“Sometimes I feel as a chef in a farmers’ market,” states decoupage artist John Derian, amid the huge group of antique etchings, engravings, and manuscripts in his studio on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. “What is accessible is what I wind up with,” he says of those prints, which he sees at estate sales and flea markets and styles to his trademark creations. For at least two years Derian has offered his own plates, lamps, and additional objets along with a choice of artisan-made home products at his eponymous stores in New York and Provincetown, Massachusetts.
His favourite pictures –from fragile 18th- and 19th-century botanical and animal research to magical children’s drawings–‘ve come from the storage bins (Hermès boxes and vintage suitcases) and on the pages of the original tome, John Derian Picture Book (Artisan, $75). “It is just like a self-portrait,” he says of this quantity. “These pictures have been a part of my life to get this long, they are like friends.” In the event of this publication’s book, we paid a visit to Derian’s studio to detect the images, routines, and items which color his ingenious world.