March 24, 2011
Trendsetter Clare Crespo takes the cake…the cupcake. A legend in cupcake circles, her book Hey There, Cupcake! 35 Yummy Fun Cupcake Recipes for All Occasions is a bestseller amongst cupcakistas, and foodies generally. Here she describes how she first defined her work, then her space, then took it from fantasy to reality via her two-car garage in Silverlake, CA.
I started playing with my food when most people do, in childhood. After a windy path through Louisiana and Texas and Italy, I ended up in Los Angeles at Cal Arts getting a Masters in experimental animation.
After having some jobs in some pretty nice offices (including producing piles of music videos), I realized that while I had a good job that was fun and challenging and lucrative, none of it was really mine. I was doing this funny sculptural cooking at home that was important in my everyday life and it felt good; maybe I could make other people feel good too. I wanted to inspire and encourage folks to be creative and express themselves in their everyday ordinary actions. Soon I found myself with the kitchen as my studio figuring out how to make a new career. I made a website with animated cartoons of my recipes called www.yummyfun.com. Make a sandwich and tell the world who you are. A book deal showed up and The Secret Life of Food was born.
And I guess to prove that I practice what I preach I decided to produce the photos in my home. I didn’t want the pictures taken in a studio. I wanted them to be in my life. With the food stylist Lisa Barnett, I made all of the food in my house. Eric Staudenmaier shot all the little tableaus. The house was completely transformed into some kind of mad scientist’s photo studio. Then came Hey There, Cupcake!
From my home office I continued to toy with business ideas that would make my dream grow more branches.
I designed food for a Spongebob Squarepants episode. I cooked my wackiest creations on the Today show, Good Morning America, CBS Sunday Morning, and many, many Food Network shows. I wrote recipes for magazines and books. I considered a brick and mortar bakery but thought it might squash my spirit, so I started the renegade pop-up bakery Treat Street with Crystal Meers and Mary Wigmore.
But I had always wanted to do a show. The Food Network asked me to do a traditional cook-in-the-kitchen cooking show. But I had a new daughter at the time and I wasn’t so interested in leaving her every day to go to some soundstage; and honestly, I wanted to do a really crazy fantasy kids show with puppets and a band and animation. So I gathered friends from the music video days (including my nice talented production designer husband, James Chinlund) and made it happen. Choosing NOT to follow anyone’s advice, we built a set in my two-car garage and created The Yummyfun Kooking Series. The DVDs have sold well in places like The New Museum, The Whitney, and Amazon.
And now, low and behold, the production company Fremantle Media has decided that they like Yummyfun too and will produce an episode. I am now working on Yummyfun with a writer and producers and all sorts of nice talented people. This time we won’t be in my garage and it has been a little struggle for me to figure out how that’s going to work, but I am ultimately excited to have a little more space. I still have my home office filled with petrified Jaws cookies, glitter, leopard cupcake liners, three million cake sprinkles and other assorted art supplies. And I have my kitchen where I can do my work and play with my food.
March 17, 2011
As Thomson Reuters’ China bureau chief, Beijing-based Don Durfee oversees news coverage for mainland China, including the work of over 100 journalists, photographers and TV staff. For this post, he remarks on notions of the ideal, shifting priorities and using collaboration.
First, let me say this: there is the workspace I fantasize about, and there’s the one I actually need.
In my dream, I lean back in my simple, comfortable chair and gaze across an empty maple desk, sunlight streaming in from the windows. My books are all neatly arranged on a bookshelf. I hide my Macbook in a desk drawer when I’m not using it. I swivel around in my chair to pour another cup of Sumatra coffee and adjust the volume on my stereo, which plays only my favorite songs.
But back to reality. I’m sitting at my desk in the Reuters News Beijing bureau. It’s a big, open—and sometimes chaotic—room, where about 100 journalists work, including cameramen, web designers, translators and reporters writing about everything from earthquakes to money. A drab Chinese official is speaking on one of the dozen TV screens around the room. Someone is yelling to me – “Can you believe that someone just called me to say that radiation from Japan has already arrived in Beijing? Ridiculous!”
I’m a reporter. Or, rather, an ex-reporter who now attempts to run a news operation through email, blackberry, online chatrooms, phone calls, meetings and conversations with the writers sitting a few feet from me.
