You’ve submerged yourself in art: living in Brooklyn, and being a member of the Gowanus Studio Space. What’s it like being in such a rich creative community?
Brooklyn is great but it’s definitely spoiling in a lot of ways. There’s no shortage of things to do or see or creative people to get inspired by. It can be easy to take it for granted because that inspiration is always around, but it’s hard to go too long without noticing it. Having that energy around is great and really motivates me in my own work.
I’ve come to really appreciate it because it’s very different from where I grew up in New Jersey, which was a very rural and spread out. As a kid it was great, but as I got older it was harder to find people to connect with who shared similar interests or ideas and it also could be pretty isolating at times just from the distance between things. It’s beautiful, and I love going back. Some people really thrive in an environment like that, but I enjoy being around people, and having a more immediate sense of community.
How do you find a work/life balance?
That might be one of the hardest things for me right now and something I’m really trying to figure out how to be better at.
I currently work as an in-house art director for a company called Gilt, so I’m constantly trying to balance my free time in ways that give me time with my wife and friends but also time in the studio.
Because I do most of my artwork after hours and on the weekends, my free time is pretty limited. One thing that has been really helpful in just balancing ‘work vs. play’ is I’ve been giving myself a weekly schedule that allows me time in the studio and also time with my wife and friends. The schedule is flexible week to week but keeps me focused on what I need to work on and what I want to accomplish, as well as giving me time to step away. It’s easy for me to slip into a habit of just working all the time, so a schedule like this keeps me somewhat balanced and social and prevents me from turning into a full-fledged hermit.
Beyond my own habits, my wife is a huge source of support. She knows it’s important for me and really encourages to do what I need. I’m so thankful to have someone like her.