Person of Interest: Matthew McCrimmon

The Dallas designer and Field Day founder makes mirrors that are more works of art than primping aid.

D HOME: You started off five years ago making furniture and got a lot of attention from the design community for your first two pieces. Then in 2011, you switched exclusively to mirrors. Why?

Matthew McCrimmon: You hate to say anything in the creative field was a business decision, but if you find a niche that can make you a living that you can be great at, I think you absolutely pursue it. I was looking at some other avenues, and for some reason, mirrors just caught on. It was one of those things where you don’t see anything out there that appeals to you, so you start pursuing it. 

DH: What’s your design background?

MM: I was really late-blooming to the design world. I grew up in a small town in Florida, I didn’t have artistic parents, and I didn’t understand the word “design” until I was maybe 25. Growing up, “design” was going to an air show and looking at airplanes. It certainly wasn’t décor. 

DH: Your mirrors are essentially art pieces. Why this medium?

MM: I’m not an art guy, and what I mean by that is: Things kind of always have to have a functionality to me. Mirrors have an inherent static function. We all use them. For me it was: How much design can we bring inside the mirror as opposed to just putting a piece of glass in a frame and calling it décor? 

DH: Where did the name come from?

MM: In elementary school we had something called Field Day, where you just ran around outside and did whatever you wanted. It was liberating. That’s what Field Day is for me: I’m out in the field, and I kind of just do whatever I want to do. 

DH: What advice would you give to other young artisans? 

MM: Your biggest enemy is obscurity. Share your ideas with everyone. Don’t worry about criticism or someone copying you. If no one knows about you, nothing really matters. 

DH: Getting over the fear of criticism must be hard. 

MM: It takes a while to learn that. Especially when you’re doing furniture design because it is a very personal thing. It’s not like lasagna—not everyone is going to like it. If I were keen to please everyone, I would build framed mirrors and be done. But that has no appeal to me at all.

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