In today’s interview we will take a peek at 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 I
HKPS::Please introduce yourself by sharing some or all of the following:
When you realized were an artist?
LA::Maybe 4-5 years ago is when I conceptualized that I was an artist, but I think it’s been a life-long realization.
What materials you work with?
LA::I work with a lot of different materials and within a few different practices to get to the end result of my work, but primarily I work with paint, photographic prints, and my hands. Is making art your primary source of income? Do you have a partner who helps to support you?
LA::Yes, it is. And no, I don’t
How much time do you spend in your studio weekly/daily?
LA::I’m doing something every day, I probably dedicate 8-10 hours a day each day. Sometimes more with longer breaks between. I try to go with the natural flow of how I feel, so I do manual work when I want to and need to but also work on things mentally while resting or in transit.
HKPS::Where do you make your art, how big is your studio and how long have you been in this space?
LA::Right now I’m working from my home, which is my two-bedroom apartment in Bed Stuy. It has enough space for me to work on most of my projects and living in the studio has always been preferable for me so that I can work on anything, whenever I want. I’ve pretty much always worked from home but home has become more of a studio than anything. Last year however I also had a studio space through a residency program here in Brooklyn called Artha, and having that space opened me up to projects and collaborations more easily.
HKPS::When you began working in this space did you plan any systems for the overall set up or did you let things evolve organically? How did past studio spaces or systems influence this space?
LA:: I definitely try to make this space as efficient as possible so I always think out my working space to have a nice flow between operations. Everything has to remain pretty clean but it’s still my home so I think the lines have been blurred a bit for me as of late. If I could improve on something it would be storing finished works in a less noticeable way, but they seem to be moving out quickly and I have started the habit of framing most works immediately so I’m able to have them in here before they go to shows.
HKPS::Do you use personal objects & memorabilia in your art? Do you collect memento’s, found objects or other ephemera, thing that evokes your childhood or playful nature=sense of humor (ironic, kitschy)? What is their Value to you?
LA::I do use my personal story in my art so that is reflected in the images I stage and photograph and weave.
Do these collections ever overwhelm you and if so how and when do you curate-edit them?
LA::I have a lot of rocks and books and records, but this is part of my journey. It’s my home so none of it overwhelms me. I like to be reminded of my family and my past, even if it’s painful.
HKPS:: Do you have a mantra, muse, mascot or area that you dedicate as an altar? OR-do you have any rituals, superstitions or routines you practice regularly in your studio?
LA:: I would have to say I have a pretty obvious mascot to my studio, Poquito (above), my little baby parrot. She is there with me all the time sitting on my leg or shoulder when I weave. Without her I would be totally alone. But also, especially when I’m weaving, all of this is a ritualistic practice, so I have a billion rituals connected to it. It always influences the outcome. I’m constantly setting intentions, dreaming, hoping, wondering, brainstorming. It’s just me in my head all day so I have to try to manifest something positive out of it. And as for my muses, they are all my closest friends. Literally, the portraits I take are of the women closest to me and I am honored to do it and inspired daily by them.
HKPS:: How much thought do you give to your artistic body of work in terms of historic value and the overall legacy you will leave behind? How do you store/archive your work or records?
LA::I mean I’m constantly thinking about placing works with good collectors and having every piece of mine documented and taken care of for longevity sake. I want to get larger works in with institutions and museums so that they can be shared with as many people as possible. For that reason I’m very careful with how I store and how I house the works- so everything is archival and UV protected, but I am also conscious of who I work with and who I allow to sell the work. I also try to keep an open line of communication with ym collectors and I think that is important on both ends.
*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!