A studio visit with Peter Sutherland

Guest interview and photographs by Jacob Mooty

All right, starting off, where were you born and how did you end up in New York?
I was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I moved to Colorado at eight and grew up the rest of the years there. I went to a college in Durango, Colorado called Fort Lewis and I didn’t know what to do. I had no goals or aspirations. One of my good friends’ dad was a pilot and he gave me a plane ticket to New York. I was going to stay three weeks and even within three weeks I could see I needed to get a job. (Laughs) The plan was to stay for three months and now it’s been sixteen years.

We talked about the concept of crumbs the last time we met. Could you explain it again?
Crumbs are similar to scraps. Just any little signs of opportunity or money for something you’ve done or even admiration. When you’re first starting off doing something you’re just trying to get any crumbs you can get for doing it and those could even be on a personal level.
When I turned twenty-three my brother gave me a camera for my birthday. Six months later I made a zine. I gave it to Vice. I gave it to a gallery called Rivingtion Arms and a few other people. Then things just started happening. I got some photos published, I had some work in a group show. It’s kind of the idea of the carrot in front of the donkey. When you live here you realize that the longer you stay the more potential you have to do something interesting. It’s really a combination of things. You have to put yourself out there too, it’s not like you can be a shut in and have the world come to you. I think that New York is a place that if you apply yourself a bit you can get results.
Slowly I started to get traveling projects, working for different galleries, publishing books, all these different things. I have a Xerox of my first check I got from Vice; it was for a hundred dollars. So the crumbs became more like chunks now.

You’re still pretty new to this studio thing. Where is your studio and how long have you been here?  
My studio is on Lower Broadway, which means it’s Broadway below Canal Street. It’s one of the last strips of downtown that is weird and seedy and doesn’t seem as posh as other parts of the city. I found this place by just wandering around and seeing a banner on the wall with a phone number saying spaces available. I worked from home for fifteen years and tried to do everything there. I think that process of doing photography and then doing all the post work at home led me to want to get a studio.
I’ve always enjoyed manipulating images, not as a main part of my work, but as something I do. I started making Photoshop collages and putting them on my blog in 2006. I feel like I took that as far as I could go with it. What’s happened now is that I don’t like using a computer. I just find that sitting in a seat is not inspiring. So getting a studio was the next step.

You have a shared studio space with other artists. Do you enjoy it?
It’s not so much about emailing the PDF over to people who have galleries. People actually want to come over and see what it looks like. One challenge in having a studio is getting people to come over and see the work. The good thing about having studio mates is that there are also people coming over to visit them. It’s kind of like a Venus-fly trap. Everyone I share with now are friends and one of them is my wife. It’s like having roommates, just not as bad.

Do you have a routine within the studio? Are there things that you forbid yourself from doing?
I don’t have a routine, what I try to do is think about how I feel when I’m here. If I feel brain dead I will do something like clean, photograph work, or prep materials. But if I’m feeling fresh then I’ll come in here and there’s no sense of time. The work I make is not pre-envisioned, a lot of it has an element of surprise to me. I usually ride my bike here. I like to listen to music as I work. I come here at odd times. The big part of me choosing this space is that it’s close to my house. It’s easy for me to dip in and out.

How many hours do you spend around the studio?
I’d say I spend fifteen to thirty hours a week here. I don’t want my work to look like all of it was born in the studio. So quite often I’ll travel, I won’t come here for weeks at a time. When I’m away it’s easy to think of new things. If there’s too much structure it’s stifling for me. A lot of the time I’m at home doing things on the computer. I have to actually make money that I don’t make selling art to afford this. There’s always that equation of having a studio and how you’re going to pay for it, and that does effect how much I’m here. I travel a lot and as I’m getting older I found that I’m enjoying travel less. For years I wanted to go everywhere I could, travel, and see as much as possible. I still like that, but there are places I have checked off the list. So there’s this drive to be in the studio more.

Looking around your studio it’s pretty obvious you’re using a lot of new techniques. How would you describe your new work?
I’ve been putting inject prints on perforated vinyl. It’s something used in advertising and car windows. I got really excited about it because it’s almost like I can use imagery like how a painter might use it. You can see different layers. You can put images together and they overlap while creating a new effect. Right now I’ve been taking images and putting them over wood. You can see the image itself and the parts of the image that are dark actually become the most transparent, so you end up seeing the wood on the other side. It’s a technique that took me a long time to figure out.

Do you feel this type of art has more merit?
Photography is one thing, but making art - I do consider photography art, I’ll say that – but photography is one thing and making objects are another. They’re almost like these little riddles. Maybe these feel like the most resolved things that I’ve done. I like using plywood because it shows the imperfections, it’s got stamps of where it was cut and some of the pieces are warped. I’m interested in creating a sense of depth. For me it’s just a continuation. I’ll always enjoy taking photos and this is just another step.

