Ever wondered what the inner workings of an artist’s studio really look like? Well luckily for you, our Creative Spaces blog series allows us to have a little snoop around the our Makers studios to see where the all magic happens.
This time, we’re featuring one of our more recent Australian-based artists, Elin Matilda. Like us, her days are spent with a snoozing pooch by her side and a glass of wine after 5pm. I guess Elin and Maker’s Mgmt were always meant to be!
Hey Elin, let’s set the scene. Where is your studio located and what do you love most about the area?
My studio is in the house my partner and I bought two years back — our first real home — which is located in a small bush village on the cusp of a national park, about an hour’s train ride out of Sydney. I love waking up to the wonderful Australian nature on my doorstep everyday.
What is your most favourite thing or feature of your workspace?
The cavoodle, named Party who usually sleeps next to me in a chair.
Does surrounding your workspace with things you love important to you? Does this energise you or can it distract you?
I’ve always been able to intensely zone into what I’m working on, which means the immediate environment doesn’t really distract me. Our entire house is pretty visual, filled up with art, pottery, wallpapers and textiles! It’s not exactly a minimal space but I love it.
Tell us about the studio essential could you not live without?
My stand-up desk! I’d recommend everyone to get one. Sitting down all day used to make me feel so sleepy and stiff all over. On the other hand, standing up keeps the blood flow going and helps maintain a good posture, which makes a big difference especially when I’m doing long hours for a deadline.
What do you like to listen to when working? Podcasts or music? Tell us the last 3 songs you’ve listened to on Spotify (if you dare!)
I’m a big time podcast junkie! My top picks are My Favorite Murder (SSDGM y’all) plus a nerdy history podcast in Swedish, Historiepodden.
My last 3 songs were:
— The Love Me or Die by C.W. Stoneking
— Set My Soul on Fire by The War and Treaty
— Talkin’ Like You by Connie Converse
What makes for a well-stocked office kitchen – any favourite snacks that help you during the mid-afternoon slump?
I treat myself to a nice glass of wine most days around 5pm, that’s something that helps me keep the motivation up for sure! I also eat a lot of carrots, but that sounds boring in comparison ;-)
Do you have any tips to share with emerging artists on keeping a healthy work balance and social life?
Moving out of the city made a huge difference for my mental health. It may sound contradictory, but I’ve been able to hone in to my introverted nature by seeing people less often, but in a more considered and meaningful way. I take a lot of breaks throughout a work day, to exercise, play with the dog or just water the garden for a bit.
It’s sometimes inevitable to work hard and after hours, the important thing for me has been to keep focused on where my passions lie and why I’m doing it, as well as compensating by giving myself time off. I have realised that I will always feel ’too busy’ to take a break from work to meet up a friend for coffee — the life of running your own business right? — you just gotta do it anyway sometimes, and will probably end up more productive for it.
What would your dream studio look like (if you don’t have it already!)
I’d have a huuuuge space with many different work stations where I could have multiple messes going at one time! It would have to have large windows with natural light and wooden floor boards — the floor-to-floor carpet is the one thing that really bums me out about my current workspace :-(
What helps you to get out of a creative funk if you can’t leave the office?
Snacks and Radio Tasio.
Ok, that’s something we need to introduce at Maker’s Mgmt!! Love the matching trackies.
What about studio organisation? Do you like a tidy space or organised chaos when it comes to your work space?
A tidy space is ideal but again, I seem unable to escape a constant state of (semi) organised chaos. I think there’s unfortunately some gene missing there.
Can you tell us about what you’re working on at the moment?
I am developing illustrated packaging for Makijima Tea Co. — a boutique business importing green tea from small-scale, sustainable farms in Japan that my partner Koji is in the process of launching. I’m also creating the artwork for an independent fashion/creative goods market event in Sydney which is super fun.
What would your ultimate project involve, something that would be pure pleasure for you to work on?
Oh so many possibilities…! I enjoy working on any project that is based on a good cause. It would have an open-minded brief that allows for a fun & tongue-in-cheek response. I’d love to illustrate a progressive sex-ed guide for teenagers. Or a fun mural!
Do you want a bit of Elin excellence on your next project (while helping her get rid of that wall-to-wall carpet)? Speak with us and we can get her creating something special for you!
Photography courtesy of Carine Thevenau