We had the good fortune of connecting with Debbie Bean and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Debbie, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
I always have something that I am working towards on my calendar. In the beginning, I applied to multiple events and pop ups before I really had the inventory to do so and was surprised when I was accepted to all of them. It forced me to constantly work on my designs and think about my work in ways I might not have otherwise plus it gave me face time with my customers, so I was constantly receiving feedback about my work.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My love of stained glass started early. I designed my first panel when I was 10 years old for a window that needed to be replaced in my bathroom door. I took my first stained glass class when I was 16 and it planted the seed that would lead me to become the glass artist I am today. A photographer originally, I spent my time in New York photographing the emerging Brooklyn music scene. Between photo shoots, I rediscovered my love for painting and would stay up at night drawing on the floor of my studio apartment, my dog slumbering by my side. I returned to Los Angeles, only to find myself on the road with the Akron/Family. Afterwards, I quickly found myself apprenticing under a master Tibetan monk, studying the ancient tradition of Tibetan Painting. Secluded up in the Tehachapi mountains, I worked alongside him painting and studying his techniques. Always looking for new experiences and adventure, I headed back out on the road for the better portion of a year working and traveling with the Stone Temple Pilots. I went on to spend the next few years working behind the scenes in the art world and in 2014 returned to my childhood love of Stained Glass. I use glass as a constant medium of exploration. I work predominantly in traditional leadwork and warm glass to create my dynamic line of decorative objects and large scale installations. Geometric architectural elements influence my designs, resulting in colorful and unique handmade pieces. My work is the embodiment of functional art, meant to be organic in nature and not perfect factory reproductions.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend was visiting, especially now I would take them to Descanso Gardens so we could be outside and enjoy the natural landscape. We would definitely head over to Atwater Village and visit my favorite store, Individually Medley and eat at Dune. Take a drive one day down PCH and end up at the Malibu Lumber Yard for the afternoon. Grab dinner in Santa Monica at Birdie G’s and spend a morning in Toluca Lake getting Hank’s Bagels with a trip down the street to Kreation Juice on the way home. We love our neighborhood, so I always like walking around here because you’re sure to run into a wandering peacock at some point while saying hello to the neighborhood horses.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Tony G! https://www.tonygyoga.com/