May 9, 2013
How much creativity can be produced within one co-working space? Plenty, if you consider that this personality-packed workspace — courtesy of illustrator, art director, and artist Will Bryant — is within a stone’s throw of the desk of Kate Bingaman-Burt, an illustrator who gave us a look around her office digs just last month. Get a new perspective on their shared studio (also the headquarters for three other illustrators/designers) in this newest tour from Portland, Oregon. Read more
April 22, 2013
We find endless inspiration in the work of award-winning artist and illustrator Chris Silas Neal. Find out what inspires him in this tour of the straightforward, no-nonsense studio he shares with four other illustrators/designers in Brooklyn, New York. Read more
November 13, 2012
Graphic designer and painter Ricky Watts spends the workday in a studio in Sebastopol, CA, that he once shared with his grandfather, Arthur. Today, Ricky’s Embody Chair shares the space with an Eames Lounge and Ottoman first owned by Arthur and his family. Take a look at the workshop and hear the story behind the Eames piece — as told in a charming recollection from Ricky’s mother. Read more
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
December 28, 2010
Dee Adams is an interiors consultant, an artist and a senior producer at Yahoo! She lives in a airy loft in Oakland, California where she paints as much as her day job allows. I came across Dee on Ann Gorman’s blog, Where People Create. Here, I talk to Dee about her work, the practicalities of creating in a loft and how she fits it all in.
How long have you worked from home? I’ve been working from home in some form or another for the past 14 years. I’ve stolen hours where I can find them in between sleep and my various day jobs, so home has always been a continuous place of work.
Tell us a bit about your work? I wear a lot of hats around here including graphic designer, painter, boss lady, blogger and interiors consultant. By day I’m a Senior Lead Product Designer at Yahoo! and in all my in-between hours I’m running the studio here producing work for personal clients. Most of my fine art clients reside in New York, San Francisco, London and Sydney with work in both private and corporate collections. Graphic design clients include Taschen, GOOD Magazine and design shops like Rare Device and Renegade Handmade. I produce a wide range of products like interactive user interfaces, paintings, illustrations, logos, and infographics.
How big is your work space? The loft is 2200 square feet on the ground floor where most of the work occurs. Larger art pieces are transported in through the heavy double wooden doors. The living area upstairs has been deemed a no work zone.
Is there any form of technology that really inspires you? I’m a bit old school. Blank paper and canvas still get the best response out of me because that’s where all my ideas start. Technical drawing pencils also get me excited. But if I had to pick a newer item, I’d definitely say high-end audio headphones. I’m a bit of a collector and audiophile when it comes to them and the bigger the better. I love headphones where the modern components are hidden inside retro looking shells.
What desk accessory can’t you do without? My orange flip clock. I can hear the gears grinding and it keeps me on task. It’s a stunning bit of machinery and always gorgeous to look at. When the days and nights blur together as I obsess over another project, it reminds me where and when I am.
Do you have any tips for organizing a home work space? I live and work in basically a large rectangular box. If something is out of place or disorganized you notice it pretty quickly. To stay organized means knowing my limits when it comes to how much I can store. The loft has no built in storage so supplies are kept to the level of what’s necessary to complete the job. Paintings are often hung to maximize the immense wall space and serve as a gallery display when clients come over for viewings. I also tend to group and organize items by colour so that they give the appearance of being part of a related group. My biggest secret is that my vintage lunch box collection serves double duty as a filing system for important papers and business receipts. Finding creative ways to keep organized allows me to keep the space from getting too cluttered.
Balance, Design, Products
March 31, 2010
Australian-born, Berlin-based artist Rilla Alexander is one fifth of the design collective known as Rinzen. Her illustrations have graced the walls of the Fox Hotel in Copenhagen, appeared on credit cards for the Swiss Cornér Bank and danced across ceramics for German porcelain maker Rosenthal. She is currently creating a range of children’s products for Madrid’s Museo del Prado based on the Hieronymus Bosch masterpiece “The Garden of Earthly Delights”. She shares her live/work space with her husband and her adorable little Jack Russell Terrier “Mr Tom”.
