With a wealth of knowledge of the industry, Jeff Lincoln is privy to all things design. Even from a young age, the sought-after expert realized he had the design bug after getting a taste of an art piece that had a monumental effect on him. Here, we chat with Lincoln on how he got his start in the field, plus his other inner musings.
Tell us how you got started.
I started by opening a small office in Locust Valley on the North Shore of Long Island, where I’m from, and slowly got bigger projects. Eventually, I moved the main office to New York City, although I still maintain that little foothold in Locust Valley. I’ve also established a presence in Southampton, as well. I love to work on the East End and find the area very inspiring. My gallery is a response to my interest in making Southampton a premier destination for art and design of the highest caliber.
What’s inspiring you now?
The explosion of the world of collective design as exemplified by what you see at fairs like Design Miami/, The Salon Art + Design and Masterpiece, which is the most exciting event in the decorative arts in quite some time. It really signifies the waning of the midcentury design mania that is just looking a bit hackneyed by now. Instead of looking back, these often young and insanely talented, designers from all over the world are making us look forward. It’s the development of an entirely new aesthetic.
Every designer should…
Read. I read voraciously, as there is always so much more to learn. Knowledge is the best way to inform one’s work and endeavors. You need to know the history of design in order to be conversant and intelligent about what you are doing. I don’t see how you can design anything without knowing about all the great talents that have come before or are out there now.
What’s best career advice you’ve received?
Keep it simple is the best advice that I’ve gotten. A well-designed home only needs a few well-executed ideas. Too often I see design that tries to incorporate every trend out there at the same time. Clients come to a designer to sort through all that and distill it down to the best and most appropriate for that situation. It can be quite liberating.