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Inspired by Eames: Bryn Imagire

Bryn Imagire, shading art director and costume designer for The Incredibles 2 sits down with us to discuss how Charles and Ray Eames influenced her work on the film.

The work of Charles and Ray Eames has inspired people from all walks of life. From their furniture design, architecture, films, toys, and more, their playful spirit and innovative design transcends time and continues to impact the work of artists today. In fact, you may have seen Eames-inspired work without even realizing it!

We sat down with Bryn Imagire, shading art director and costume designer for Pixar’s The Incredibles 2, to discuss how the Eameses personally inspired her and how that inspiration made its way to the big screen.

Q: When did you first hear of the Eames?

It was during college. I went to Art Center [College of Design] in Pasadena and the great thing about that school was I feel like I got so exposed to different kinds of art, design, film. I remember discovering the Eames’s work and I thought it was so interesting that they were married and that their lives, their work life, and their personal life, were so intertwined. It was really interesting to me how there was no line between working and their leisure life.

Q: What about their style inspired your own when you were art directing for The Incredibles 2?

The way that they influenced our work on The Incredibles 2 was the ideas that they were really interested in using different materials and manufacturing for their furniture. It was at that time of design they were really thinking about how things were becoming fabricated and how they were made and how that process dictated the style of the piece. I think that that way of thinking really influenced the furniture that we picked for The Incredibles, the sleekness and the simplicity. I think that aesthetic really embodied the Eames’s work.

Q: The aesthetic of the film is very much inspired by mid-century modern design. Did that choice have any implications on your own work?

I am drawn to that type of work. My house was built in the 50s. I live in Oakland and I am drawn to that time period for some reason. I just like the way that it looks and I like the materials and I really love the fabric design. I think that Ray Eames had that similar take on design for fabrics. She had a really impeccable sense of color, which I really love and I’m always inspired by. She uses a very sophisticated palette.

Q: Are there any direct homages to the Eames in this movie?

In the original Incredibles, in the house. I designed them from scratch, but I was inspired by a lot of Ray Eames’s fabric designs, so the curtains in the kitchen and in the living room, the bedspread on the bed; I actually was inspired by her when I was doing those. In the original movie, Brad [Bird, writer and director of The Incredibles and The Incredibles 2] really wanted The Incredibles’ original house to feel like Helen was the center of the family and that she was picking everything that went into the house, and so I think that he relied on me as a woman to bring my aesthetic. I was inspired by Ray and Charles Eames, how they seemed like such a great yin and yang kind of relationship. I felt like she was a little bit more decorative, she brought color to their working relationship, where maybe Charles was a little bit architectural and form, he was coming more from that side of things. Just the balance of those two different sides of thinking and design I felt it made such a complete product, just their being together.

Q: What do you think we can learn from Ray and Charles?

I feel like the creative process that they must have went through together, creating the furniture and their line of fabrics, that process we can use to think about how collaboration is so important to creating anything, whether it’s movies or clothing, furniture, houses. Collaboration, to me, feels like something that makes my work life very fulfilling, because it’s not only making a beautiful film, but it’s also figuring out with a lot of different people from a lot of different backgrounds how we can get the best look on the screen.

The World of Charles and Ray Eames is on view through February 17, 2019.