In this week’s sneak peek we return Inside Sam Hunters Studio, of Hunter’s Design Studio. I met Sam at Quilt Market and interviewed her in her old studio in 2013. When we last spoke she promised to invite us back after her move and I’m so excited she did! Sam has set up a practical and organized studio and here she shares her tips and suggestions. Also check out her old space here and compare the systems she kept and changed in her new space.
*These photos are not styled so this is typical of what his working studio looks like on an average day.
Inside Sam Hunters Studio Part II (see Part I Here)
Please See my first interview with Sam HERE to learn more about her background as a Quilt Artist.
Sam:: I struggle with planning the time allocation for the design phase on some things. My construction estimates are pretty decent, but design just take the time it takes. Some go easily and come together as planned – pretty much in a straight line. Others require that I make them three times before I understand their mysteries. I’m happy that I have a well-tested set of tricks, solutions, and avenues to fall back on when I hit a hard spot.
Sam:: Discipline can get in the way…especially if you feel duty bound to do certain things before you make art – e.g. clean the house, answer emails. etc… But it’s also a great foundation for problem solving. I don’t think anyone gets to stay in business without finding some discipline or resilience that they occasionally have to engage to get work done. I often fall back on what Chuck Close said – “Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and get to work.” And work sometimes means you have to do things that are tedious, difficult or unglamorous (Elizabeth Gilbert calls it the “shit sandwich” in her book Big Mag – everything you do has one, you just have to decide which ones are worth eating). The flip side is that I get to make art.
HKPS::Do you set any self imposed limitations (to your schedule, material use etc)?
Sam:: I’m getting better about seeing when my “power hours’ are. I don’t write well between 10am and 3pm, so I’ve quit scheduling my writing time there. I try to put my out-of-the-house appointments next to each other, and add errand running to those days. Batching similar things helps me have greater blocks of time to sink deeply into creative space. I also don’t look at screens for the last hour of my day (unless I’m winding down with TV) and I don’t read email after dinner, in case it curdles my stomach and makes me lose sleep. Sadly, our current political climate has resulted in a lot of needlessly hostile emails over small things, and they are super upsetting to field at the end of a long day when I am tired and might be well out of diplomacy or patience! It’s just fabric, people!
Sam:: Artistically, I love boundaries. Give me a rule to butt up against while I’m creating and I’ll really enjoy the constraints. Sometimes I play a game with myself that I’ll make something fun as the reward for getting through something that isn’t fun.
HKPS:: Do you have any upcoming shows or workshops? Where can reader find out more about you and your work?
Sam:: Everything that is going on in my world is on the blog, on Instagram, on Facebook (to a lesser extend), and in my newsletter. And the newsletter includes exclusive stuff just for the subscribers. I’m always up for lecturing and teaching, so if your guild needs a fun speaker, please give me a call! I’m also plotting down some small private classes in my new studio.
Thank you Sam for returning and sharing your inspiring and helpful organizing and storage tips and studio! I love that she created the space she needed in her home despite any conventional ideas about how our living spaces “Should be used”.
*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 le