|THE PROOF is a weekly roundup showcasing local creatives. A column for creatives to share their story and work, in a unique, concise format: each creative shows 8 pictures and answers 8 questions. Past participants include Bob Kronbauer, Omer Arbel, Carson Ting, Lizzy Karp, Branislav Henselmann, Hannah Georgas, Douglas Haddow – all living in Vancouver.|
Brent is one of my favourite people on the planet. Actually.
He’s the head designer and founder of a design studio that goes by the name of Gamla, which is basically a ruse for every single thing that he does in a day. That is to say, Brent does everything in a day. Every single thing that I dream of doing, he does; that a person thinks someone else should do, he does. When Brent thinks, “it would be cool if I could make X do Y” he makes it happen. But, what’s really interesting about Brent is that nothing is ever compromised. He strives for greatness and lives by a high set of standards and morals, which I suppose makes his work what it is: flawless. As a man with a once-upon-a-time successful music career, this 29 year old has impressed me from the day I met him 10 years ago. Hell, he impresses everyone; with accolades in the music media like Exclaim, CBC, XLR8TR and Vice Magazine to highly respected design publications such as Design Milk, Homes and Living Magazine, Design Sponge, Natural Child World, Western Living Magazine, etc., it’s obvious that Brent’s work is worth talking about. He’s constantly making, and always thinking about how to improve on what he’s doing or what others have done. We now have a dog, Gimli, who Brent adores and has made an entire product line based on. It’s fun to see how his modern design studio has evolved and grown in to a new, bigger location in Hastings Sunrise (or, “The East Village”) that will eventually be home to a number of community projects.
And that’s Brent. If I sound like I’m gushing, it’s because he really is that nice. And talented, too.
Robin McMillan, Brent’s girlfriend of 10 years
1. My favourite corner of our home; it’s got really great light and is where I drink my morning coffee.
2. Inside Gamla Studio, where I design, prototype and manufacture all of our work.
3. The view from Gamla’s new showroom window. This photo was taken the day we put the sign up, not long after we got the keys.
4. Gamla’s first dining chair. Made of black walnut and solid brass details.
5. A daily ritual at our studio – back alley table tennis. This is me and Evan Broens in one of our many battles (we’re open to challengers).
6. Two of my favourite things in the entire world: my 1973 Boler trailer, which I also rent out under ‘Golden Age Getaway’, parked outside of my favourite getaway – Bodega Ridge on Galiano Island.
7. On my morning walk with Gimli, our Welsh Terrier puppy.
8. The Gamla “For Gimli” Dog Den, part of our dog line inspired by Gimli.
1. What neighborhood do you live in?
Railtown, which is basically a street or two that borders Gastown, Strathcona and the DTES.
2. What do you do and where?
I’m the head designer and founder of Gamla Design Studio, located at 2026 Wall Street in Hastings Sunrise. We aim to make beautiful, sustainable, modern object designs, and are a studio that has been built on a foundation of values. Whether it means in the way in which we design or the way we operate our business, we vow to work as ethically, sustainably and humanly as possible in every facet of our operation.
3. What are you working on?
Right now we’re expanding our product line, specifically working on more ‘For Gimli’ dog products as well as new lighting and seating, and a number of custom projects for clients. That, on top of getting our new studio ready for the public!
4. Where can we find your work?
All of our products are made to order. We work directly with each of our clients, but also have an ever-expanding line that can be purchased on gamla.ca.
5. Who are your role models?
I’m not sure if I have specific role models, but I do know that I consistently seek out and learn from people who have challenged themselves and those around them in order to achieve greatness in their own way – whatever the scale may be.
6. What keeps you going in this industry?
Every day is an opportunity to discover. What I love about design is that allows me to explore in a number of different ways – there is, and never will be, an end to what I can learn and do. I don’t know that there are enough hours in a day to get all of my ideas and tasks done, or that I’ll ever have enough time to do what I set out to do in any given day. Once one project is finished I’m on the next and next, and that’s what keeps me going.
7. If you had a chance to start your career all over again, how would you do it differently?
I don’t know that I’d be where I am without being where I was. I hate to be one of those, “no regrets’ people, but everything I’ve done to this point has always led to another thing, and every experience has carried over to a new one. From where I stand, if you like where you’re at, then the route you took to get there worked out pretty well in the end.
8. What advice do you wish someone would have given you when you were young?
Stop thinking about IT so much. Stop looking too far down the line. Work with what’s in front of you. Be content with your results. As long as you’re working toward something with everything you have, things will grow from it and it will inevitably work.