Welcome to a whole new year of sneak peeks In the Studio! I’ve got some amazing folks lined up for this year and can’t wait to share them with you. Starting with an artist who I’m so proud of and consider a very dear friend, one of my best in fact! Marley Wilkinson of Cobalt Sky Studio‘s designs and creates a fabulous line of Maine inspired products. Recently she is been getting a good bit of well deserved press for her one-of-a-kind ORIGINAL Buoy Pillows. She lives in Maine at Twin Rivers Farm with her husband, son, dogs, cats, cows, chickens and maybe one or two other family additions as they come and go…
HKPS::What age did you suspect or know you were an artist?
MW:: Early-I remember making vats of bright magenta dye from Poke berries, buying make your own pillow kits at the 5 & Dime and painting with my Grandmother Helene
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?
MW::I use acrylic paints and I am always out of empty (greek yogurt) paint cups!! I just got wise and switched to cupcake liners!
HKPS:: Where do you make your art, how big is your studio and how long have you been in this space?
MW::My studio is in the downstairs bedroom of our farmhouse. Its bright and light and just the right size. I have been using the space for about 4 years now.
HKPS::How many projects are you usually working on at once? Is this due to space constraints, creative process, organizing systems or other influences?
MW::I would love the time to take on more “self enriching or fulfilling” projects since my pillow company is my full time job, its important for the studio to both office and work space.
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?
MW:: My pillows hang to dry, so my space is very product specific. I have exposed beams in the studio, without them I am not sure how I could manage.
HKPS:: Do you consider yourself to be an organized person? How or where have you learn your organizing habits and systems? Have you ever worked with another artist or gallery that you learned any organization from?
MW:: My husband and I both come from families of artists so when we moved into this house all the “art” stuff went to the studio. Last winter when we renovated the space- everything went OUT and only pillow business stuff came back. Now I feel organized!
Doing this for my work space greatly improved the whole business.
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 purge, clean or de-clutter your supply stash and space on a regular basis?
MW:: I ship wholesale orders in my poly-fil boxes. It’s not the most professional look, but I am recycling and re-purposing, I think my wholesale clients appreciate that. Everything gets put away and the work table is clear after every work shift. In Maine we call that “ship shape”.
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, things get messy as I work but I clean up at the end of projects)
MW:: I don’t mind a mess, there are usually about 200 paint tubes on my desk! I love it.
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?
MW:: We don’t store or make ahead any items. All pillows are custom made to order.
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. A HUGE thank you to Marley for inviting us into inspiring studio and sharing her amazing space and how organizing affects her creative process. It was so much fun for me to visit her studio last fall and I’ve been so excited to share this…practically sitting on my itchy hands:) Please check out her work over at her etsy shop and order yourself (or someone else) a custom Buoy Pillow!
* 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!