The Week of November 4th - November 10th


Words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative and Visual Director of Raven Vanguard


When Rules, Trends, and the Commonplace Don’t Apply


Today’s Once-over is, in part, a heartfelt open letter of sorts to Brooke and Dakota, my Raven Vanguard accomplices, reminding them that we were never meant to be for everybody, and encouraging them to keep the faith because 2020 will surely be the year of Radical and Visionary. In other words, it will be our year.


Unequivocally, the otherworldly scope of Raven Vanguard’s artistic and aesthetic palette is certainly not for everyone; more succinctly, in the grandiose scheme of the universe, we’re hardly for anybody. But that’s OK; sometimes, reality cannot be changed. Importantly, this fact is not as troublesome as you might think. For me, finally accepting this truth for what it is (and also for what it doesn’t mean) has been both cathartic and purifying in an entirely unburdening sense. Now and then, life must be accepted as it is without losing sleep over what, or whom, you cannot change.


You see, our uncompromising philosophical approach gives us the absolute freedom to question everything, and to stand up for the genuineness of our truths, and to obliterate the path of ordinariness, trendiness, and uniformity that has overtaken the world of interior design; all consequences and naysayers be damned — utterly absolved for our refusal ever to become formulaic, ordinary, average, commonplace, unremarkable, or imitative. I have no doubt whatever that there are people all over this planet who covet and will warmly embrace, our artistic vision and that we will one day connect with all of them.


There is an enduring misconception that creativity is rewarded by exalted popularity among the masses. Let faith and patience be your guideposts whenever frustration starts to rear its ugly head because others do not recognize or comprehend your vision. Be reassured that our day is coming. Keeping in mind that most of what passes in the field and discipline of interior design these days is most definitely not for us. And while much of this work is undoubtedly being done by designers of ample talent, their work simply doesn’t cross over into the realm of the extraordinary. However, you must come to gracefully accept that their work undeniably appeals to a far greater number of prospective consumers than does the out of the ordinary work of Raven Vanguard.


Unwittingly, most consumers have fallen victim to the interior design status quo, which is manipulated and driven by designers who themselves have become enslaved by ill-conceived and short-lived trends that convey an absolute indifference to the importance of artistry in design. Unthinking dependence on trends, and cost-limiting and mass-produced goods, as well as a total lack of imagination, ultimately marginalizes and then destroys the very existence of creativity. Identicalness and predictability is the only outcome when consumers are endlessly presented with design concepts that are merely very narrow, basic, and familiar in scope. 


By default, and by having minimal scope for their imagination, most consumers desire standardization, comparableness, and indistinguishability because that is what they are accustomed to – meaning, it is the only thing they know – they have taken the plunge ignorantly into the trap of the commonplace. And, when most project owners overly fixate on bottom-line costs, the result can never be a singular design that has expanded upon the perceived limits of possibility.


We cannot lose sight of the fact that boundaries are nothing more than artificial constructs and that our clients deserve our unbounded imagination free from constraints of any kind. I’d rather radically challenge the status quo as a trailblazing zealot seeking mystery in the margins than make a financial killing churning out the same old unimaginative and middle-of-the-road designs day-after-day.


I promise you that Raven Vanguard stands upon the threshold of all that is mysterious, electrifying, and incomprehensible, and what may have started as scarcely heard whisperings from out in the ethers is now evolving into palpable tremors that are about to fracture the cliché-ridden landscape of interior design. Stay strong, and be swanky; well, not really, fuck swanky – be yourselves, and never sacrifice beauty or integrity of design just to garner more “followers,” or accommodate some unsustainable trend, or mimick the ramblings of some soulless “influencer.”