Thanks for joining me today for another artist studio Sneak Peek. This week I’m sharing the small studio space of SCAD MFA Fibers candidate, Cara DiJulio who’s space and work I saw back a few months ago at their Open Studio night. I left Cara a note and she responded and we made arrangements to meet up on my last visit to Savannah. I love sharing this sneak peek because as most students know, even if you are lucky enough to be assigned a studio space while you are in school, it’s likely very small. So this small space studio highlights efficient use of space and storage including vertical, horizontal and “layering” (storing below other pieces etc).
HKPS::What age did you suspect or know you were an artist?
CD::In the sixth grade my art teacher told me that she thought my project was at an ‘advanced level’ for a sixth grader. It was a perspective drawing of the word “STAR” with a drop shadow… (so, it was pretty cool). I thought I was on top of the world. I think that’s when it occurred to me that I should keep taking art classes.
In undergrad I originally intended to major in Apparel Merchandising, but I kept avoiding my apparel classes and was taking art classes instead. Even though I didn’t want to be an art major, by the end of my sophomore year I was accidentally on track for an MS in Studio Art. I eventually changed my major.
HKPS::What mediums do you work with?
CD::My primary focus is geometric repeat pattern, so I weave with the digital jacquard loom, I screen print, I free motion embroider, and I draw with pencil and gouache.
HKPS::Where do you make your art, how big is your studio and how long have you been in this space?
CD::I share a great studio space with four other (amazingly talented!) graduate students in Pepe Hall at Savannah College of Art and Design.
I prefer to work in the studio, working at home can be hard!
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?
CD::I tend to keep my organizational systems pretty much the same from place to place. I use a large ikea cabinet with pull out wire baskets for most of my supplies. Its great because I can see what is in the drawers before opening them.
I also like to keep my screen printing ink organized by color, visible on a wire baker’s rack.
HKPS::Do you consider yourself to be an organized person?
CD::I TRY, it’s hard! Every part of me prefers to work in an organized space, and I’m so much more focused in an organized space, but I’m a messy worker.
The organizational structure exists in my studio, whether things get to their homes on a regular basis is a different story!
HKPS::Have you ever worked with another artist or gallery? If so did you learn any systems for organizing?
HKPS::How or where else have you learn your organizing habits and systems ?
CD::Mostly, my mom. She is the most organized person I think I’ve ever met. Everything has a place, and is in its place, at her house.
HKPS::What types of schedules, systems, tools or processes do you use to help maintain organization in your studio? Would you like to share any tips?
CD::I love organizing things by color, it makes life a lot easier. I also have my thread organized in an old silverware organizer! It works so well, I’ve tried other systems but this seems to work the best.
I think I’m best at staying organized when I’m conscious of my space, and conscious of my studio mates (no one likes looking at a messy desk)
HKPS::What kinds of materials/tools do you find challenging to keep organized or locate when you need to use them?
CD::Refolding fabric nicely is always a challenge for me. I also misplace needles constantly.
HKPS::How many projects are you usually working on at once? Is this due to space constraints, creative process, organizing systems or other influences?
CD::Oh, this is a tough question. It really depends. I would say, 1 to 5 projects. I can get easily frustrated, so I like to jump around with projects when I’m drawing or designing on the computer.
HKPS::How often do you purge, clean or de-clutter your supply stash and space due to space or other constraints? (ex. yes monthly/few times a year or when I feel like it, because I have visitors etc)
CD::Not as often as I should! I probably purge about twice a year. Fabric is always a really tough thing to purge, it’s also a real pain to cart around.
HKPS::Please describe how creative cycles of organization or dis-organization affect your creative process?Are there certain phases of projects that are more or less organized?(ex. I can’t focus unless things are put away, creative chaos inspires me, and things get messy as I work but I clean up at the end of projects)
CD::I like to have a clean space before I work. Frequently I’ll be exhausted when I leave the studio at night, and opt to clean up my space in the morning instead. I need to get in the habit of cleaning when I leave though.
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?
CD::I don’t really think much about my legacy, I don’t typically concern myself too much with archival quality. The work I’m doing right now is still very exploratory, so its life cycle isn’t a major concern. I keep my old work in some plastic containers in my studio and in my home. (Maybe we will check back with you in a few years to see if you still feel this way?)
My greatest wish is that through seeing how other artist work we can learn from one another. There is no ONE correct system or way of organizing. There are as many creative systems as their creative makers! My aim is to highlight these unique makers in each interview. I was so grateful to Cara for responding and inviting me back to see her studio and ahow organizing affects her creative process. Please check out her work over at her website (which is still under construction) or on Instagram (@caradijulio) and keep your eye on her since she is an emerging artist and designer! As for this series, please check back here or better yet, sign up for my emails on the top left of any page so you don’t’ miss any of the amazing artists in the near future ‘Inside the Studio’!
* Inside the Studio was my brainchild in 2011. There are a lot of popular studio features on the web and in magazines but I’m specifically interested in showing how organizational process influences the artists studio work. These photo’s are not styled and are typical of how the artists working studio looks. I request that each artist leave their space as it would be on a daily basis (just like I ask my clients). This series is meant to highlight how artist REALLY work rather than showing STYLED shots (popular in home and organizing magazines and blogs). I’m sure just like me, you are fascinated by the “behind the scenes” sneak peek into these artists working lives!