When there is breaking news—and there’s been a lot lately, with Japan’s crisis and China’s crackdown on reporters—we have to work quickly and together. Hence the absence of walls and our desks, which are arranged in clusters of four so we can easily discuss stories, complain and tell jokes, all without getting up. That’s important, because nearly every story is a collaboration. At times five people will all be on the phone, conducting interviews for a single article that one person is typing up.
Every desk has at least two computer monitors, to make it easier to keep an eye on messages while writing.
The bureau isn’t the tidiest place. There are stacks of newspapers, and some broken printers and unused fax machines. Several of my colleagues keep great heaps of unsorted papers and books on their desks — treatises on China’s environmental policies, statistical almanacs and well-worn Chinese dictionaries. One especially prolific writer has so many papers that he can barely find his computer screen. The building management sent me a note the other day suggesting that his desk violates some fire code.
My office wasn’t always like this. In earlier days, I was a magazine writer. I had a dim, but warmly lit office with a mahogany desk and a shelf full of reassuringly familiar books. Pictures of my wife and two girls—babies back then—were on the wall under my favorite poster depicting Napoleon’s disastrous march on Moscow. There was always an iPod nearby so that I could find just the right music to match whatever I was writing. Astor Piazzolla for the long articles, Frank Black for the stories that called for a little aggression.
In other words, pretty close to my fantasy. (I’ve also tried to get close with my desk at home — pictured above — but in truth my daughters spend more time there drawing than I do writing.)
But my newsroom, rough around the edges, noisy and friendly, has its charms. At least there’s someone to talk to.
March 10, 2011
A full creative life involves many twists and turns. Being open to them creates new opportunities. Artist, writer and healer Ann Faison holds an MFA from Cal Arts in Music and Art, and her work has been exhibited widely including at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Since the birth of her daughters she has discovered writing and body work are an integral part of her artistic life. Her first book, Dancing with the Midwives, has just been released. Here Ann describes her means to keeping it all in order.
My ideal workspace is spare, sparse, empty and clean. That way I can walk in, set down something I have in mind to draw, and draw it. Or I can sit my computer on the empty desk and write clear, succinct expressions, unhampered by the clutter and clumpy detritus that clogs my home.
Children (and cats) are exceptionally messy. Their boundless enthusiasm makes life one big tangle that is constant. How to untie the knots of an over-scheduled day. How to clear the rubble of snack time, meal time and glitter-glue time. How to cleanse the crustiness of the growing child. Dried cheerios in the jacket pocket. Rocks in the washing machine. I am not particularly neat, but the messier my life is, the more order I crave.
March 3, 2011
Anyone who has children in their life has most likely seen the work of screenwriter and producer Brian Hohlfeld. Head writer for the new animated series Gaspard and Lisa, he is well known for his work with Disney’s Winnie the Pooh franchise. Hohlfeld received the 2008 Humanitas Prize for Children’s Animation while story editor and executive producer for the series My Friends Tigger and Pooh. With 13 feature film credits, seven producer credits, as well as songwriting and directing, this true Hollywood veteran shares his secrets for making the most of your life/work environment including how to boost your morale and mastering the video chat.
How to Set Up and Maintain Your Home Office
First of all, determine how big a home office you’ll need. For most purposes, a queen-size will do. If you have lots of paper work to deal with, or if you have a spouse or significant other who insists on using your office to sleep in, you might want to step up to king size, or even California king. You can get away without using a bedframe, and, indeed, proximity to the floor makes stacking papers much easier; but you’ll find that your morale is much higher with a nice, inexpensive frame. Make sure to get one with a handy ledge, for your coffee cups, pencil holders, and alarm clock.
Furnishing your office: You’ll require the usual—a laptop, stapler, telephone, good quality cotton sheets (nothing less than a 180 count, preferably), and several comfortable pillows to prop yourself up on. A two-drawer filing cabinet is also a good idea, and it can easily double as a nightstand. Same for a mini-fridge, which will also eliminate those interruptive and exhausting trips to the kitchen. A warm quilt or comforter is optional, but is certainly nice to crawl under during those post-lunch “brainstorming sessions!”
February 17, 2011
Nicole Walker is the author of This Noisy Egg (Barrow Street Press, 2010). Her writing has appeared in a number of literary journals including Ploughshares and North American Review. Assistant Professor of Poetry and Creative Nonfiction at Northern Arizona University and nonfiction editor of Diagram, Walker co-created the artist/writer collaborative project “7 Rings” on the Huffington Post. Here she ruminates on motivation, adaptability, and the inevitable unloading of the dishwasher.
First, what is ideal about working? The best thing about my work is that it takes place while I’m doing other things.