You seem to be taking a more hands on approach with your work. Would you say you’re shying away from technology?
I think using it so much has turned me the other way. Maybe it’s the same with books. Maybe people are starting to like books again after they read a few things on their Kindles and flipped around on their iPads a bunch. It’s a different experience seeing imagery on the computer. At this point everyone takes it for granted. There it is. You’ve flipped onto the next thing. I don’t think putting things on a blog or on a feed is a good way to archive.
Don’t get me wrong, I embrace technology. I do Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, email, you know, blog. I feel like those are all channels to put things out in the world. As far as making stuff, I just wanted a new challenge that didn’t involve the computer.

You grew up at the beginnings of skateboarding culture and punk. Could you explain your experience within it and how it has influenced your work?
When I moved to Colorado we came from a place that had dirt roads to a place that had sidewalks. I thought, now I can skate. I wasn’t trying to do something counterculture or be a part of something. I just wanted to roll around on the cement. At that point no one had done a kick flip yet, no one had done a 360 flip down a double set. I hung out with kids who had cars when I was twelve. I was introduced to music from skate videos that weren’t available then. I saw homeless people. You know, things you just don’t see from the confides of your yard. The whole skateboarding thing had a feeling of freedom and expressing yourself. The dress, the way you skated, where you put the stickers on the board. All those things together made an impression. It’s not like I just live in that time, but that time helped me create a visual vocabulary of what I deal with.

You had a subculture to grow with, but there doesn’t seem to be anything like that for this generation. Do you think the kids will be alright?
I watched skateboarding, punk, and hip-hop evolve and grow. And now, for this generation, there’s the internet. It’s not a youth culture movement; it’s much bigger then that. It’s kind of everything and nothing. With skateboarding a lot of the imagery was about using other images. The hip-hop thing was always about sharing, sampling and now the internet is that times a million. Share this and that, layer that together, and that’s a gif and this guy remixed every song on that album. It’s all about people testing the boundaries. I remember when people started burning cd’s and suddenly you didn’t have to pay for cd’s anymore. That was a big deal. I feel like that’s why I mess with those images of the burned cd’s. It was a radical thing. Looking back, that to me feels like the beginning of the internet. There used to be this thing called the anarchist cookbook. It was a xerox of a xerox of a xerox. You might find it in some weird counterculture bookstore that had an occult book section. Part of the allure was finding it in the first place. Now you can type it into a search bar and it will pop right up. It definitely de-mystifies the myth.
I’m experiencing this as an adult, but think about when you’re really young and impressionable. I feel like the more you saturate your brain with all this information, it becomes more and more hard to have a clear thought, to let your brain relax. It’ll be interesting to see. I hope it doesn’t stop everyone from going outside.

Do you have a favorite song to edit work to?

for more of Peter’s work, please visit www.petersutherland.com

I’m looking for a web designer to work with me on Beau Monde (coming out later this year). Please send me an email with a link to your work at paulinemagnenat@gmail.com. Thank you!
Ps: it’s a paid job.

I’m looking for a web designer to work with me on Beau Monde (coming out later this year). Please send me an email with a link to your work at paulinemagnenat@gmail.com. Thank you!

Ps: it’s a paid job.

People, I will be in these Southern States in three weeks. If you have any do’s and dont’s about anything (or any place I should stop to see/eat/drink/photograph) on this route please let me know!
paulinemagnenat@gmail.com

People, I will be in these Southern States in three weeks. If you have any do’s and dont’s about anything (or any place I should stop to see/eat/drink/photograph) on this route please let me know!

paulinemagnenat@gmail.com

This is what I sent to 11 contemporary photographers whose work I’ve particularly enjoyed recently. The answers I got back are over at the Wandering Bears' website, as part of their 500th post celebration.
Thank you Daniel Shea, Mark Borthwick, Ed Panar, Bryan Schutmaat, Peter Sutherland, Shane Lavalette, Mark Mahaney, Estelle Hanania, Osma Harvilahti, Christian Patterson, David Favrod and Rob Hornstra.
Enjoy!

This is what I sent to 11 contemporary photographers whose work I’ve particularly enjoyed recently. The answers I got back are over at the Wandering Bears' website, as part of their 500th post celebration.

Thank you Daniel Shea, Mark Borthwick, Ed Panar, Bryan Schutmaat, Peter Sutherland, Shane Lavalette, Mark Mahaney, Estelle Hanania, Osma Harvilahti, Christian Patterson, David Favrod and Rob Hornstra.

Enjoy!

A studio visit with Jody Rogac

photographs by Clément Pascal

Where is your studio exactly and how long have you been working there?

My studio is on the edge of Sunset Park and Gowanus in Brooklyn. I’ve have been working there for 1.5 years.

