Today’s studio sneak peek is with the Marlis Egger of the TexArtAcademy in Switzerland-another international interview! Marlis and I met online through the creative world of art quilts and a mutual business coach and mentor. She and I realized we had quite a bit in common and I asked her to share some of her studio organizing tips and participate in this interview. Her art quilts are beautiful and I have added the academy to my bucket list for one day art retreats! 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.
Marlis Egger’s Interview and Studio Sneak Peek Part I.
HKPS::When did you suspect or know you were an artist?
ME::My mother and both grandmothers didn’t sew and creative activities were not part of my childhood.
At the age of 40 and with a pharmacy career behind me, my husband and I moved to another area of Switzerland. I didn’t get a new job immediately, so I signed up for a patchwork/quilting class. It was the time when little flowery fabrics in baby hues were the only available cloth, and everyone made quilts from patterns out of books. I found this very limiting. On a trip to California I discovered that there were endless possibilities and approaches and came back with a suitcase full of books, fabrics and tools. But for me quilting was still a hobby.
When finally the art quilt movement came over to Europe, I realized that THIS was my road to go, but I have only thought of myself as an artist in the past 10 years.
HKPS:: What materials do you work with? Do you find it challenging to locate certain things when you’re ready use them and do you store things frequently used in highly visible locations?
ME::I work with lots of different materials: various types of fabrics and threads, dyes, paints and many more.
To be productive and make the most of the time I can dedicate to making art, organizing my space and keep it organized is essential. I know my stash. I know where to find every tool by grouping like tools and storing them always in the same convenient place. I’m a very visual person, I have to see what I have to work with. Storing everything in clear plastic boxes is what I do.
HKPS:: Where do you make your art, how big is your studio and how long have you been in this space?
ME:: My studio is a combined studio/office space, a small spare bedroom in a small apartment. I share it with my husband, an avid photographer who uses the computer to process the photos (and often with two cats ;-)). I have used this room as studio space for about 20 years.
Several years ago, I got a second studio for wet/messy work. It is located in the same building.
HKPS::How many projects are you usually working on at once? Is this due to space constraints, creative process, organizing systems or other influences?
ME::I usually work on more than one project
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?
ME::When my husband retired 5 years ago, we completely redesigned the room to fit our needs. I think this is essential if you have to deal with a small space.
I had previously been working in this space, alone, so I knew exactly what I needed. All furniture is from IKEA. It turned out to be the perfect choice and all we changed in the last 5 years were the chairs (we decided to purchase so-called Ergonomic Movement Chairs which are much better for our backs).