I empty the dishwasher because the dishwasher is nine feet to the right of the end of my kitchen table, and ten and a half feet from my computer that sits on the kitchen table. I need to get away from that workspace and go dominate another. One percent of that need is that the dishwasher needs emptying. The other 99% is that I need to get away from that bad idea, that half a good idea, the almost idea, the stupid idea, the internal editor that called my idea stupid, the idea that is almost fully formed Athena-like but then evaporated when I went to check my email.
As I empty the dishwasher, I hope the dishwasher simultaneously washes away whatever I was thinking about and recovers the original, best thought. I would like to erase. I would also like my pristine idea.
I like to pretend that if I could record every idea, get the idea at the moment it happened, then the true and good work would prevail. But that’s not what happens. In the middle of Harry Potter, I have an idea of humans and adaptability. Should I get up from where I’m reading in bed and write it down? Should I have some technology that allows me to nod in the general direction of that idea and have it permanently imprinted on a document that one day, if I put it through the dishwasher of revision, it will come out clean?
That idea, if it’s a good one, will emerge again. And so my ideal workspace is wherever there is other work to do to allow the ideas to resurface.
I should go outdoors without shoes on. I should sit in the middle of my garden with my laptop and type the words, “let’s all adapt.” I should pull a weed or two and write, “there’s something very much like the movie Waterworld about humans adapting. I don’t want gills.” I should go find a hoe and dig a trench. Into it, I should plant tiny carrot seeds. “But maybe I do want gills. Who am I kidding? Gills would be rad.” Now I stand up. “If I had gills, would food still taste good?” I both wonder this and write this and I’m so glad my computer doesn’t mind a little dirt and tiny carrot seeds.
The ideal workspace is a place where my computer can be and I can escape from it. It should be in an open enough place where I swear I just saw a fox run out the backyard and with just enough open windows and doors that my kids can find me and bring the kitchen forks outside and take the pinecones inside and the wind can send me away and the flicker of a hawk tail can draw me back. It should be in reach of both popcorn and tea. It should be loud enough that I have to stand up and ask, “what?” and quiet enough that when I do get one of those pristine ideas, I can hear it echo, resound, resonate and come back until it’s finally ready to be written down.
February 10, 2011
For Jillian Armenante and Alice Dodd their 1923 Mediterranean home in Hollywood is a perfect place for their full lives. Armenante, easily recognized for her role as Donna Kozlowski on Judging Amy, and Dodd also co-produced, co-directed and co-wrote Laura Comstock’s Bag-Punching Dog which won the Theatre L.A. Ovation Award for “Best New Musical” and “Best Musical Production”. In this interview they share their home – a place where their creativity is focused by the nuances and particulars of the unique space and helps them to work collaboratively.
Back in 2000, almost by accident, we bought a 1923 Mediterranean in the middle of Hollywood. We happened by an open house, instantly fell in love with it and without ever looking at another house, offered to buy it. Maybe it was the grapefruit tree, or the easy walk to the Larchmont Farmers Market, or the legacy of the Hollywood sign looming in the distance-we just had to have it. We knew it would be the perfect place to start building a family. Well, almost perfect, after we made a few additions here and there. We now have two beautiful girls ages 2 and 6 to mess it all up.
We are both actors, but work as a team on our numerous writing projects. Being able to work out of one’s house is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing in that you can write or memorize dialogue for hours without ever having to find your pants. However, when one needs to concentrate with two kids running around, it can be a bit of a curse. It is difficult for us to think in clutter…chaos. Our home is decorated in 18th and 19th century furnishings and the juxtaposition of the inevitable brightly-colored plastic toys can be a bit maddening. We do our best work when we can find that one area of the house that has been untainted by the detritus of the kids’ day.
For instance, the only official “office” space is a small detached room in the corner of the backyard. We don’t want to say “converted garage” because, like a lot of structures behind Hollywood homes, the transition from garage to office was not a city-permitted venture. It’s where we house our library and is where we tend to do most of our research and organized thinking.
The antique partners desk enables us to face each other as we bounce ideas back and forth, the baby monitor hissing gently in the background. The oversized windows and a glass door allow us to see the backyard in it’s entirety, as the girls play on the swing, in the sandbox or up the apricot tree.
