a visual person your eyes are always wide open. I see a lot of exhibitions as I live in the art gallery district of Manhattan.
I love walking the streets and see inspiration for color stories everywhere - especially unexpected color combinations. It could be in street art, signage or even something random on the side of the road.
I love travelling and gather much inspiration from the countries I visit - in particular Japan, China and Scandanavia.
Flea markets and antique stores are also a great resource for me. You can learn a lot about a culture by their markets - often there are history lessons if you talk to the dealers or make note of items to research later. 

I am also inspired by the following people - Artists: John Chamberlain, Cindy Sherman, David Hockney, Andy Warhol
Designers: Eva Zeisel, Aero Saarinen and Paul Rand.
Musicians: Grace Jones, Marilyn Monroe and Blosson Dearie.

I work best: I work all the time so don’t really have a designated best time : )
What I do when I’m stuck for inspiration: I am never stuck. The world is a big place - how could you ever not find something to trigger an idea?
The best advice I have been given is: Never give up. Fall, get up again and dust yourself off. Mistakes are just mis-takes. Take 1, Take 2...
My latest discovery is: Pinterest - hate to admit it but I love it. It helps me edit my visual thoughts.
Marcus' apartment, Elle Decoration Sweden - Photo: Jonny Valiant.
Left: Interior Project - Photo: Jonny Valiant.    Right: Marie Claire - Photo: Lucas Allen.

Books that I get inspiration from: Always autobigraphies as I love reading about other peoples lives. Right now, in terms of a visual book, I love Martyn Thompson’s book'Interiors' - he is an amazing photographer.

Magazines that inspire me: Elle Decoration, U.K, Casa Da Abataire, Italian Vogue, Apartmento, and Milk.

My favourite room at home is: My Living room. It is a room I multi task in - I hold meetings, entertain, work and even use it for photo shoots when I need to. It also has my favorite chair to lounge in - when I sit in my Womb chair I know I can finally relax.
My office is: Everywhere. Home, on the street, the local café, my storage space and on the subway. I am always writing every second I have.
What am I looking forward to: Christmas with my family in Sydney in December. It’s been nearly 8 years since I spent the holidays with them! 
CB2 catalog - Photo: Andy Barnes.
All photographs used with permission from Marcus Hay.