Today’s interview is part II of our peek into Emily Schubert‘s Arrowmont Studio. In August I had the pleasure of spending a week at Arrowmont and meeting all 5 resident artists. With the weekly open studio’s for Arromont students, these artists not only have to keep their space productive but must be prepared to show, talk about and even sell their work each week. Emily was in the midst of preparing for a puppet show in Atlanta when I visited but she also works with a variety of other mixed media. Much of her work is large, but she finds ways to create them in this small space and store them disassembled. She often has multiple projects going at once in this small space, come see how she keeps multiple projects organized! These photos are not styled so this is typical of what his working studio looks like on an average day.
Emily Schubert’s Arrowmont Studio Part II (see Part I here)
HKPS::How many projects are you usually working on at once?
Emily:: I tend to have a bit of a one-track mind when it comes to large scale projects. Sometimes I will work on two. This is mostly because they are ambitious and consuming. I do like to balance things out by making some more crafty, marketable objects every now and then. It helps to break things up and gives me a mental break all while making some money on the side.
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?
Emily:: I’m notorious for the “But I just put it down! Where did it go?” moments. I try my best to stay organized and do a studio clean-up usually every week and with every project transition. That helps a lot not to only organize the space but also organize my brain.
Emily:: Oh yes! Right before finishing a project things are usually pretty disorganized and chaotic. I’m not sure why it happens that way. Perhaps because I am always running against deadlines, but I do think it’s the most exciting time in the studio.
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?
Emily:: I think my process is helped by discipline. But it’s a lose definition of discipline. It’s more about showing up and putting the time in than staying totally organized. In certain instances I think limitations and boundaries are also helpful. It’s so easy to get lost in all the possibilities that at some point it becomes necessary to make a choice and stick to it.
Emily:: I don’t really practice either of these things at the moment.
HKPS:: How or did you learn your organizing habits and systems? Do you consider yourself to be organized or alternately do you tend towards hoarding stuff?
Emily:: I go through phases of hoarding and letting go. There are many levels of hoarding and I do believe it is possible to be both organized and a hoarder to some extent. Many artists that I know are just that. My organizing systems and habits are just second nature, but I do think my cycle of organized into chaos and back to organized is very similar to my father’s artistic process of working. Not sure what that means or says. Like father like daughter I guess.
Emily::My supply stash is only purged during processes of moving from place to place, but my space is cleaned/decluttered pretty regularly – weekly or biweekly.
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?
Emily::I make lists for everything. I’ve always been a list-maker. The feeling of accomplishing a task and physically crossing it out feels so good. It is also a great way to get specific and to the point. As for schedules, I would say you simply have to put in the time. You get out what you put in. The weekly clean up helps me, I’d recommend it. Ad I don’t use sticky notes. I’m already using enough paper as it is with my lists.
Thank you so much for sharing this space with all of us Emily! Please, check out Emily’s work on her website. In the coming weeks I’ll be featuring other Arrowmont Artists-In-Residence, so please check back!
*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 le