But the real heart of the house is the kitchen. As actors, we work together to memorize lines in preparation for an audition or a shoot. These rehearsals most often end up at the kitchen table in spare moments snatched from the day’s schedule. The deep red tones, Regency chairs, the giant rooster staring down at us are lit by the ever-present California sun. And at nightfall, the kitchen is where the post-dinner dance happens, usually to a Rosemary Clooney song or the likes, as the family, en masse, blows off a little steam. After the girls are asleep, the kitchen table is where the brainstorming begins. A legal pad… a bottle of wine… invariably leads to the evening’s furious scribble-fest.
To generate new material we often link up two keyboards and connect them to the television in the living room so both of us can have control over the same document. At night the uncluttered space, low light and more formal setting makes it a place free from the physical and psychological happenings of the day. It’s the room where we can light a fire, swirl a medium-bodied red and dig in.
When reading through and evaluating drafts, we often treat ourselves to an outdoor session: sitting on Adirondack chairs, we project the computer onto a ten-foot screen and sit under the stars ruminating our literary efforts. When school projects and various arts and crafts have consumed our surfaces, we resort to alternative venues: our bedroom window-seat, the front porch, or even the bathroom, with one of us in the tub as the other quizzes from the throne of the toilet seat.
This is how we imagine the first inhabitants of this house, the actors and actresses of the 1920’s, working on their lines. Houses are like handbags. We will always manage to fill the space we have to maximum capacity. If we only had more storage…
All photo: Gary Judson Smoot.
February 3, 2011
This week we continue our series of writers with Chairs and Buildings blogger Annie Coggan who inspires us with her vision and her optimism. She has always loved chairs and a certain shade of light blue. Coggan is a founder of Little Building Café, a teacher, and has an architecture office with husband Caleb Crawford.
A Lifetime of Studios
We lived and worked for 10 years in a brownstone in Brooklyn. Life was separated by a staircase–work downstairs, life upstairs. As a young, composed designer most of my day was spent downstairs and then my kindergartener would walk in and change the tune and I would float upstairs – with the intent to do both. This was modeled on the Eames House, two clear volumes with two clear occupations. For years the space was clearly divided where I was not – I existed perpetually on that staircase, never quite sure which floor I should be on.
A radical move to a small town in Mississippi provided another model for working. A Queen Anne extravaganza, it allowed for rooms to live in and rooms to work in and more rooms and even more dust…I mean rooms.
Photo by Caleb Crawford.
The model for this can be Olana, where Fredric Church resided over epic landscapes (real and painted) and an ever-growing family. Influenced by his East Asia travels, Church manipulated a beaux-arts floor plan into a Persian court as a sitting room for his family, directly adjacent to his studio.
“You’ll see, great work will be produced in the bosom of your family!” I proclaimed. My studio was a dream studio, a large square room with a pink crystal chandelier, graciously next to the kitchen. I was paralyzed with creative fear and made furniture in the garage, burned a lot of dinners writing “just one more” e-mail and never finished a slew of drawings. The studio remained very neat.
When the Queen Anne house proved too much, a small industrial building (that had been our ill-fated dream café and its small apartment in the back) became our oddly productive construct.
Many might say that a 600 sf two bedroom/one room apartment with a 5’-11” thirteen year old girl was a bad idea. We find the broad space of the café makes for the perfect workshop-atelier. The density and layering of life suits my work.
For this stage I look to Vanessa Bell’s Charleston, a small cottage used as a refuge from the bombing in London during World War I. Life ebbed and flowed through the house. All rooms were studios and all life was art. My family might be too straight-laced to provide the bohemian drama of Charleston, but I have employed Vanessa’s “all over” method for work and my couch is the anchor.
I know! You’re horrified – I am designer, I should designate a space for work. Be more Virginia Woolf (“a room of your own”), less Vanessa. But finally, with my daughter older I have the luxury to do creative work. That can be done any time, any place, and with my family. My daughter has a workspace in the workshop equal to that of her father and mother. I can write first thing in the morning on the couch. I can embroider during homework. I can sew in the studio next to the freezer. Furniture is painted as dinner is assembled. The garden can be composed and picked at before coffee is finished and I can read that book at last. This messy blending of life and work is our most productive state.
I would love to believe that the buildings presented these problems, but life did, and happily I have decided to look to Vanessa Bell for more architectural solutions.
Life will present us with another space come this summer. We are not sure what the square footage will be or what architectural style it will promote but I would like the clarity of thought from the Eames studio, the epic expanse both imagined and real from Olana and the nurturing of ideas and activities at all scales from Charleston….that would make a perfect studio.
