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Kelly Shea's Desk

Once again after stumbling across another beautiful desk on Instagram, I wanted to find out more about the person behind it. What I found was the beautiful and inspiring Story of a two people company called Vancrafted Studios run by Kelly Shea and Brendan H. Banks. Their portfolio includes work for Vogue and NowThis.

I had the chance to interview Kelly for Desk Hunt.

Let’s take a look.

Who are you and what do you do for a living?

My name is Kelly Shea and I make up one half of Vancrafted Studios - a boutique film production company that I own and operate with my boyfriend. A couple years ago, if you had asked me what I do for a living, I would have listed my title at a large fashion company that everyone knows. Today, what I do for a living is much more fluid, sometimes undefinable, and constantly changing - I am an art director, writer, production designer, and producer - each week, each day, a different mode. After years of living and work in NYC, Brendan and I decided to travel the country for 6 months in a 1984 VW Vanagon that we restored. We started our own company with a mission to work creatively on projects that we believe in. I am what I am and Brendan is a filmmaker and we have recently moved into a studio space in li’l Westerly, Rhode Island - classic small town New England. Our time is split between working locally, heading into the city and traveling for projects and surfing and sailing.

Can you tell me something about your desk setup?

I set my desk up below at window that faces out to an old brick building across the way. To my right, another window looks out on the trees in the park. I have a monitor where I usually work on designs or photo editing, while my computer screen usually has a documentary playing on it. I tend to need a form of distraction to passively tune into while I’m working. It doesn’t make much sense but it works for me.

Is there anything you would like to improve on this setup?

I just ordered a wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, and a stand for my laptop.

Do you switch workspaces during your day? If yes, what’s the reason behind it?

I have an inflatable exercise ball that I often sit on to work out my core as I work on the computer. Sometimes, I will work from my screened in front porch at home (weather-permitting) and sometimes I opt to work at home on the couch. The studio is where I am most comfortable, inspired, and peaceful on most days though.

Can you tell us something about the items on your desk?

The drafting materials (ruler and compass) were my father’s and grandfather’s, both remind me of two very important role models in my life who continue and continued to learn throughout their lives. The driftwood is a piece that I picked up on the beach the day that Brendan and I decided to move out of New York City and make a drastic change in our lives. I left it on the floor of Brendan’s car for a while and have been moving it from place to place, now finally giving it a proper home. It was worth the hassle of saving.

What are you doing to stay focused?

I love listening to Wes Anderson film scores. They are both thematic and generally nonverbal, giving my brain enough space to think and invigoration to stay inspired.

Is there something on your desk which helps you stay focused? What is it?

The simplicity and lack of clutter and color on my desk help me stay focused. I look out the window to see a perfectly worn brick wall, with no distractions. The neutral nature and minimal elements keep my mind free to concentrate.

What was your latest self improvement experiment?

I’ve been trying to start each day with 20 minutes of meditation breathing and movements in the form of Qigong. If I don’t have the full 20 minutes, I do a shorter 7 minute session. There’s no reason why I can’t find a measly 7 minutes, and the breathing and mindfulness gets my energy grounded and centered for the day.

Where do you see yourself and your desk in the next 5 years?

I’d like to see my desk remain constant in its simplicity. In the next 5 years I would like the desk to have a view of the New England water - whether it be ocean, stream, river, or pond.

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by Daniel Puglisi