How long have you been working from home? I’ve been working here for two years now. Over the last fifteen years I’ve worked in a variety of studios as well as home workspaces, and I’ve got to say this is the best situation yet. Berlin apartments are huge and this one used to be three apartments. So the “commute” from home to work is, if not actually long, at least noticeable… but I can still easily start at 5am or have a mid-day nap if the mood takes me. (Below is a billboard illustration Alexander did for Australia’s Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.)
What’s a typical day like for you? Drawing at my lightbox while consuming a steady stream of radio documentaries from NPR, ABC and BBC. I have just spent a week in Italy and am itching to assume my favourite position at the drawing table again. It’s an addiction. Of course once the drawings are done I need to scan them over on the “computer desk”. It doesn’t have the drawing table’s sunny window position – so I make a quick retreat as soon as possible.
What do you like most about your space and is there anything you would change? I love that it’s a space all to myself, but that I can go to the next room for feedback/input/conversation from my husband, who is currently converting his space into a painting/sculpture/music studio. Our dog, Mr Tom shares his time between us – usually switching studios depending on who has the most food. I also love being surrounded by books. The only thing I would love to have is a view to the beach, or a tropical rainforest. Moving from Australia to Berlin does has some downsides.
I notice on your desk you’ve got lots of interesting objects. Can you share some of your favorites with us? Above my desk you can see the edge of a poster for Jacques Tati’s Mon Uncle – which, like so many things from Europe, I actually bought in Japan. Tove Jansson’s Moomins, her books “Who will comfort Toffle” and “The Book about Moomin, Mymble and Little My” and the box set of stop-motion animations from Film Polski are always within reaching distance. She is one of my greatest inspirations. You can also see a Porcelain Elephant money-box (designed by Luigi Colani for the Dresdner bank) and a ceramic jar from Nymolle – a Danish company that Bjorn Wiinblad designed for before he began to work primarily with Rosenthal. The Nymolle pieces are my favourite examples of Bjorn Wiinblad’s work – I’ve always been drawn to mono-coloured design and illustration – and I love that his work which would probably now be dismissed as “for children” is for everyone.
Do you have any tips for organizing your home office space? Feeling comfortable and cosy is very important to me – and surrounding myself with furniture and objects that inspire and excite me, makes me want to be in my studio more than anywhere else. The more teak and porcelain, the more likely I’ll stay. If only I had teak desks…
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
March 26, 2010
Around the web this week:
1. An Accident of Hope Summer Pierre is an illustrator and author of The Artist in The Office: How to Creatively Survive and Thrive Seven Days a Week. Her blog is heartwarming, smart and packed with interesting interviews about people’s work lives. Where to start: The John Porcellino interview.
2. Contemporist Launched in 2007 this picture-driven site showcases great new design and contemporary architecture from around the globe. Where to start: Click on architecture for some great projects.
3. Blue Ant Studio If you like mid-century design you’ll love this blog. Where to start: The Art Studio. I love the Chair Exam poster.
4. The Office Stylist For everything you ever wanted to know about a home office. Where to start: A great post on hiding cables – the bane of every home office.
5. Arch Daily You will never need to buy another architecture magazine again. It’s all here. Where to start: Check out building of the year. There’s some incredible work here.
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
March 19, 2010
Artist Abbey Hendrickson is the voice behind Aesthetic Outburst, a blog that tracks the comings and goings of Abbey, her husband and their two children. She manages to balance all the facets of her life with a really appealing grace and humor (plus there’s some cool kid’s projects thrown into the mix!)
How long have you worked from home…and where is ‘home’? Home is in upstate New York, a little town between Ithaca and Binghamton. I’ve worked from here for just under one year.
What does an average work day involve? I have two kids under the age of three, so my day starts pretty early. I work between naps and late at night, whenever I can find a free moment to jump on the computer or sneak into the studio.
