Lights, Penguin, Watch Clock!

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Andrew Neyer lives multiple lives: as an artist, an illustrator, and a designer. At 27 years old, he’s self-employed and works from a second floor studio in his Mason home. But make no mistake—he is not the stereotypical stay-at-home artist-slash-designer-slash-illustrator-slash-figuring-it-out-slash-hipper-than-thou millennial. He’s a father of three who has to produce, and produce he has: his art has been showcased in contemporary art museums across the country; his illustrations are regularly featured in Bloomberg Businessweek; and his collection of lighting fixtures, home accessories, and clothing is available online at andrewneyer.com.
       
The Cincinnati native cut his teeth at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where he began as a design major but finished with a printmaking degree. “I wanted to make things with my hands. I don’t think I was mature enough for design. I didn’t understand how it could be applied,” Neyer says. Printmaking allowed him to hone his illustration technique—which is minimalist, clever, and looks as if the New Yorker and School House Rock had an art baby.

After graduating in December 2008, Neyer—the same person who described himself as too immature for design—brought his talents back home to Cincinnati to start a family. The transition from apartment life to home ownership offered the spark of all good design and innovation: necessity. “When we moved into our first home, it didn’t have any fixtures, and without a landlord, it’s up to you. That’s why I started making lights,” he says. That first light has grown into a collection of fixtures that now show up in homes, restaurants, and boutique hotels across the country, as well as clothes, accessories, and quirky housewares. Neyer’s products are three-dimensional versions of his illustrations; they’re minimal without pretension, functional but not cold.

For two years, Neyer curated YES—an Over-the-Rhine gallery, shop, and shared studio—until deciding in late 2012 to devote his time to new design work (though yescincinnati.com still offers a selection of goods from Neyer and other artists). In the months since, he has done just that, consistently generating new products (check out his Watch Clock wall decoration), plus a more extensive line of light fixtures. And that’s not all: Neyer has set his sights on breaking into a wider design market. In May, he  showcased his work at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City.

Items, from left:
Light Moves – The adjustable Pennant Light is hardwired with a touch sensor, great for bedside lighting ($199).
Big Time – The Watch Clock wall decoration is made from powder-coated wood, steel, and aluminum ($150).
Dress Up – The Penguin Press vinyl decals are perfect for converting your French press into a morning conversation starter ($6.95).

Originally published in the June 2014 issue.

Photograph of Neyer by Jeremy Kramer, item photographs courtesy Andrew Neyer.

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