Maker Stories

Inside the Artists’ Studio with Seth and Maddy Lucas

June 10, 2015

Seth and Maddy Lucas | Studio Tour | UncommonGoods

Instagram photo taken by @ellothereprintco

One of my favorite meetings at the UncommonGoods headquarters is something we like to call grown up “show-and-tell,” where the marketing  team previews the products that will soon join our This Just In assortment. I was immediately intrigued by the story behind the National  Parks Sticker Map. Assistant Merchandising Coordinator Jillian described Seth and Maddy Lucas as a young married couple who had a goal  of visiting all of the national parks in their lifetime. It might have been because I was in the middle of reading Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild,” but I immediately thought “I wanna do that, too!” I started daydreaming about where I would thru-hike one day, imagining myself rolling out a sleeping bag next to a serene lake in [insert middle of America location]. But when Jillian mentioned that the designers were based in Brooklyn, I swiped the serene lake away like an email on my iPhone and thought “Oh, I wanna go there too.”

Seth and Maddy Lucas | Studio Tour | UncommonGoods

I had never been to a home studio before visiting Seth and Maddy. Upon entering their light-drenched apartment, I think the phrase  “bring your work home” took a whole new meaning. From the nostalgic American pillows on the couch, to the colorful shelves in their kitchen, it was easy to tell that their artistic aesthetic is consistent throughout every detail in their daily lives. When I stumbled  upon their copy of the “Wes Anderson Collection,” everything clicked. I realized that Seth and Maddy had the ability to create an all encompassing visual language similar to what Anderson fans feel when they are lost in any one of his famous films. The  ability to live life with such a distinct style seems to come naturally to Seth and Maddy, whether they are backpacking around another park, or just listening to a record on their couch. Meet travelers and designers Seth and Maddy Lucas, and learn more about their colorful inspirations, their collaborative process, and the delicious way they celebrate a victory.

Seth and Maddy Lucas | Studio Tour | UncommonGoods

Where do you find inspiration within this space?

Seth: The lighting is my favorite part about it. We have two big glass doors that bring in lots of light, and I think that’s key with any workspace.

Seth and Maddy Lucas | Studio Tour | UncommonGoods

What are your most essential tools?

Seth: I do my sketching in Paper [by FiftyThree] or Adobe [Illustrator] Draw on the iPad with the Pencil [by FiftyThree]. I love being able to draw and then send my files directly to Adobe Illustrator.

Seth and Maddy Lucas | Studio Tour | UncommonGoods Seth and Maddy Lucas | Studio Tour | UncommonGoods

Where does down time fit into a day in a home studio?

Seth and Maddy: It’s never scheduled, but we have lots of really amazing coffee shops nearby in Bushwick. We like to take a break at random times throughout the day and grab bite or a drink.

Seth and Maddy Lucas | Studio Tour | UncommonGoods Seth and Maddy Lucas | Studio Tour | UncommonGoods

What was the toughest lesson you learned as a young couple starting a business?

Seth: I think giving each other our own defined roles was the hardest part to figure out together. There’s just parts of the business that I know Maddy will be better at, not only in organizing our workspace, but in organizing and putting together our online shop. Know that we’ve become comfortable with what we do and how we split up work, our day-to-day process runs much more smoothly.

Seth and Maddy Lucas | Studio Tour | UncommonGoods

Where does collaboration come into play with your craft?

Seth: Mostly in the idea stage. We come up with a lot of ideas together, and if we’re excited enough about an idea I’ll start working on it right away and Maddy will give me suggestions. We really try to only put out products that we love and feel like we have to get it made right now because we want to have that product in our lives.

Seth and Maddy Lucas | Studio Tour | UncommonGoods

How did you come up with the concept of your product?

Seth: The National Parks [Sticker Map] came about when Maddy suggest we make a lifetime goal of visiting all 59 national parks, and she wanted me to make a map to mark our journey. We had a hunch that others would want to use this map and sticker design as well, and we’ve been blown away at how many others share our passion for visiting the national parks.

Seth and Maddy Lucas | Studio Tour | UncommonGoods

What advice would you (both) offer the you of 5 years ago?

