Hello everyone! My name is Nada and I'm the newest member of the Society6 team. I'll be hanging out here on the blog, sharing stories from the Society6 community and beyond! To kick things off, I present to you: Inside My Studio, a new series that takes us inside artists' creative spaces, from tiny studio apartments to sprawling warehouse spaces, creepy basements and everywhere in between. Capturing S6 artists in their natural habitat; we find out where the magic happens, assess the snack situation and learn more about how an artist's space impacts his or her work.
To start, we visit British illustrator and animator, Julia Pott in her sunlit Los Feliz digs. We talk everything from Taylor Swift to My Little Pony so I'm pretty sure that means we're best friends now.
So Julia, when people ask you what it is that you do, how do you answer?
I am an illustrator and animator who specializes in hand drawn animation. I'm also an expert on the movie Practical Magic.
What do you love most about your neighborhood?
My studio is based in Los Feliz. I moved to LA from New York about a year ago, and the neighborhood appealed to me because of the great coffee shops and bookstores within walking distance. However, my favorite thing about Los Feliz is that the Griffith Observatory is only a 20-minute walk from my house. When I'm feeling a bit brain dead I'll call up my mom and hike to the top. I love being surrounded by couples on first dates, tourists, families, and the most incredible view. It really takes you out of your head.
What's the first thing you'd think I'd notice when I walk into your space.
You would notice how pastel everything is. You'd also notice the large amount of Taylor Swift memorabilia. There's almost too much...almost.
Do you share your space with other people?
My studio is in my house, which I share with my roommate, but the studio itself is just mine. It's filled with things that remind me of my friends and family because animation can foster a hermit-like existence. Letters from friends, rocks from the beach, and maps from road trips are found in secret spots around the room. It's nice to feel like I always have company when I'm deep in a lonely work-hole.
What is the most meaningful object in your studio? Something you'd be sad to lose.
I have a Gizmo doll from the Gremlins movie which I got in England when I was 3. He still comes with me to every special occasion and has never been washed.
Does your space impact your creative process at all?
I like to make my space as homey as possible, because it helps me take more risks with my work. If I'm working in a place where I feel safe and comfortable it feels easier to explore darker subject matter and push outside of my comfort zone.
Do you listen to anything while you work? Music, podcasts, etc.
If I'm writing or storyboarding, I can't have much distraction so I will listen to rainymood.com or dinner jazz. But, if I'm illustrating or animating I like to have Gilmore Girls or The West Wing on in the background. I also like to listen to to podcasts. Some of my favorites are Here's the Thing with Alec Baldwin and Fresh Air.
Run us through your daily routine.
I wake up every day at 8am to make coffee and Cream of Wheat. You can't get Cream of Wheat in England, so as a kid I could only have it on special occasions. Being able to have it every morning makes me happy and nostalgic. While I eat breakfast I answer emails, then I change out of my pajamas, touch my toes, and go into my studio.
My routine varies depending on what I am working on. At the moment I'm in the middle of writing for an animated film. It takes up most of my brain power and by the end of the day I want to lie face down on the sofa with a pretzel hanging out of my mouth.
So, I set up my work day like a mother who is trying to distract her child from something they don't want to do. I wear my comfiest clothes and have 3 different beverages open at any given time. I'll work until lunch and then go for a walk or out to buy groceries. If I have several illustration and animation jobs at the same time, I'll do the illustration job in the morning and tackle the writing/story based tasks in the afternoon when I'm more warmed up.
In the evening, if I am not on the aforementioned sofa with the pretzel, I will go hang out with real people.
As an artist, how do you strike a work/life balance. (Is it essential to separate your work space from your living space?)
When I was in my early twenties I would completely shut myself off from the world when I worked on a project. I wouldn't sleep or see my friends and I ate a lot of toast and noodles. Then, when the project was over, I wouldn't work at all for a few weeks until the cycle started up again. At a certain point, I realized that I didn't want to live like that anymore. I now find my work improves when I make time for hobbies, friends, and exploring. I am also a big believer in Dale Cooper's advice to give yourself a present every day.
If your past self could see you working in your studio today, what do you think she'd say?
I have wanted to be an illustrator / animator for as long as I can remember so I think she would be happy. She would probably want me to have a few more My Little Pony posters on the wall, though.