About a year ago, my boyfriend Donald and I packed up our apartment in Illinois and moved into my parent’s house in California. I had just finished up my masters degree and was entering the weird stage of “adulthood” and all that comes along with that: the cloud of doom that is student loans, a job, where to live, health insurance. I had been a student my entire life, so it was strange to live a life where I didn’t have deadlines, critiques, and all that comes with going to art school.
Once we were living back in my hometown, we found it to be an extreme adjustment. We went from living in a whole apartment to living in a room and a half of my parent’s house…the majority of our apartment and belongings packed up in their garage. I enjoy being back in California, being around family, being around pets, and having a backyard!
A typical day usually starts anywhere around 7:30 and 8:30 am. I make my way to the living room where my parents are already up and reading the paper/watching Good Morning America and drinking coffee. I pour myself a cup of coffee and sit and watch GMA while I wake up.
My mom bought a Ninja blender, so it’s been smoothies galore for breakfast! Today’s flavor was peach, banana, coconut yogurt, and almond milk.
After breakfast I check all my social media pages and emails and start my day. My “studio” is in the spare room which is used for storage… along with all my boxed up prints, thesis show, art supplies, odds and that wouldn’t fit in the bedroom, and the occasional pup or two hanging out.
My parents found this beast of a table for $10 at an office surplus and it is an awesome worktable! I offer to share it with Donald, but I tend to constantly take it over and he uses the desk in the bedroom as his “studio.”
In my work I am constantly thinking of things as a series so, naturally I have been working on a series of drawings of not so popular animals, (who has ever heard of a tapir??). I find images of them online, often combining at least 2 or more photos to get the pose I want. I have an unintentional habit of turning super cute and alert animals into sad little things, which I don’t mind. Wouldn’t you be sad if hardly anyone had heard of you??
In grad school, printmaking processes started to inform the way I drew and I fell in love with graphite. I start off with a super hard pencil and build my way up. I almost always want to leave it at the first stage just because I enjoy the silvery quality it gets! By slowly adding contrast, it makes the little creature come to life (my favorite part!). I won’t lie, I do have a lot of days where I don’t want to make anything at all, but as long as I just come back to it (and I always do because I love it so much) then I’m fine.
Around noon-ish I take a lunch break and watch The Chew. I don’t know why, maybe because I was a What Not to Wear fan that I naturally gravitated to this show but they do make some good stuff sometimes! Today’s lunch was leftovers from the night before, baked salmon and rice pilaf with a glass of peach iced tea. Of course I get sucked into The Chew and watch the whole hour or most of it and then it’s either start a project or run errands with my dad...today’s was Target.
My dad recently retired so my days are spent with him (and my mom’s dog, Journey and my old geezer of a parakeet, Jasper) while my mom and Donald are off at work. He’s taken an interest in fixing up furniture lately and he approached me with the idea of a collaboration. He bought a $2 coffee table and sanded all the horrible varnish the previous owner had put on it and let me pick a paint color as well as come up with a design for the top. I looked up ideas on Pinterest and found this leaf design. The results were surprisingly nice (considering the top was just a piece of plywood) and it looks like I have myself a new coffee table! Plus, it was a nice project to do with good ol’ dad and also have another outlet for being creative and trying new things.
When it gets to be about 2pm, I start to really get myself into gear and get to work if I haven’t already. A good Pandora station and a snack will get me working for hours at a time and I can usually get a good chunk of drawing done. I didn’t get to finish this drawing yet, but I promise to send Ann a finished shot of it!
When 5pm rolls around, my mom and Donald are home from work and I chat with them about their days for a while and then it’s time for dinner…tonight’s menu, shredded beef, a few homemade fries, and a salad.
After dinner I usually catch up on the unhealthy amount of shows I watch until bedtime, which is anywhere around 10:30 or 11pm. Current TV favorites: the Housewives of OC and NJ (so much drama!!), Project Runway, and Dexter (I don’t want it to end!).
I’m a firm believer of to-do lists and right now, mine is getting a bit long. The past couple months seem like everything happened all at once and I was teaching children’s art classes and workshops, I was a visiting artist at Fresno State, and was also hired as an adjunct instructor and became the gallery director at College of the Sequoias where my whole adventure began! It’s still really weird to think that my former instructors will now be my colleagues, but I’m excited (and nervous!) for a whole new chapter. And with that chapter will come a new routine to adjust to! Which means I’m going to have to really get on myself about taking time aside to make work! Luckily I’m pretty adaptable to change, but I’ll still take some luck if you’ve got it!
Jessica was true to her word and followed up with a finished drawing of this sweet little guy. Keep up with Jessica on her tumblr Little Feets and find her on instagram with the same name. Thank, Jessica, for a great insight on your day!
I am loving this series. I have two more write-ups waiting for their turn and I am anxious to get other artists on board. If you would like to document your studio day please get in touch! I love seeing how people spend their days.
Have a great Friday!