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We are makers as well as thinkers. While strategic thinking shapes everything we do at Grant, using our hands allows us to investigate concepts and techniques that might not yet be fully formed.

Ideas and inspiration come to us from all angles all the time. Sometimes the ideas are worthy of further exploration; other times they lead to dead ends. But as creative, curious individuals we find that we must see them through to determine whether or not they are viable solutions. Often times this process of making unlocks ideas and opportunities for new projects. For instance, a detail like a small distressed circle on a screenprint might provide inspiration for a new rug design. But such elements are just as likely to inform a metaphor for messaging, an identity, an interior space or a new product.


In a sense, the process of craft at the studio is like a loop perpetually propelling itself forward—work from the studio feeds our individual artist endeavors and new and refined elements loop back to spark ideas for our professional design practice.

In October, Matt DeFrain participated in the University School of Nashville’s annual Artclectic fundraiser where he was selected by a recognized guest juror to be one of 50 exhibiting artists. He presented some 40 collages using a combination of materials like vintage paper, cardboard, and spray paint; each one assembled to create a simple visual metaphor.

Similarly, Elizabeth and I participated in this year’s Cherokee Heights Arts Festival where we presented new custom knitwear and hand-printed screenprints, respectively. Supporting the local talent right there in our own backyard while promoting the vitality of the handmade object was a true joy—and good practice.

Honing our craft is an integral part of design at Grant. Whether it’s in the studio or afterhours, design really never stops.