Seth and Maddy: Relax, you’ll figure it out. Freaking out over our lack of business knowledge has always made us feel underqualified, and we’ve had to make some mistakes to figure out what we’re doing. But moving forward and learning from mistakes has been the best way for us to improve.

Seth and Maddy Lucas | Studio Tour | UncommonGoods

How do you celebrate a victory?

Seth and Maddy: Dominique Ansel is our favorite bakery and they make these really cool chocolate chip cookies in the shape of a shot glass and fill them with vanilla infused milk. As soon as we finished our first trade show, we made our way to Dominique Ansel and had cookie shots. It’s sort of become our unofficial celebration when we’ve finished a big project.

Seth and Maddy Lucas | Studio Tour | UncommonGoods

How do you recharge your creativity?

Seth and Maddy: We take a lot of weekend trips. We’re not messing around with our national parks goal. We’ve been to 20 now, and they make for a great chance for us to get work stuff out of our minds and just enjoy the outdoors.

Seth and Maddy Lucas | Studio Tour | UncommonGoods

What quote keeps you motivated? What does that quote mean to you?

Seth: “Show up every day.” This is a quote from one of my favorite podcasters, Seanwes. I love how it’s only three words, but it says everything you need to know. Just show up, be there, every single day. If I want to see progress, I need to make new products and come up with new ideas, this process is never ending and to make it work we have to show up every day.

Seth and Maddy Lucas | Studio Tour | UncommonGoods

How do you set goals for yourself?

Seth and Maddy: Getting ready for trade shows has become a great way for us to get out new projects. It gives us a deadline, and we can set up smaller deadlines so we know when we need to be done coming up with new ideas, when we need to design those ideas, and how much time it will take to get those ideas printed.

Seth and Maddy Lucas | Studio Tour | UncommonGoods


National Parks Sticker Map | UncommonGoods


  • Reply deb December 23, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Can I order just the stickers? Thank you! Debby

  • Reply Marisa December 28, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Thanks for asking, Deb. They are very appealing, aren’t they? Apologies, but we’re not able to offer them separately from the National Parks Sticker Map.

  • Reply margie November 29, 2016 at 11:46 am

    does the national parks explorer map self stick to the wall and is removable and repositional

    • Reply Emily G. November 29, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      Hi Margie,

      The map is printed on a thicker, archival paper, but it’s not self-stick. Past purchasers have chosen to hang it up in a frame (not included), or use adhesive strips to stick it to a wall – which may be a better option if you want to be able to re-position the map easily. The map does, however, come with a set of tree-shaped stickers that you can stick onto the map to mark the parks you’ve visited.

      Hope this helps, and thanks for reading the blog!

  • Reply Kathleen Redington Eyler November 30, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Hi, I took my kids on a road trip cross country this summer so this seems like a perfect Christmas gift for them. Are all the National Parks included like Craters of the Moon? Olympic? Thanks – Kathleen

    • Reply Emily G. November 30, 2016 at 11:03 am

      Hi Kathleen,

      Sounds like a fun trip! The map includes all 59 current national parks, including Olympic. Some quick internet research tells me that Craters of the Moon is actually a national “monument” rather than park, which may be why it’s not listed on the map. The map does include Crater Lake, though!

      Thanks for reading the blog. 🙂

  • Reply Cathy April 21, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    I noticed the catalog says, “handmade in Kansas,” but you are located in New York. Where do you have it done in Kansas? I’m from Kansas and like to support local.

    • Reply Marisa April 24, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      Thanks for your question, Cathy! Neither we nor the printers in Kansas have any brick and mortar stores, so this item is available only on our website. But your Kansas locals still benefit when you buy it from us! We’re glad you care about this kind of thing. We do, too, and are proud to offer so many items made in the USA.

  • Reply Eileen November 8, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Does the magnet frame need to be attached on metal? Can it be affixed with 3m products or other wall hanging products?
    Suggest best method.

    • Reply Hadley November 8, 2017 at 1:17 pm

      Thanks for asking, Eileen! The frame comes shipped with hanging hardware and does not need to be attached to a metal surface. The magnets are actually on the inside of the frame–they’re what keep the wood pieces stuck securely on either side of the poster.

  • Reply Eileen November 8, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Great thanks!

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