After The Jump: David Stark (MP3 + Book Giveaway)

This week’s radio guest is someone I’ve admired and been inspired by for years- event designer and author, David Stark. David has created some of the most incredibly creative parties for people clients like Anna Sui, Jean Paul Gaultier, House Beautiful, the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and wonderful non-profits like The Robin Hood Foundation. One of the things I love most about David’s work is how socially and environmentally conscious it often is. It’s rare to find an event planner who tries to work with sustainable materials, found/recyclable materials or materials that can be taken down and donated to a good cause after the event- but David does all of that and more. He also has a new book out, The Art of the Party, so I was excited to talk to him about his career path from waiter to celebrated event designer what makes a good event and what he’s learned about life from event design. David is a seriously inspiring person so I hope you’ll all take some time to listen to his insight and feedback. Whether you’re a painter, printmaking, shop owner or just a design enthusiast, his work and life philosophy is one worth hearing and following.

LISTEN: You can download the podcast on iTunes here, or stream it here on Heritage Radio.

In addition to David’s interview, he was also kind enough to give away two books to lucky D*S readers. The Art of the Party is a beautiful 225 page peek behind the scenes of how David and his team do what they do. From intimate weddings to huge galas, David shows how the events are built from stat to finish, including detailed peeks into invitation, seating, food and flow planning. It’s such a visual feast and I think you’ll all really love it.

TO ENTER: Just leave a comment below with your guess of how many colored pencils were used in the photo shown above. The two people who come closest (if there are duplicate answers, it will be the first to leave their comment) to the correct number will win copies of The Art of the Party. Leave your comment below by next Thursday at 10pm EST and we’ll announce the winner on Friday. Good luck! xo, grace

Photos above by Susan Montagna

David’s top 5 obsessions of the moment (and photos of his work and book) continue after the jump . . .

A peek inside The Art of the Party:

Photo by Gustavo Campos

Photo by Gustavo Campos

Photo by Susan Montagna

Photo by Susan Montagna

Photo by Susan Montagna

Photo by Aaron Delesie (As appearing in Martha Stewart Weddings.)


Wow looks like such a great book, I love the photos – so colourful!! I’m thinking 7,500 pencils?

Great post :)

Much love,
Jennifer x


Guessing roughly 16,200 pencils in total, but I would say around 7,000 in just the photo. Color pencil mania!

Sophie LU

OK, let’s say on the photograph: 2113 pencils. No idea of the size of the room but it could be like 14333 pencils in total.


4,000 pencils? Those projects always end up using way more than you’d think.

ri gal

2360 pencils!
I love David Stark’s work. Again, it was design sponge that introduced me to his work. I love his ingenious ideas and the fact that his materials are recycled/ recyclable/ sustainable/ donatable makes it more ‘my type’ and allows to gape at his work without thinking ‘urgh that’s such a waste’!
His works reminds me of my old days; like when I used to make class party decorations in school out of coloured newspapers! One deco literally made our principal and math teacher speechless. Oh how I’d love to join his team.
Can’t wait to listen to the interview.

ri gal

2370 pencils.
Uh I think I wrote a huge comment, now I”m wondering if I did hit the submit button, because the ‘your comment is awaiting moderation’ is missing. So again!

Emily @ Clementine

2379 pencils! This was a great interview and I love seeing the images to go along with it, his designs are so wonderfully all-encompassing.

Susan Ingle

19,448 pencils…This looks like an amazing book, filled to the brim with creativity and color!

Daniela Valdez

18 000 pencils! I’m a huge fan of David Stark’s work, so creative and wiht such good taste. Beautiful.

Katy Broussard

What a gorgeous book! Hopefully I’m right!! I’m guessing 15,000 pencils! Thanks for the chance to win!

nancy brennand

2360,includes the ones on the tables for guests to use! Listening to the interview,then being able to turn the pages from his new book,would make me feel almost as good as spending a day in his company.

theresa a.

4,128 pencils! what a beautiful party, i want to go!


5000 pencils. Thanks for brightening my day, design sponge and David Stark!


I’d say about 1200 pencils? what an interesting way to win a giveway!


what whimsical and fun designs! My guess for the competition: 2,176


14,080 pencils. David Stark, I’m a fan. Thank you for creating inspirational event designs.


700 in the photo and 16000 given away at the end of the party :)


2762 pencils, give or takea squillion (to quote another commenter)


OMG! 2,850 is my guess its so simple yet so amazing….


I will say 16,000 pencils! Would love to check out his amazing work in his new book!!!

Diane Putnam

So much fun to see some of the photos from book. Colored pencils, perhaps, 44,500!

Amy Stark

8,757, what a fun contest and an amazing talent. We share the same last name and these pictures are like eye candy feeding my soul


In the picture I would say around 4,400. In the entire room I’d say at least twice that number


3800 pencils! Great idea and wonderful use of color! Thanks for sharing!


3800 pencils great idea with lots of color! Thanks for sharing!

Niki V

It doesn’t seem like my first comment took. My guess is 7945.

ri gal

Love the interview. One of the most inspiring and educational interviews ever. I love his take on temper tantrums. :)


3401 pencils. Yikes! I hope these were contributed to starving artists after you finished.

Grace Bonney


All of David’s projects like this are either donated or re-used. They never just style and throw away things. If you listen to the interview you can hear more about his commitment to reusing materials and donating them.


Kathy Kolb

34, 237 pencils. So inspiring! If you have lots of something, you have an opportunity for decoration.

Megan Stanton


I loved this pod cast, listened to it twice. I’m curious, David mentioned a book written by a friend/consultant that helped frame great business practice for him. But never mentioned the author or title. Would love to know it/read it if you happen to have it.