Ryan Houssari, CEO and Creative Director of Candyfornia Studio is a man who thrives in the infinite and draws inspiration from just about anything that grabs his attention. Aside from his passion for everything creative, he feeds on TV characters and entertains the notion of a world filled with colour. Below is his take on reality in general and fantasy in specific.
What first sparked your interest in advertising?
90’s Calvin Klein ads.
What gets you up in the morning?
Starbucks and Seinfeld.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
It’s a platform for me to do anything I want. No two briefs are the same as well as the fact that I am the boss and don’t report to anyone!
What would you say is your strongest skill?
Being witty, not smart.
Who do you ultimately want to become?
Creative Director of Beirut.
What is your greatest extravagance?
What do you do to keep your ideas fresh?
I travel to LA every now and then and drive around Beverly Hills. Palm trees for days clears my head.
What’s your motto in life?
“No more tears” – I read that on a shampoo bottle.
What keeps you in the game?
What keeps you up at night?
A fresh idea that is not ripe yet.
What would be your worst nightmare?
Losing my visual memory.
What inspires you most?
Urban interiors and spaces.
What music have you been listening to lately?
Views by Drake and Nina Simone.
What can we find on your phone?
NOTES App – I write down every new idea or word on it. I learned that from Shonda Rhimes.
What quality do you most look up to in a woman?
How she handles normal, everyday situations – in heels – and still looks like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.
What quality do you most look up to in a friend?
Oh, they have to be the same height as me.
Who would you like to sit next to on a seven-hour flight?
I’m answering this during an eleven-hour flight and no one is next to me – heavenly!
If you could live for one day the life of another person, who would it be?
Kim Jong Un or the Kardashian. Either way.
If you could have dinner with someone, living or dead, who would it be; and what question would you ask him/her?
Olivia Pope. “Fix me dinner. I’m not eating popcorn.”
If you were to be reincarnated, what would you like to come back as?
If you were to change profession, what would you choose to do?
A butler from a Wes Anderson film.
What business tip would you give the newbies?
If you have a wholesome vision of what you want to do, do it now.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A clear mind.
Where can we find you on a Friday night?
Tucked under the sheets watching Scandal.
What is the one word you catch yourself saying too often?
What would you like to be doing five years from now?
Expanding my vision.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
Times Square billboards.
What’s the last book you read or movie you saw?
Demolition by Jean-Marc Vallée. The carousel scene with La Boheme playing in the background gives me shivers.
What is the one thing you wish you have designed?
Pink Cadillac - 1959 Eldorado.
Who Are You?
I am... a visionary
I like… the finer things in life
I want... the entire Gucci SS16 menswear collection
I have... a penchant for hardwood floors
I wish... for art pieces by Takashi Murakami and KAWS
I hate... malls
I fear... crowds
I Google... how to tie a tie, every time
I wonder... what the other person is thinking
I regret... compromises
I love... Banana Pudding from Magnolia’s Bakery
I need... to surround myself with designer things
If I ruled the world... I would banish common taste
I dream… of a concrete house with a glass façade and an infinity pool in Hollywood Hills
Dream Destination… LA
Restaurant… Nobu, Malibu
Hotel… The Saguaro, Palm Springs and 24 Hr. Bikini Hotel, Berlin
The Saguaro, Palm Springs 24 Hr. Bikini Hotel, Berlin
Meal…Chicken Pesto, Arugula, Kale, Pine Nuts and Dried Tomato Salad from Urth Cafe
Quote… “If you buy shoes for your lover, he will walk away”– a random saleswoman said that to me once
Book... I Only Want You To Love Me (by Miles Aldridge)
Movie… Drive (by Nicolas Winding Refn)
Flower… Birds of Paradise
Animal… Pink Flamingo
Poet… Kanye West
Painter… David Hockney
Heroes… people who lost someone and still move on.