What are the pros and cons of your studio?
Pros: I am no longer working out of my apartment — I have a space where I can “go to work” and hunker down. There are also many other lovely artists on the floor, which makes for a nice creative community. Cons: hard to think of many, sometimes the woodshop can get a bit loud.

How many hours do you usually spend there per week?
If I’m not out taking pictures I’ll probably be at the studio. I’ll spend anywhere from 3 - 9 hours a day depending on what I’m up to.

Do you have your own daily routine within the studio? For exemple, do you usually start by answering your emails then get to work etc?
I live close by which is great, so I stop and pick up a coffee on my way. Usually turn on WNYC. Then yes — emails! And then I’ll carry on with whatever projects I have on the go.

Are there things you deliberately forbid yourself to do/have within the studio in order to be more productive?
Nope, not a thing.

Do you sometimes wish you had your own studio? What are the pros and cons of sharing your workspace with someone else?
I don’t mind sharing my studio space as long as it’s with the right people. It’s nice to surround yourself with other creatives and have each other to bounce ideas off of.

What is your favorite track to edit photos to?

for more of Jody’s work, please visit www.jodyrogac.com

bryanschutmaat:

Texas in the 1970s. Photos by Marc St. Gil and Danny Lyon, found on The Atlantic

Reblogged from bryanschutmaat with 1,075 notes

A studio visit with Jason Lazarus

photographs by Parker Bright

Where is your studio exactly and how long have you been working there?
I work at home in the Ukranian village neighborhood of Chicago, where I share a two bedroom apartment with a roommate, so truly it’s my bedroom and living room. I’ve been here for 9 years, and in that time many projects have created and nurtured, some making their way abroad with me in tow. Everything is about the computer, the phone, notebooks, and a few walls where things live to be mused upon. Smoking happens while on the phone, it is my major vice. Collaborators come over, I make them espressos, jokes are a must, music is a must, working hardest is a must.

What are the pros and cons of your studio?
I nap all the time. If I had my choice, I’d nap three times a day, waking early and working into the night. I don’t know why, but this is how it is. So at a home-studio I will lay down on a whim but a lot gets done, so I try to respect this rhythm and roll with it. At the end of the summer I will have a proper external studio for the first time, about 600 sq feet in a warehouse with windows facing two directions. The main concern is to get a lot of great plants, which have nothing to do with my artwork, and everything about feeling best in the world. The best thing about working from home is everything is at an arm’s length: negatives, books, the computer, cheese, or the bathtub even. I’m trying to keep social media tabs closed on my computer and really focus while working. This is a sort of virtual conundrum, which follows the computer wherever it may go. I also consider the studio a part of the brain that never shuts down, a kind of generative filter that things become stuck to while time passes. It’s important to be a dreamer… One’s interior life is a studio.

How many hours do you usually spend there per week?
Every day for me.

Do you have your own daily routine within the studio? For exemple, do you usually start by answering your emails then get to work etc?
Coffee/reading/writing/emailing/scheduling/meetings/photoshop/nap/repeat.

Are there things you deliberately forbid yourself to do/have within the studio in order to be more productive?
Nothing is forbidden.

Do you sometimes wish you shared your studio with one or a few other artists?
I am always working on the ability to work alone, because I feel pretty good about working with others.

What is your favorite track to edit photos to?

for more of Jason’s work, please visit www.jasonlazarus.com

A studio visit with Geordie Wood

photographs by Olivia Locher

Where is your studio exactly and how long have you been working there?
My studio is on the banks of the majestic Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn where I do laps every morning. It also happens to be my apartment, I’ve lived here for about four years.

What are the pros and cons of your studio?
The obvious pro and con is that I live in my studio, which keeps work close in times of need but also too close to escape. That said I’m lucky to have a backyard and garden which provides reprieve from the computer at a moments notice.

How many hours do you usually spend there per week?
I stay on the move a decent amount but I am at my desk at least 30 hours a week. Though I find my work quickly seeps into all facets of life which is something I’m actively trying to avoid.

Do you have your own daily routine within the studio? For example, do you usually start by answering your emails then get to work etc?
My day starts with NPR and a cup or three of coffee. I respond to emails then dive into the lists and post-it notes which hold my brain together. The one constant in my routine is music. Whether it’s Atlanta rap or Bill Evans in the late 60’s I have the music at maximum volume all day.

Are there things you deliberately forbid yourself to do/have within the studio in order to be more productive?
Not necessarily, but I will say I’m easily distracted and my most productive hours are spent by myself.

Do you sometimes wish you shared your studio with one or a few other artists?
Though I work best on my own it’s nice to have people around at times, I enjoy an ongoing dialogue (at least digitally) with some close friends who work in photography. That said, I love the input of folks in other mediums as well, I’m a bit adverse to staying in the photo ghetto at all times.

