Can you talk about how quarantine has changed your approach?
I have used my time away from clay as a reset. I had gotten into a rhythm of producing work for local shops and craft fairs that was heavily influenced by the feedback of others—what sells, which colors, how many of each item to make, when to post, how frequently, etc. I am coming back to what truly drives me: curiosity and problem solving.
I get a lot out of seeing people enjoy something I’ve made. I love to get feedback on how people interpret and use my work. That input informs future creative decisions. But I need to continue to balance this with my personal opinions and interests.
What new strategies have you developed to stay creative during COVID-19?
During the pandemic, I realized that I love the feeling of starting something new. I am going to continue to push my comfort zones and try things that inspire me.
As collaborative work comes online, how are you working with fellow creatives?
The furniture work that I have been doing has involved a great deal of collaboration through online tools. My collaborators and I regularly share sketches to discuss ideas for forms or structural concepts. We use project management tools to make sure we are keeping things on track. We meet via Zoom to catch up and talk about projects as well as keep a place for the camaraderie we had in physical meetings prior to the pandemic.
When I work out of a community ceramics studio, I love having the ability to share and collaborate with fellow artists in that community. We can bounce ideas off of each other, help solve problems, or discuss different ways of approaching a project. I hope to keep this as part of my creative process throughout my life.
Anxiety is running high right now. What do you do to stay sane?
Working from home has had a huge positive effect on my anxiety. I battle with feeling isolated from time to time, but I feel extremely fortunate to be able to continue to work. I find that the end of commuting and other distractions associated with office life has allowed me to be more productive and calm. The ability to be more flexible with my time, and to harness my concentration (or lack thereof), has added a sense of productive autonomy.
When I feel anxious, being outside or out of my routine really helps. Calling a friend or family member while taking a walk, going for a bike ride, riding my skateboard, or reading in a different part of the house have been some of my tactics for resetting.
What do you think the future of work looks like?
I am feeling more and more confident that we are moving to a post-colocated/post-synchronous working world. I believe that there is going to be a shift that affects all businesses. Working remotely will lead to more companies allowing workers to do their jobs across time zones. There will be a renaissance in how we communicate, how we show progress, how we hire and maintain talent, for all kinds of work. I believe that the working situations we’ve been forced into during the pandemic have highlighted problems that existed in the old working world but we weren’t compelled to fix (or we had suboptimal solutions in place that we didn't want to make better).