Today we check Inside the Studio with Duke Hagerty who I met through series of online coincidences. I’ve come to realize there are less than 6 degrees of separation in Charleston, it turns out we discovered mutual friends. He has an amazing retrospective show up right now at City Gallery of his surrealist works (it’s an era that’s perhaps either dying out or about to be resurrected?). Duke is having no problem in the press department, he and his work are much loved and admired in Charleston and beyond but I always love supporting artists and helping to spread the word about their work. Here’s the artist in his studio space and an interview that I feel shares another side of how the artist work. The bonus is you can still go see his work in person and get a copy of his new book American Surrealist! I’m thrilled to share this sneak peek into “Duke’s” studio and have him share more about his process and creative space in this interview. These photo’s are not styled in any way, in fact the visit was totally unplanned and spontaneous so this is typical of what his working studio looks like on an average day.
Interview and Studio Sneak Peek Part II (see Part I—>Here)
HKPS:: How or did you learn your organizing habits and systems? Do you consider yourself to be organized?
DH::I am disciplined. The Creative process is work, nothing comes easily. I sit down and just do this (doodle and sketch).
HKPS:: What tips can you offer regarding your use of schedules, systems, tools or processes that help you maintain organization in your studio?
DH::Never wait for inspiration to come to you. Just sit down and do it (that does take discipline!). I treat my art as a business, I keep files of expenses etc just to keep things efficient.
My wife is actually the real person behind all of this.
HKPS:: Do you purge, clean or de-clutter your supply stash and space on a regular basis?
Richard “Duke” Hagerty
HKPS::Is there anything you keep in your studio strictly for fun or inspiration? Is there anything you intentionally don’t have in your studio due to distraction?
HKPS:: I pointed out to Duke that he seems to have a series decorative jars, his large mirrors that reflect the light and Charleston rooftop skyline, he has a source for music and most importantly he keeps his muse and wife Barbara by his side as they work together in the space. The creative advantage I have over a write is that I can listen to music while I work.
HKPS:: Do you notice cycles or phases of projects that are more or less organized in your creative process?
DH::Again, the creative process for me really depends on me just sitting down and doing it. “I’m no Picasso, the process is muddy and there are bumps.”
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?
DH::Great question! A fellow painter died several years ago without archiving, it was a real mess. I have been serious about this for the past three years. I actually stopped signing my paintings because I don’t own any of this. Barbara told me that if I wanted her help I was going to have to sign my work so we compromised and that’s how I came to sign my name backwards (due to my dyslexia). “Life is about managing the eternity with Morality.”
Thank you Duke for for sharing more about your creative process and tips and advice for artists and their studio space, we can all learn from one another ! His show is still up in Charleston and it’s fantastic, go see it at City Gallery through January 10. After that you can find his work represented at locally at Corrigan Gallery where you can pick up his new retrospective book (it’s an artist version of Alice in Wonderland!).
*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.
Is there a particular artist whose ‘Tool kit’ you would like to see featured? Leave a comment below and let me know!