Studio Visits: Eric Trine


Object based designer and commercial artist Eric Trine has a classic Cali-cool, modern style that is casual and playful. We visited his Long Beach creative studio space to learn more about what goes into creating his furniture and products designed for the home.

Hi Eric! Tell us a little bit about yourself —  where you’re from, and what you do? 

 I'm Eric Trine. Long Beach, CA.

I run a small design studio focusing on furniture on home accessories. We produce our own line all manufactured in LA, and we also design for other brands too. 

Tell us a bit about your work! 

From a product design standpoint - we embrace a casual approach to modern design - good, simple, functional, and we try and make it as affordable as possible. And then we add color!  

What made you start your business?  

When my wife and I got married in 2008, we moved in together and started putting together our place - it was a mix of flea market finds and DIY's. My DIY's became more and more advanced, and I started making pieces for friends and it just snowballed. So I decided to go back to school to study craft and design. I graduated with my masters in 2013 and launched my studio practice.  

Can you tell us a little bit about your design process? 

It all starts with my needs or desires - recently we just built a new bookshelf in the studio, and I realized that we needed to bookends - so we decided to make some! It's that simple. I want something, so I decide to make it - and then we refine it for production. If I'm happy with the moves we are making through the design process - basically, If I keep smiling - then I know it will sell. If I like it, chances are other people will like it, and then I use the internet to connect with them. 

What are the challenges of working for yourself? Benefits?  

I'm the boss. And as the boss I sometimes to forget to treat myself as an employee - which means I need to be more mindful of giving myself rest from work. Benefits - I get to call the shots, make the decisions, and I don't have to answer to anybody but myself. 

How has your work changed over the years? How has it stayed the same? 

The work continues to become more refined and finished. The details are tighter, the quality is better. There is an aesthetic through line - everything is very light, no heavy proportions or materials. 

Any upcoming projects or collaborations that you are excited about? 

We just moved into a new studio space - a big warehouse in the back, and then a 1000 square foot showroom on the street front. I'm looking forward to having more events, parties, exhibitions at our space, and do more stuff with the local community. A lot of people live in Long Beach, but there isn't really a good place to get new modern design. 

Where can we find your products? 

The internet! 

Do you have any advice for other creatives that are just starting out? 

Work really hard, and don't expect results overnight - just keep working away, developing your voice. Your unique voice is the most important thing to cultivate - sometimes your voice will be bankable, sometimes it won't be - but no one can take it away. 

Finally, what does the future look like for you? 

Working on my dad bod, as my wife and I are welcoming our second child this Spring. Work wise, we are launching a new chair in the Spring and just plugging away here at our space in Long Beach. Keeping it simple, keeping it good.

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