Today’s feature interview is the first half of Art Studio Organizing with Joanne Davis-Woods who I met through mutual artist friends in Asheville. I visited her studio (which she recently moved into in the midst of a metal fabrication studio) and interviewed her while in Asheville last month. I’m thrilled to share this sneak peek into Joanne’s studio and her process and creative space in this interview. These photo’s are not styled in any way, in fact she was not totally settled into her new studio so this is typical of what her working studio looks like on an average day.
Art Studio Organizing with Joanne Davis-Woods Part I
HKPS::When did you suspect or know you were an artist?
JWD:: I realized in my early 30’s that I had been one my whole life.
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?
JWD::Mainly I work with silver, copper, in both wire and sheet, and semi-precious stones–since my work space is contained within a larger business space; materials need to be locked up at end of day. For the last several years my challenge was the need to store in 2 different location–I never had all that I needed in one place! Now, in this new spot I have higher hopes for efficiency. While I like the materials I use to be handy, they do not need to be visible. What I do want to see conveniently arrayed are my tools.
HKPS:: Where do you make your art, how big is your studio and how long have you been in this space?
JWD::I have recently moved into a new space within a fabrication business. They have all the permits needed for using fuels. I have about 300 sq ft on a platform above the main floor—rather quirky but it works.
HKPS::How many projects are you usually working on at once? Is this due to space constraints, creative process, organizing systems or other influences?
JWD:: 2-3 at a time…I read more than one book at a time also! If I am worked on a new prototype I find more satisfactory results if I give myself time to ponder between steps. So I like to punctuate with another project. Also there is cooling and other procedures which go on without my active participation.
It can be a dance.
HKPS::Is making art your primary “job” or source of income? How much time do you spend in your studio weekly/daily?
JWD::I would be in studio most days if I could…since I still have a part time job; I am limited to 2 – 3 days per week. Fortunately my day job lets me work with metal.
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?
JWD::I had an opportunity to buy equipment and work benches from the previous communal space where I rented. The choice of those pieces dictate the style of working here. The previous space was set up by others and provided for separate stations for separate processes. While I know that some like everything at arms’ reach-i prefer to move around more. It keeps me more organized also—metal smiths use an awful lot of tools!
Thank you Joanne for for sharing how you use your studio space and store your materials! In Part II you’ll find more from her about creative process and any tips and advice she has to share. In the meantime if you want to see more of Joanne’s work go see her Facebook Page.
*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!