ArtCenter: You attended ArtCenter from 1965 to 1967, what was transportation design like at the time?
Phil Lachapelle (Transportation): There was a recession and very few jobs at GM, Ford, Chrysler and American Motors. I was told that it would be three years before serious designer hiring in this field, so I decided to work for Sony for necessary income to support my newly married status.
I retired from a sales management career in the industrial television business and then established my own oil painting art business specializing in landscapes.Phil Lachapelle
AC: What are you working on right now?
PL: After 52 years, I retired from a sales management career with several major manufacturers in the industrial television business. I then established my own oil painting art business specializing in landscapes, which I continue to this day.
AC: What's your favorite car?
PL: Italian coachwork design has always been my favorite design influence — in particular, the just-released Ferrari Portofino. Surprisingly, the Tesla Model S has beautiful American designed balance for a four-door sedan. My favorite design? The Alfa Romeo Type 33 Stradale.
AC: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
PL: To drive the 24 Hours of Le Mans alone and win.
AC: What is your most prized possession?
PL: That’s a tough question! I suppose my artwork, health and lifestyle. Obviously, my wife Carol is a partner who helps create an arena that enhances and helps me compose my artistic output.
Submit the Alumni Q&A questionnaire to share your story. We want to hear about your accomplishments, what you're working on and your advice for future ArtCenter students.
AC: How would your closest friend describe you?
PL: A people-lover who is interested in the daily activities of friends and associates. A talented artist who is extremely happy when creating.
AC: What is the best piece of advice for an Art Center student who's interested in following your career path?
PL: Career paths have changed since I followed mine, but the basics remain. The demands of a student’s design talent for creative discipline, extreme devotion to the project at hand and the forward view of success around the corner are the key elements that will bring that competitive awareness instilled by the ArtCenter hard-work philosophy. It is life-changing.