Welcome to Steven Duncan's Lake House Studio
Specializing in Vintage-Inspired Illustration and Visual Design


Steve's Story

I grew up in Southern California where my design aesthetic was heavily  influenced by the 1970's beach culture, vintage Hollywood and Disneyland; all just a few minutes from my front door. After high school I grabbed my surfboard and journeyed across the Pacific to attend art school at the University of Hawaii, Manoa where I studied Studio Art and Communication. After college I left paradise and moved back to sunny Southern California to pursue a career in commercial art.

My list of professional accomplishments is vast. I started my career as a Decorating Supervisor on award-winning floats for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. I soon moved on to be an Advertising Catalog Designer for S.E.Rykoff & Co. where I designed catalogues for gourmet foods and cookware. After spending a year in Los Angeles I moved south to San Diego south where I joined the team at FingerPrints of California as a Graphic Designer. While at Fingerprints I was promoted to Sr. Art Director where I supervised a staff of 12 artists. I lead the team in the development and promotion of proprietary stationery, gift lines and licensed programs; including Disney Consumer Products, Disney Parks and Resorts, Universal Studios Theme Parks, Beatrix Potter, the NBA, NFL, and MLB Licensing Groups. 

After 13 years at Fingerprints, I left to join the Executive Team at Suzy's Zoo as Creative Director of Licensing. At Suzy's Zoo I developed and directed three art based licensing programs; the highly successful brands, Little Suzy's Zoo, Adventures in Duckport (collaboratively produced with B.B.C. America and Moon Mesa Media), and Wags and Whiskers (collaboratively produced with Pet Co). In conjunction with developing new programs for our licensees I directed over 80 International licensees/manufacturers in their product development and promotion of Suzy's Zoo licensed products. I also art directed many of the Suzy's Zoo retail product lines and consumer catalogs. 

After five years working at Suzy's Zoo I was approached by several of my past colleagues who invited me to join them as a Creative Director at Agenda9; their San Francisco Design Cooperative. At Agenda9 I worked with clients including Andrea Burnett P.R. and Media, Nordstrom Men's Style, Williams-Sonoma Publishing and other major retail brands. My work focused on brand promotion, web design, marketing, community outreach and promotional events.

In 2011 I moved to Minneapolis where I opened my freelance studio: The Lake House Studio. At the studio I specialize in what I love; vintage-style design and illustration. My clients have included October Afternoon, Basic Grey, Modify Ink and Rebel Entertainment Arts Licensing.  Along with my Lake House Studio work I am a full-time Designer and Illustrator at Carta Bella Paper Co., developing fine art paper goods including paper crafting lines, stationery, giftware, and calendars.


My Client List includes design, illustration, and product development for many amazing brands; Disney Consumer Products, Disney Parks and Resorts, Disney’s Pooh, Williams-Sonoma Publishing, Nordstrom Men’s Style, Scholastic Books, Inc., Lyrick Studios, Applause Plush, MGA Entertainment/ BRATZ, Beatrix Potter, The Meow Mix Company, The Cat Fanciers’ Association, Warner Brothers/Looney Tunes, Universal Studios Parks, Target, Wal-Mart, Pet Co, along with some of the most exciting paper, fabric and stationery brands in the industry including October Afternoon, Carta Bella Paper Co., Basic Grey, Modify Inc., and Suzy’s Zoo.