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Meet Brynn Gelbard and Lisa Donohoe of Londubh Studio in DTLA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brynn Gelbard and Lisa Donohoe.

Brynn and Lisa, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
We met in SF when we were both table-waiting riot tomboys finding our queer feet in a world that was a lot different than it is now even though, it wasn’t that long ago. At the time, Lisa specialized in highly intricate hand drawn Celtic drawings mostly inspired by the sacred Book of Kells, which we just visited again at Trinity College in Dublin during our recent trip to visit Lisa’s family. I was always a writer. During Pride week one year, we made friends with these English filmmakers who were in town for the Frameline Film Festival, the largest LGBTQ film festival in the world. They invited us to come work on their next film. They put Lisa in the art department and gave me the job of minding the stars, Bob Hoskins and the equally legendary Josiane Balasko from France. I ended up helping Lisa out whenever I had time. We had so much fun working together which made perfect sense because were used to having a great time together, let’s just say. Since then, the universe has unmistakably compelled us on this shared creative trajectory which overtime, has evolved into Londubh Studio. We’ve done all kinds of projects along the way that now inform both our aesthetic and our fearlessness to try new things. We’re married and have been together for 16 years. I guess ultimately our story is about embracing each other not just as wives but as creative collaborators and realizing project by project how glorious a gift this is and to spread that love. That is the magic we put in our work.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
So far, it’s been a beautiful journey with its share of challenges. There are nothing like challenges and mistakes to inspire growth though. One of our greatest struggles has been remembering to stop and nurture ourselves as individuals and wives as we grow our business together. For a long time, our studio was in our home. We were complete workaholics. Last summer, after the LA leg of the exhibition we were a part of in the 2017 Salone del Mobile in Milan, curated by the incredible Icelandic architect, Gulla Jonsdottir, we took two weeks off and realized that was more than we’d taken off in the whole two years prior combined by a lot. When you’re growing a business, you never want to miss that one break that might change everything. You question your voice. You feel excited when people give you a chance but sometimes, that comes at the expense of your voice if you need that job to cover expenses. You search for your community among doors sometimes slamming in your face. We’re lucky to have each other. We listen to a lot of motivational talks that remind us struggles builds strength and character and ultimately a joyous livelihood if you stay focused and follow your heart.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Londubh Studio (lón-dove) – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are a wife/wife team of artists with an incredibly diverse portfolio fueled by how much fun we have together, how much we love each other and how much we encourage each other to be wild and joyful and take risks in all aspects of life. At the moment, our canvases tend to be feature surfaces within an overall design environment. This could mean walls, floors, ceilings, art panels, table tops, multi-panel art screens, headboards, diving boards, pool bottoms, multi-story building facades, etc.

We often work with designers and architects on high end residential and commercial projects. We use local and the greenest products possible as often as we can. Frequently, we have to use highly specialized products to suit a particular project. Once, we did a painted rug on a house boat deck fully exposed to the elements up north in Sausalito. The surface was only a few feet above the ocean. We did our research and ended up using Dutch yacht paint because it was the greenest possible product able to withstand that environment for the longest duration.

We’re known for being who to call when you want something special/one-of-a-kind that is made to last with the same love and passion you have for your space. Often, this means being problem solvers and figuring out a whole new process. The result is every project is an adventure and our repertoire increases all the time. Not all of our work is wild looking in terms of bold colors and metallics. Sometimes, it’s in the restraint or the details. Every project is different. We’re really honored that our name, which is pronounced Lon-Dove and means black bird in Irish Gaelic, gets thrown around when discussing people working at the confluence of art and design. That’s such a compliment. We believe in spaces as sanctuaries for resting, recharging, reinvigorating in this chaotic world, for all it’s good and bad. We love creating the elements that nourish and excite people with that old school craftsmanship that really makes a difference.

We’re especially proud of the broad scope of projects we’ve completed and that our clients really trust us. What we do is unique. Nobody else is doing exactly what we’re doing so working with us can and should be a learning process, ultimately resulting in a whole load of new design possibilities at one’s disposal.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Our plans for the future are the same as our plans for the present — to live in the moment and from the heart as much as possible. We’re really excited to be moving our studio downtown among a community of incredible artists including Whore Haus Studios, Neptune Glassworks, Superchief Gallery LA. We know this new space is going to open us up to new creative endeavors and we are so ready for the adventure. We’re also just so grateful to live a creative existence that inspires us to make the most of every moment and also ask ourselves, “Does this project feel right for us? Can we do it from a place of joy and put love in it? Will it fuel our souls and make us grow as an artists?” Saying yes to as many of those as possible… that’s the present and future of Londubh.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Londubh Studio, Flaminia Fanale

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