Lance Flores was born on a military base in Germany, but lived out much of his childhood in Colorado until finding his way to Kansas City, MO seven years ago to complete his graphic design degree at the Kansas City Art Institute. He found the city inviting and fell in love with the friendly, West Plaza neighborhood where he has lived ever since. Lance works as an Art Director at Baldwin, a local clothing and lifestyle brand, and takes on frequent freelance photography, design and mural commissions.
A few years after graduating, Lance felt like he needed a change and began looking for a new apartment. “I was living by myself at the time, in this apartment that had a lot of old world character, but lacked basic first world essentials like central heating and a legit air conditioner. I used to switch my bedroom based on the season because one room had a ceiling fan and the other had a heater.” He found a reasonably priced space with two large bedrooms in the same neighborhood and acquired a roommate along the way. “I actually moved a block away from my old apartment. It was so close that it was more convenient to walk a few of my large canvases down to my new apartment rather than pack them in a truck.” The space boasts a scenic view of the Country Club Plaza, green trees and a guaranteed sunrise that fills the rooms with a warm glow every morning.
In true designer form, Lance started his decorative process with a mood board, combining ideas that he found inspiring. He admits, “then the reality set in and I realized I had to work with what I’ve got.” Lance discovered a love of breathing new life into old things by using what he already had or collecting found objects to fill his new surroundings. As an introvert, his goal is to create a space that speaks volumes about who he is, without having to spell it out. Each item has its own story to tell and is carefully curated to reflect his journey. “One of my side tables is from my time as a barista at Starbucks and a piece of hanging art is actually large fragments of peeled paint from the very first mural I worked on for the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Kansas City.” Lance jokes that he tends to be impatient while hanging artwork. “Behind a few of these hanging pieces exists more than one hole in the wall from attempting to hang without measuring.” Due to his rental agreement, Lance is unable to change the paint color, but he has worked with the existing beige walls and carpet by layering in thoughtful artwork and inspirational objects that he has discovered. “I feel like my living space is always changing and being tweaked. My likes and dislikes change often and I get bored of seeing the same things, so I’m often moving something or trying a different arrangement. That’s the blessing and the curse of being creative, I guess.”—Bethany
Photography by Lance Flores