All photos except as specially noted by Jennifer Hudson.
January 20, 2011
Dallas Clayton started his career as a teenager writing and illustrating magazines and selling them to strangers. Later, as a new father, he wrote and illustrated An Awesome Book from home simply to encourage the idea of dreaming big and holding on to those dreams. He sold hard copies of the book but he also put it online for free to share it. When the hard copy sales escalated he created the Awesome World Foundation, which donates one book for every copy sold. He has always written from his home, and now runs the foundation from there as well. May his experiences inspire big dreams in your family, too!
My name is Dallas Clayton. I write kids books. I don’t require much space or many amenities to be happy. I guess I’m lucky like that. To be honest, I would be just as happy living in a van parked next to the ocean as I would in any variety of palatial estate. I’m not much for sprawl or grandeur, or making other people who don’t have any houses feel bad about it because my house has six basketball courts and a television made of diamonds.
But I can recognize that “van” is a pretty lackluster answer to what is my ideal space. Maybe instead of van, I should say craft. Vehicle. Traveling machine.
What does that look like? It’s going to need to be fast, so I can hurry all over the world meeting new friends and getting into new situations. Maybe even “warp speed” fast. You know, near-instant traveling capacities.
And its going to need a lot of room, so that people can come inside and hang out and eat food and play party games, and draw pictures on the walls if they want to. What good is it being able to get Iceland at warp speed if you can’t have a dance party when you get there? And it’s going to need to be able to fly, and go underwater also, because – well, you asked me to use my imagination…
…and while we’re at it, it should probably be able to go into space- maybe to the furthest reaches of space- the parts of space that could answer all sorts of questions about mankind and god and science and whatnot. I would also like it to be painted on the front like a mural at a pediatric dentist’s office (rainbow-colored misshapen animals, wizards, etc).
Oh, and it needs multiple swimming pools for when we travel to desert climates (you’re invited too, you know!) I would also like it if it could play music as it traveled, like an ice cream truck- but less annoying. Maybe it could play something easy on the ears, like Sam Cooke or Bill Withers, man those guys could sing. If only my house could sing as well as Bill Withers, I’d be a happy fella.
I guess since we are on the subject I’d like to make one final request of my ultimate home- if it could end poverty, disease, and global inequality and maybe across the board make people of the world feel better about themselves, well that would be great too. *
Thanks so much!
* They said I could use 600 words. I only used 428 words so far so I would like to use the remaining space to tell you that I love you and that maybe you should call your mom today if you get a chance or maybe if you see someone outside (it’s pretty cold these days) who doesn’t have a house you should try to talk to them or maybe buy them some food or maybe just even a big smile would be nice. I know isn’t much, but at the end of the day we’re all just people, right?
January 6, 2011
Multi-tasking architect, blogger and creativity coach Alla Kazovsky speaks to the integration of her own work at home, the strong influence of family and “engaging the architect within.”
Above: Home. From the window systems to the shower enclosure hardware, from the landscape to the lighting, the house is a laboratory with enough creative inspiration for everyone.
My life’s overarching goal has been to build an environment that instills confidence as much as nurtures creativity of my children. The objective has always been to provide adequate room to grow with lots of choices along the way.
In 1991, for example, as a pregnant architect setting up my own child’s nursery I could not find much in terms of furnishings that respected the intelligence and sophistication I envisioned human beings possessed from day one. Thus, it was only natural to develop a product line of multi-functional modern furniture and accessories for children, some of which are available through New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
Above: Modern Easel + Art Cart. Best Toy Award, 2002, Child Magazine
Specializing in design for children enabled me to enlist my daughters as collaborators and expert consultants. For instance, as I worked on the Discovery Carts for the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, both daughters, Mia and Nastya, were prototyping and learning with me. We playfully gained new appreciation for the beauty of gardens while producing three site-specific portable educational stations to engage children in learning about the institution through age-appropriate hands-on activities.
Above: Discovery Carts For the Huntington Gardens, 2002
When I found our dream house as a run-down distressed cabin with a 200-bush rose garden, my husband was very skeptical. It was quite a leap to imagine the potential weighing in functional and aesthetic considerations. I completely renovated the home’s interiors, opening the kitchen, creating a dining room and powder room, and expanding the bathrooms. It was an exercise in merging of old and new—in building, design, and attitude. By marrying new with existing elements I was able to create an ideal environment that offers a fluid variety of spaces to enjoy depending on the mood. I saw obstacles and constraints as opportunities to invent project-specific solutions, such as a free-standing swimming pool on sloping land, or an underground bath house.
