We had the good fortune of connecting with Robin Morris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Robin, how do you think about risk?
Every decision we make, has a “risk factor”. But when it comes to deciding to be a professional artist, your “risk factor” is huge. I was studying Psychology at Syracuse University in the early 70’s. I was determined to be a Criminal Psychologist. But, I was spending all of my time drawing! I decided to transfer into the art school and see if I had the skills to make it professionally. Was that a huge Risk? Absolutely! I didn’t think through the scenario that my creativity would have to support me for the rest of my life..and the implications of that. I only wanted to create! That Risk proved to be a worthy decision, because I did have some early success with my art. But the small risks of creative decisions never end..as well as the business decisions in a rapidly changing environment. As an artist, Risk can become your best friend. It is your refusal to live the norms. Ultimately, that is what your audience wants. A trip into the unknown..guided by your mind and your mind, alone.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art has evolved over the years. I developed a style that came naturally to me called New Deco. I coined the term and named my publishing company “New Deco, Inc”, as well. “New Deco” gives a hearty nod to Classic Art Deco, but references Cubism and many of the Great Masters, as well as cartoons. .which have to say a lot, with very little. Math comes into play with my style because I am always looking for symmetry and balance in my compositions. My ruler is never far away! I stylize what I see around me. I try to simplify, while imparting messages in the work. My brand launched in 1982 with the publication of my first limited edition lithograph, “The Couple”. It was Valentine’s Day! The image portrayed the innocence and whimsy of the young couple..and sold-out all 250 sheets of the edition in 6 months! I caught a lucky break! It was the Art Deco Revival taking hold in the early 80’s, that catapulted my art into graphic galleries all over the world. In particular, Miami, with it’s Art Deco District and Culture, was the perfect place to have moved to in 1989 (pregnant with twins!). from NYC. Art Deco Weekend was just being instituted on South Beach, and I was there..on the street in my little booth, ready and anxious to greet my new audience! One of many opportunities that came my way as a result of that “little booth”, was meeting Jay Coleman, the man in charge of providing the programs for Radio City Music Hall. He commissioned the first cover right there on that cold night in my booth, and do you believe that 12 covers over 4 years, came to pass..and that collection has been licensed since as calendars and cards! Between Art Deco Weekend and Art Expo, to show our work to the trade, we built an ongoing program of sold-out editions. There are over 50 to date. You can view my collection at Robinmorrisstudio.com. One comment on launching my brand; my imagery was recognizable and consistent. That afforded my galleries an expectation that they used to build my collector base. All in all, I was extremely lucky!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love Wynwood. The Design District. Michael’s Genuine and all of the Michael Schwartz restaurants. The Art Deco District is unique in it’s history, with Ocean Drive and the Atlantic literally at your feet! As a New York transplant, I have witnessed the Coming of Age of our great City of Miami. We have become a world-class destination, with museums, The Arsht and perhaps most importantly..Art Basel! Now we are a full-service resort for all of your senses..beauty, nature and Art!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My brother, Brad, deserves a huge shout-out and thank you for being, not only “The Best Brother in the Whole Wide World”, but for becoming my business partner for over 20 years and helping me launch my art and my brand into the world. Brad Morris is a talented and resilient sales and marketing force..and together we built our publishing business, New Deco, into a thriving entity that found many venues to present and sell my art. Thanks, Brad.
Facebook: Robin Morris