ay we are Inside the Studio with Whitney Kreb. Whitney spends part of each year in Nantucket so I’ve been coordinating with her schedule in Charleston and a current show she has hanging at The George Gallery to have her share her studio organizing tips and participate in this interview. Whitney keeps a studio outside her home at Redux and I dropped in on her a couple weeks ago for the interview. These photo’s are not styled and are typical of what her working studio looks like on an average day.
The idea for this series, Inside the Studio began in while I was attending an art retreat at Penland. While there I observed the differences in the creative cycle of order and chaos and what that looks like for different individuals. In this series I’m interested in showing 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.
Whitney Kreb’s Interview and Studio Sneak Peek Part I
HKPS::What age did you suspect or know you were an artist?
Whitney::Since about age 3, I always had an easel set up in my bedroom. My grandfather was a professional artist and he was always bringing me “grown up” art supplies. My sister always made fun of me for having marker and paint all over my hands all the time- I was hooked.
HKPS::What mediums do you work with and are there specific tools or materials you find challenging to keep organized or locate when you need to use them?
Whitney::I paint with house paint or acrylic for the beginning stages when I am drawing out a composition, then usually finish with oils. I buy the cheap brushes from Michael’s and will only use about 3 at a time until they’re worn out and i can’t get a tight line out of them anymore. I’ll use walnut oil to thin out the oils or an alkyd medium when I need a layer to dry quickly. Minimal materials make it pretty easy to keep organized.
HKPS:: Where do you make your art, how big is your studio and how long have you been in this space?
Whitney::I have a studio at Redux here in Charleston. The space is probably only about 10’ x 6’. I have an easel set up, a desk, and shelving. All work in progress gets rotated around and hung on the walls when I’m not working on it.
HKPS::How many projects are you usually working on at once? Is this due to space constraints, creative process, organizing systems or other influences?
Whitney::I usually have anywhere from 3-10 pieces going on at once. I am always working on my next show and simultaneously will have some commissions going on. I like to be able to pick and choose what I’m in the mood to work on on any particular day- I like to have options to keep on getting burnt out on any one piece.
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?
Whitney::I don’t need much besides an easel, some shelves, and a table for my palette, but I also like to set up a desk area and create a collage of inspiration, pictures, ideas on the wall – this just grows as I find things to add.
HKPS::Is making art your primary “job” or source of income? How much time do you spend in your studio weekly/daily?
Whitney::As of a few months ago I quit my part time job and have become an official full time artist. It can be scary not having a consistent paycheck, but it’s just added incentive to work hard. I put in about 1/2 hour-2 hours of busy work a day and then I am in the studio most weekdays for at least 5 hours straight.
Thank you Whitney for sharing with us a bit about your space and how you work! Part II features more from Whitney about how she organizes her space and any tips she has to share. If you are in Charleston, go check out her beautiful work on view at the George, or see more of her work on her website.