Above: Table in the rose garden. To learn how to take care of our roses, the family took a seminar on rose-pruning.
And then, it dawned on me that I have been subconsciously designing not only our house, but our life, as if it were an architectural project. Admittedly, being your own client has been extremely gratifying, enabling me to take the time, to experiment, and to correct mistakes while considering every little-yet significant-detail!
Above: We turned the house into a space showcasing our daughters’ artwork. Here, our daughter Mia’s painting was translated into a mosaic, a focal point on the wall of the above-ground pool.
As my kids grew, I took up Creativity Coaching in order to continue to have influence in their lives. At that point, I became increasingly interested in psychological impact of architecture and began writing a book that pairs self-help and design with a premise that anyone can “construct” their own life or “engage the architect within.” I began blogging on the Huffington Post to give me the opportunity to regularly share my thoughts on the subject and to test the concepts while gaining a voice. To me, engaging the architect within is a matter of mindset — openness to begin before knowing the solution, awareness of different scales, and ability to move back and forth from an over-all concept to a small detail while constantly asking questions.
Above: Home studio
However, acknowledgement and validation that I get from my daughters is most valuable. I am lucky; recently Nastya admitted that our garden “is a hugely inspiring place for her.” And I heard Mia tell someone: “My mother created our house to be a place for our family to live, work, and grow up. Due to her encouragement and inspiration, I grew up as an artist, just like her.”
Above: Mia’s room.
December 23, 2010
Within the Rugh family, wonder leads the foursome into new explorations. Jaime is an artist working with paper and textile and an accidental teacher, while Jeffrey is a painter who also works for Prada. They settled in South Orange, NJ with their two children, after stints in Los Angeles and in New York City. Their open process of continually finding ways to integrate family and work has created a steady group of collaborations and new communities. Below they share their process and some of the friends they have met along the way.
Our house is a 131-year-old navy blue small folk Victorian for which the front door in our three-year ownership has gone bright green to deep orange and soon, maybe, black. We move and rearrange our things repeatedly and often make unconventional design based pairings based around our different tastes. And then we find the need to constantly refine the uses for our home. We began home schooling our daughter over a year ago, which is something we thought we’d never do but rather instantly found it a match for our lifestyle and our daughter’s style of learning. Our ideal is a home where a child can wonder and investigate.
Our days are an adventure stemming from an idea, a jumping off point and we go hunting inside our home and out for illustrations and reinforcements; variations on a theme.
We try and keep our lifestyle organic, fluid, often imperfect, and sometimes a mess. Perhaps our ideal workspace might have a robot solely programmed to clean up after us although surely an example is to be made of cleaning up the fallen confetti of snow-like cut paper from our dining room floor.
We allow our children to explore our work and our studios in the same way we do our yard or any playground. Everyone in the house is entitled to access of books, baking material, puzzles, musical instruments, dress up clothes, art supplies, and science projects, dolls, cars, trains, and fake money. We like to use children’s art materials in tandem with professional artists materials. Jaime assembles quilts on the floor of the kitchen, while Jeff has extended the size of his studio desk so our daughter Charlie makes her own paintings beside him. Additionally our idea of studio often extends into the beyond. Nearly every day Jeff reads and does research for his art amongst the fellow riders on the NJTransit train into the City. We work in fits and starts chipping away at projects as time allows.
We are fortunate to be present in our lives and as we have changed so has the work we make. In 2001, we started a New Year’s edition project inspired by Yves Saint Laurent’s annual “LOVE” New Year’s card. Since the arrival of our children, the card has taken on new forms and directions, less about our art and more about the things that make up our children’s lives.
We embrace a collaborative approach to art and project making, thus we have always sought out people and families who work together, create editions and yearly projects. The Dolphin Studio in Stockbridge, Massachusetts creates a calendar designed by several members of their family, including the very young. We especially love the songs our friend Dan Zanes sings with his daughter, Anna, and his approach to music making. With a wild spirit and assortment of musical friends, young and old, he brings varied talents together from all the distant places of this world.
Last year we used a lyric from one of his songs on one of the posters we produce in our family workshop. Most recently we produced a series of silk screened posters that are meant to embrace and reflect on the lives of those we know who are on the Autism spectrum.
For us, ideal workspace as a term seems problematic as it suggests a fixed outcome or an answer. Our live/workspace extends beyond our home, out into the uncertain world and back again.