Have you been keeping up with this season’s Design Star? The New York City based reality show has seen its fair share of great innovations and style. However like most reality competitions, there are times when good talent is sent home too soon. We have all seen it on tons of shows from American Idol (Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry) to Project Runway (last year’s contestant Gretchen Jones winning over fan fav, Mondo Guerra). Sometimes, the judges (or viewers) just get it wrong. In the case of this year’s Design Star contestant Tyler Wisler, he unfortunately encountered the same fate after the judges sent him home during the ultimate kitchen challenge (see “HGTV Design Star Season 6 Episode 5: Ultimate Dream Kitchen Challenge”). His early departure sparked a massive outcry amongst viewers as hundreds took to Twitter and the show’s website to express their disappointment. Yet through it all, the 35-year old Honolulu native has kept his composure and continued on with life. Designing homes in the NYC area (Tyler Wisler Home), we recently caught up with him to discuss design, and his exit from the show.
CD: I think it’s safe to say that your exit from this season’s Design Star was unexpected, and a HUGE upset. Have you been flooded with comments from viewers of the show?
TW: My departure from Design Star was completely unanticipated… The reaction I had on the show was exactly that, of shock! I had no idea how I was being sent home when I was consistently safe, and not even just safe, but hovering in the higher rankings of safe every challenge. I’ve seen, heard and read many many things showing amazing support for me, and disappointment with the judge’s decision. I mean what’s done is done at this point, so there’s not a reason to dwell on would’ve/could’ves…
CD: What was your reaction after the judges decided to let you go? Do you think they got it right, or wrong?
TW: I think it was a calculated move for good television, and I think it got a very strong reaction from viewers, which is always good TV. I wish I could’ve stayed, but I’m not about to give my arguments why I should’ve stayed. I think the public already has stated most of that for me.
CD: Being on Design Star, what was your most memorable experience?
TW: Gosh, just being there. Every day, I’d wake up and just think, “This is REAL!” I was living my dream of actively pursuing the dream of having my own show…
CD: If you could change anything about your time on the show, what would it be?
TW: I don’t know that I would’ve changed anything… Probably wouldn’t have agonized over my hair and wardrobe so much, since I don’t even notice all the effort I put in. I don’t believe in regrets though, and I don’t think I would change myself.
CD: How has your life changed since the show?
TW: Well, it’s still evolving… I get a few people who notice me, but I think being in NYC people are way to “cool” to go up to “celebrities”… Not that I’m a celebrity in the least, but you can see Julia Roberts in Starbucks and generally speaking, no one will bother her.
CD: What inspired you to be a designer? Did you always know this would be the path you would take?
TW: Growing up my mom always made sure that art was a part of my life. She enrolled me in drawing and painting classes, while my grandmother was always doing craft projects with me. I kinda always knew that I was going to do something in the creative arts field, but wasn’t quite sure until I went away to my first year of college at The American University. I was enrolled as an Art Design major, for whatever that means, but everyone used to come into my dorm room and comment on how much they loved it. So what does the 18 year old do? Transfer schools… I attended the New York School of Interior Design for a year and a half, got my Certificate, and then transferred back down to the DC area, and graduated from Marymount University in Arlington,VA.
CD: What inspires you to design?
TW: EVERYTHING! I walk around the city and see new and amazing things. My son might be watching a cartoon that sparks my creative fancy… Inspiration is everywhere if you’re receptive to it.
CD: If you could collaborate with anyone in the industry, who would it be?
TW: Oh God, there are so many great designers out there that I love for different reasons. I think Nate Berkus is great on so many levels; the Novogratz and their fanciful approach to interiors; Roman and Williams has such a great aesthetic; Jaime Drake’s has an amazing use of color; Vicente Wolf’s quiet combinations of form and textures are inspirational, and the list goes on and on…
CD: What would be your ideal project to work on?
TW: Huh… You know I’ve never really thought about what would be the ultimate?! That’s a really good question. I don’t know that there is the ideal project. Well, the ideal would be for me to eventually get my own show and really showcase all my talents and knowledge to help educate, entertain and inspire people to embrace the designer in them.
CD: What is next for Tyler Wisler?
TW: I’m trying to figure it all out as I’ve got the bug in me now. I’m not stopping anytime soon, or getting discouraged by where I placed on Design Star. I’m looking to the stars, and I look at every option that presents itself to me. I’m going to be a star. Don’t you worry.
If you are a Tyler Wisler fan then there is still time to see him shine on TV! Head on over to HGTV.com and vote for Tyler to win his own online design show. You can catch season 6 of HGTV’s Design Star Monday nights at 9pm EST.
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