Today is the second half of the interview about art studio organizing with Lala Abaddon. I’ve been following Lala’s work for about a year or so on social media, fascinated by both the imagery she uses and her process of weaving photograph’s together. I decided what the heck I’d reach out to her when I headed to NY last month and we were able to schedule a time for me to come meet her in her studio! I loved finally getting to see both Lala and her work in person and meeting her adorable little bird, Poquito. Since Lala works from home it was super kind and generous of her to open her studio for us to have a sneak peek! These photo’s are not styled so this is typical of what her working studio looks like on an average day.
Art Studio Organizing with Lala Abaddon-Part II (see Part I Here)
HKPS::How many projects are you usually working on at once?
LA::Usually I have one project as my main focus, while other projects are in earlier or later stages than that one. For instance, I will be weaving a piece, but I will be planning the next piece at the same time, and maybe framing the previous piece before. And then I am always coming up with new ideas and working on more long term projects as kind of a constant underlying motivation.
HKPS::Do you ever find it challenging to locate certain things when you’re ready use them? How do you store tools and materials you use frequently to make your process easier?
LA::Sometimes, but that’s because I’ve just learned to be more lazy. Before I focused my OCD efforts on being super organized but as my practice has progressed I seem to be diverting my detail oriented attentions to my work rather than organizing my tools. So yes sometimes I can’t find something or am out of something but that’s just how it is, that is part of the process. It is a welcome break when you are always taking the next step.
HKPS:: Do you notice cycles or phases of projects that are more or less organized in your creative process?
LA::Not really. I feel like I’m on top of everything all of the time. But when I paint, and then photograph that abstract paintings to pair with my subjects- or when I do a performance piece- that is all very free. I try not to have any intent when doing those things- or when dreaming up the next piece- I just let my mind wander. But from there, everything else is very deliberate- just to really have the best outcome in the end.
HKPS::Do you think your creative success and or your process is helped or constricted by discipline? Do you find that limitations or boundaries can help fuel your creativity?
LA::I think my process is strict discipline, but its been detrimental at times because it can be lonely and you can sometimes start to question why you are doing this at all. It’s painstaking, so sometimes it is exhausting. And I think I just naturally have a strong drive and work very hard and can endure very much, so I tire myself out. I don’t know when to stop. To counterbalance that though I have been making more of an effort to see my friends and to spend time outside or relax from time to time. If I’ve been working for three days straight I tell myself it’s time to get out of the house and go for a walk, be into the world. And then I also try to enjoy the moments of accomplishment- attend an opening, eat with my friends… It all replenishes me to go back and do it all over again.
HKPS::Do you set any self imposed limitations (to your schedule, material use etc)? Is there anything you intentionally don’t have in your studio due to distraction?
LA::I should probably be better about a schedule but I think my clock is just off from others so if I wake up late, I stay up later. I try to remain healthy and eat well. I don’t go out much so I have to exercise to keep my body feeling good and loose. Mainly I’m just trying to improve, go faster, work harder, so a lot of drinking or staying out late isn’t conducive to that. Sometimes I wind down, but ultimately I try to keep focused and regimented. Sounds boring but that’s how it needs to be.
HKPS:: Do you purge, clean or de-clutter your supply stash and space on a regular basis?
LA::Not really. Some things I just want, I’ll get rid of it when I feel the time is right. Generally I try not to take anything into my home or studio unless I feel like I really need it. And I pretty much know every item I have so I don’t think I need to purge.
HKPS:: What tips can you offer regarding your use of schedules, systems, tools or processes that help you maintain organization in your studio? Do you use sticky notes? How/where?
LA::Oh amn, I have embarrassing sticky notes. But they work. Before I moved to NY I had a note on my fridge for a year and it was kind of demeaning just like “get the fuck out of here you lazy bitch” kind of thing. But that worked. I’ve kicked a lot of bad habits like smoking, drinking too much… and I think every time I’ve had some kind of note posted somewhere. I make a lot of notes on my phone about ideas I have for art- I have a notebook too I carry everywhere. I pretty much write everything down and if I can’t write it down then I close my eyes and envision writing it down so the thought sticks with me.
Thank you, we loved learning about the creative Art Studio Organizing with Lala Abaddon and how she keeps her process and art making practice in order! If your in NY go see her latest show at Joseph Gross Gallery, opening tonight! You can find out more about her work at Lalaabaddon.com and about this show here.
*The idea for the Inside the Artist Studio series began while attending an art retreat where I curiously observed the differences in the creative cycle of order and chaos and what that looks like for different individuals. I’m very interested in sharing how organizing affects the artist’s creative process. Some systems and order are vital to our creative PLAY and learning to find a balance that works to enhance your creativity is what I hope to share with you through these interviews.
Is there a particular artist whose ‘Tool kit’ you would like to see featured? Leave a comment below and let me know!