Is there any form of technology that really inspires you and helps in your work? I’m absolutely addicted to our MacBook Pro. I was reluctant to make such a big purchase (and argued with my husband about it), but it quickly became my favorite thing.
How do you organize your space? I’m thinking here of your physical space but also your virtual space (any particular software or program that helps keep things under control?) If my space isn’t organized I feel overwhelmed, so I‘m always trying to come up with new systems to help. This also applies to my desktop; it needs to be clutter-free or I freak out. The software programs that I use most are Bridge and Photoshop. I’m a visual person and Bridge is great for organizing images.
What item from your desktop can you not do without? Super sharp pencils and Pilot precise pens are must-haves.
What piece of office furniture would you most like to change? I’d like more storage, so I would probably change my desk. If I had time to sit at my desk for more than a fifteen-minute stretch, I’d definitely have to change my chair. For now everything seems to be okay though.
What inspires you? The little moments in life are what inspire me the most. Seeing my sleepy children in the morning; watching my husband play outside with our two-year-old; long games of Scrabble; red wine and good food; lingering visits from friends and family; those are the moments that I’m talking about.
February 15, 2010
Artist Mike Perry has taken a design classic – the Eames rocking chair – and given it a very interesting makeover. Grace posted a nice piece on the chair over at Design*Sponge. I contacted Mike and he’s going to give us an interview so keep an eye out for his wild workspace.
February 1, 2010
Here’s our Monday morning bulletin board. The coolest thing about this – besides its intrinsic beauty – is that you can go to Flickr and see how it has changed over time. I’m afraid I can’t give you a whole lot of information about the creator of this board. His profile on Flickr is spare and I haven’t heard back from him yet. I do know he is an artist and lives in Prague. I’ll keep you updated.
Balance, Design, Products
January 14, 2010
Artist Matte Stephens has worked with a variety of clients such as IBM, Disney, Boston Globe and American Express. His paintings have graced the spaces of Jonathan Adler, Rare Device and Velocity Art and Design.
Matte lives and works in a beautiful mid-century modern home in the southwest corner of Portland, Oregon. His studio is warm and cozy, and filled with objects that tempt and tease the eye. I spoke to Matte about his inspiring workspace and it’s effect on his painting.
How long have you been working from home? Around 15 years. My first real space was a basement with no furniture and canvases on the floor. I’m very happy with the way it is now.
What do you like most about your workspace? I like that it is small. I have had a large workroom and it was hard for me to keep up with everything I need. Now I have everything within arms reach. I have really enjoyed the Eames Storage Units. I keep all of my art supplies in the one right of my desk and it really helps keep my room tidy and looks great. Organizing my workroom has always been a challenge. I work in a traditional medium, so there is a lot of stuff that goes along with it.
Looking around your studio it’s obvious you have a love for mid century design. How and when did you first become interested in the furniture of this time period? I was introduced by a librarian in my home town in Alabama when I was around 20. I had found a copy of The Herman Miller Collection published by Schiffer Books and I have loved everything mid century modern ever since. After that one of my first art dealer’s father was a Herman Miller representative during the 50′s 60′s and 70′s in northern Alabama. He had all sorts of mid century things in his home and office. He gave me my first Eames shell chair.
What are some of your favorite objects in your studio? I really love a pair of wooden eggs that I have that are attributed to Alexander Girard, two 1960′s elves that I have had for years that bring me luck, a few vintage Herman Miller ads signed by Irving Harper who has been very kind to me over the last few years with his time, advice and friendship. [Harper designed Herman Miller's logo]
Do you feel that your working environment has any influence over your painting? To me it’s the most important thing when working at home to have an inspiring workroom. I spend a lot of time in the room so I have tried to make it as inspiring and comfortable as possible. As you can see I love mid century design and I feel its one of my main influences. Being able to live with and work with good design makes everything more efficient and it’s just great stuff.
Editors note: There is more about Matte on Dave Cuzner’s blog – Grain Edit.