Lacy Barry
Artist for Set & Interior Design


Lacy Barry

Artist for Set & Interior Design

80% in Berlin / 20% in New York

Twitter: @lacy_barry
Instagram: @artistlacybarry


What do you do?

I’m a visual artist that works in set design for gallery installations, shop window displays, photographic advertisements (billboards, magazine editorials etc.) commercials, interior design, and various other applications currently involving fashion & furniture
collaborations etc.

I specifically build whole environments with elements from my artwork. I'm known for 3D paper-craft and graphic artwork however I'm always working to cross-pollinate handmade and digital made formats, usually combining inventive uses of paper, miniatures and graphic design. This combination is most evidently found in my personal & commissioned artworks where hand-made paper-craft pieces can be applied on digitally made graphic murals prints.

Likewise when I do a set installation or interior, I love involving great personified details, that may come across in custom wallpaper & upholstery for chairs, curtains, backdrops, custom built paper props, the possibilities are really endless.


Give us a specific example of how you do your job like a BOSS.

I'm a manager of all aspects of organization and fluidity that make my projects run as smooth as possible. The process is just as important as the outcome, if things are rushed they look rushed, but with proper allowance of time, material use and allocation of human hands, physical beauty and the soul of that work harmonize together.


For other people in your field, what do they usually lack? Perhaps, you were in that position once, what did you do to get ahead? Stand out?

Actually I'm friends or know most of the people in my field, since there are few known and fewer that work in paper-craft, we customize our craft each differently. Some work strictly with in advertising & editorial and others, like myself choose to keep the applications of work a bit more broad, meanwhile narrowing in on a distinctive artistic language. There is only a couple artists I know (including myself) of personally that specialize in interior design as well as set design, so in a way you could say I created my job from the opportunities I was presented and a gap between two very similar jobs that rarely talk; set & interior design.


If you have multiple jobs and/or skills, which one do you wish you could do more often?

Hmm, I love the jobs I am doing, but if I could mix my art with set & interior design more in say a commercial interior or shop space…that is the goal.

What are you working on right now?

Right now I have a couple projects on the go; I’ve just collaborated with Joa Herrenknecht, a Berlin based furniture designer on a collection of custom made post cards involving images of a paper craft Berlin. We launched this project recently with Marsano Blume in Berlin in a group show where the live set can be seen for the next two months. This is the introductory project to a collection of home house-ware items we plan to work on this year.

The second I’ve partnered with an interior architect who buys old apartments and restores/renovates them back to their original beauty with some newer functional changes. She also brings in eclectic treatments, which is where we meet in the middle and I take the interiors a bit further, customizing and working with other local artists, furniture designers and makers to fully furnish the apartments. It’s a bit of a new endeavor, but one we see an extreme amount of potential in. A purpose of linking home-buyers with hand selected vintage and new designer furnishings at an all-inclusive, full-meal deal price. A nice opportunity for home-buyers to move into something completely designed and decorated with items they love and would otherwise not be familiar with. And designers, vintage dealers, artists to sell their work to a public that would otherwise not be familiar with their work or know how to put it into a space. The architect and I take a small commission of art & furniture sales that is all included in the overall market price. And the home-buyer has the option to customize some features specifically to their lifestyle, such as kitchen and individual pieces. We feel it’s a win/win/win for everyone involved.


What is frustrating you right now? What is making your job/business/project hard to move forward?

I hate to be totally cliché but time & money is always a concern, I mean I often think about the projects that still need to see the light of day yet are moving so slowly because of those two restraints. But in light of what money offers is the chance to obtain resources and freedom to allocate those resources.

Another is PR, every project needs people behind it (and in front of it too) knowing and being in the know. A good PR will know who will appreciate and support a product or project in front of them and how to reach & possibly enrich their world. Sometimes I have no idea how people get thousands if not millions of followers on their instagram for their cat pictures, or endorsements from their facebook page for posting loads of kitschy selfies, but then Scope Art will post one of my pieces via Art Nerd New York and blam! 500 likes!  So how can I direct these ‘likers’ to viewing a consistent flow of work without tagging myself like a seemingly narcissistic weirdo? I know it takes time, but in this instant popcorn world, does it?

