I’m back after taking a month break from the Inside the Artist Studio interviews and this month’s artists are both from Asheville, NC. Both are full time professionals with amazing studio’s so despite keeping you waiting I don’t think you will be disappointed! Today’s I’m sharing the studio of artist and art educator Morgan Santander who I met outside of Asheville earlier this year. Morgan has an amazing painting studio space (aka-ex classroom) inside the former Marshall High school on Blanahassett Island where mutual friend Selinde (her interview is here) introduced us. I’m thrilled Morgan thought this interview sounded interesting and spontaneously said yes! These photo’s are not styled in any way, in fact the visit was totally unplanned so this is typical of what his working studio looks like on an average day.
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.
Inside the Studio with Morgan Santander-Interview and Studio Sneak Peek Part I
HKPS::What age did you suspect or know you were an artist?
MS::I was pretty certain I wanted to be an artist when I was a child. There are several artists of various types on both sides of my family, so it seemed rather natural that I would follow a creative path.
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?
MS::I paint in both acrylic and oil. I also draw with charcoal and I do collage work. In addition I also work digitally and produce artist books. I have a pretty good storage system to find the materials I need at any given time.
HKPS:: Where do you make your art, how big is your studio and how long have you been in this space?
MS::My studio is on Blanahassett Island, on the French Broad River in North Carolina. It used to be a high school. My studio takes up what would normally be a classroom. It is about 600 square feet. I have worked in this space for a year and a half. Ideally I could use twice as much space.
Artist Morgan Santander’s Studio Sneak Peek
[Find all these images here on Pinterest]
HKPS::How many projects are you usually working on at once? Is this due to space constraints, creative process, organizing systems or other influences?
MS::I often have numerous paintings and drawings developing simultaneously. I tend to fill whatever studio I work in, with as much work in progress as possible. Typically I have at least 10 paintings I am working on and several drawings. During my studio time I tend to focus on one work at a time and then move on to the next work in progress as needed. Often my paintings take several months to a year to complete.
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?
MS::My current studio is substantially smaller than my previous studios, Organizing the space effectively and building a storage painting rack was essential. Also building overhead storage was important to declutter boxes and other things that are not frequently used. Building a large table on wheels, one that is specific to the studio space and my painting needs was important.
HKPS::Is making art your primary “job” or source of income? How much time do you spend in your studio weekly/daily?
MS::I spend about 50 hours a week in the studio. Being and artist is my primary job.
Thank you Morgan for for sharing your space and a bit aobut your working process. Next week I’ll have more specifics from Morgan about how he organizes his space, work flow and any additional tips about organizing he might want to share. Learn more in Part II of the interview and, please check out Morgans website where you can see his paintings and drawings.