What are you putting off right now, but you know you have to get to, but you haven’t had the time?

Awe, quite possibly this questionnaire (sorry Puno) but hmm, a whole sketch book of ideas (this is where that time & money thing comes into play) and organizing a gallery collaboration with father who’s a sign-writer of 30 years. I’m at this level with my Pops where we really admire each other’s work. I’ve been watching my dad and apprenticing him for as long as I can remember and until branching out on my own almost a decade ago, I hear him saying in his best self-proclaimed way ‘ Lace, I really like what your doing these days, it’s outta this world!’ I sent him and my mum a piece for Christmas, which blew them away, and was perfect grounds for a proposal for collaboration.

If you could hire someone for $20/hour, what would you have them do to make your day easier?

PR, updating my website, Instagram and facebook, answering emails, and all the various things that can gobble up a day pretty quickly. Admin, admin, admin, OmmaGerrrd admin!!!... & perhaps picking up my groceries now and then, just kidding.☺

What are all the tools (digital or physical) you use on a regular basis?

Basically all the Adobe programs; Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, I just started editing my own films so Premiere Pro & Final Cut, Excel, Word, etc. Simple stationary; pencil, paper (obviously), measurement ruler, sketchbook, exacto blade, air-brush, paint, cutting matt, glue, markers, post-it’s, glitter, stickers, tape, and Ebay, I’ve furnished whole interiors using Ebay, it’s pretty rad

Refinery29Photography by Andrew B. Meyers

What kind of opportunities/projects are you looking for?

More commercial interior & window display projects where I can fully art direct a space. I think of the applications that can be made with my artwork and these sort of spaces and how the soul of the work can impact and offer an experience above all. It’s kind of a quality of life thing I want to share, connecting my imaginary world to the real world and vice versa. These sort of projects usually come in the form of collaborations & commissions which I’m keen to keep rolling with.

Describe your ideal client/job/collaboration.

I just met with the art directors of Sketch Bar in London, which I learnt is a group of freelancers that do very similar to work to mine. We got along like a few hyper kids doing endless show-and-tell over several coffees, it was fun! If I could ever work with them on a dining room for Sketch THAT would be a dream project no doubt!


Describe a client/job/partner you would rather not have. What are your deal breakers?

I have creative claustrophobia, in other words I don’t like to work with people who micro-manage. I feel the process is not fun and the result is never a good outcome. I am always open to a bit of inspiration but when every step of the process is being watched I am quick to remind why they hired me to begin with; to make their project look as bad-a$$ as possible within my creative capacity!

Like most creatives, I do get frustrated when bills are not paid on time, in my line of work, the turn around on projects are sometimes quite quickly, so if I am working like a dog to make a deadline and come through I feel it only fair the client makes payment in 30 days or less. I mean we don’t go to a grocery store, asking to pay in 30 days, such a payment system is a luxury and should not be abused.

I tend to turn down projects for ‘exposure’ in exchange for ‘work’. That word in general has become such a dirty word in my vocabulary the minute it’s used, my typing finger becomes magnetically attracted to the ‘delete’ button on my keyboard.  


What is your hourly rate, retainer, or salary range? If it depends on the project, give us some examples of projects and the cost.

Short term editorial projects & commercial projects are priced depending on workload involved, usage, timeframe, etc. but it's better to talk to my agent Irene Hansen, she's really great and will give you the perfect overview.


How should someone approach you about working with you? 

The best way is always email since I work pretty internationally. It’s best to include an outline of their project, for whom, any specifics are welcome such as inspiration or mood boards and haha sure an animated GIF (above the belt humor!) can be great. Recently an intern sent me the most colorfully illustrated resume I have ever seen! I immediately checked out her work online! I think we may be working together in the near future.   

This member profile was originally published on March 2015.