What is your favorite track to edit photos to?

for more of Geordie’s work, please visit www.geordiewood.com

People!
As part of my Studio Visit series, I am currently looking for photographers living in (or willing to travelling to):
- Rochester, NY
- Athens, GA
- Katonah, NY
- Pittsburgh, PA
Anyone interested can contact me by email: paulinemagnenat@gmail.com
Thank you!
(image from Mike Sinclair, Popular Attractions)

People!

As part of my Studio Visit series, I am currently looking for photographers living in (or willing to travelling to):

- Rochester, NY

- Athens, GA

- Katonah, NY

- Pittsburgh, PA

Anyone interested can contact me by email: paulinemagnenat@gmail.com

Thank you!

(image from Mike Sinclair, Popular Attractions)

A studio visit with Jake Stangel

image

photographs by Damien Maloney

Where is your studio exactly and how long have you been working there?
My studio is in San Francisco, in an industrial area called The Dogpatch, on the east side of the city bordering the East Bay. Super nice, very mellow, sunniest part of town, with lots of creative folks here. Photographers, writers, designers, architects. It’s becoming more and more popular, and we have wine stores now. And a juice bar. That’s when you know, when the juice bar come in. Organic Juice till 2. It’s like Williamsburg circa 2006, +/- 5 years.  I moved to SF about 1.5 years ago, and was working in a windowless space for a while, which was great for scanning but sucked for life, so I got outta there and moved to my current space a year ago. Way more light, a rad studio mate, lots of space, 25 foot ceilings, and all the C-stands I could ever dream of.

image

What are the pros and cons of your studio?
Pros are infinite. Bright breezy airy light white spacey. Lots of room to play around. The building is made of cement, so I doubt all my negs will be burned in a fire. Hopefully I didn’t just jinx that. Dogpatch is ideal, I have a really sick ice cream hookup nextdoor,cause my dude there rides bikes alot. I can get a big scoop of ice cream for the kid’s size price. Ice cream on a hot summer’s day, before diving back in front of a cool computer. Nice.
My studio is also like 15 blocks from my house, in Potrero Hill. I live at the top of the hill, so it’s about 5 minutes to get here in the morning and about 8 to get back up. I ride home for many lunches to spin my legs a bit, eat a big ass kale salad, read a New Yorker article in my backyard, then bomb the hill back down to the studio. Ice cream usually happens about 3 o’clock. We also got the largest bouldering gym (for rock climbing) about half a block away, so I try to go there to rip my arms off my body about three times a week.
No cons, at all.

image

How many hours do you usually spend there per week?
I travel a lot for “work” and 99% of what I do is on location, but if I were to spend an entire week at home, not shooting, I’d say 50 hours total. There have been gnarly weeks where I’m here from 8:30-11pm with a break or two, but I really try to not let that happen anymore and get some hired help in to dedust and help me have a life. I used to work at a bike shop and the manager was of the mentality that there’s always something we could be doing to improve the business, from cleaning the place to organizing our shit in a better fashion, so I bring that over to my little homespun, mom-n-pop business.
That said, if I feel like I’m being unproductive or listless or unmotivated, I definitely don’t linger or dick around online. I’ve got a to-do list every morning, and usually I leave with 1-2 things left on it, but if I finish everything, I’ll get the hell out. The studio is awesome, but I try to keep it super productive, get things done, so I can go out and ride bikes, climb, surf, etc. I’ve realized in the last year or so that life is meant to be lived, not spend in front of a computer, so I’m always trying to lap up the myriad bounties of this amazing city and surrounding countryside.

image

Do you have your own daily routine within the studio? For exemple, do you usually start by answering your emails then get to work etc?
Definitely start up spotify, definitely go through email. I’ve started a folder called “emails to respond to, later”, so I put a lot of less pressing stuff there. My inbox is kind of like a to-do list, so I try to keep it clear. Right now I have 5 in there, and it’s 5 things I need to do today. So, if you’ve written me, and I haven’t written you back, your email’s in that folder. I definitely post alot to tumblr throughout the day, as I post tracks I love, or work I’m really digging. Whenever I have a lull, I’ll write back to those less pressing emails.
I’ll do lunch around 1-3pm, and try to ride somewhere close and eat it outside. I think I’ve eaten in studio twice in a year. I go to a place called the ferry building alot to meet my friend Julia; we eat sandwiches on the water with a view of bridges and boats, get some sun, chill with the hungry pigeons that try to grab our sandwich crumbs. It’s all about getting outside, riding bikes, seeing folks at some point in the day, then coming back and being productive again.

image

Are there things you deliberately forbid yourself to do/have within the studio in order to be more productive?
Facebook is the worst, I stay off of it unless I’m posting something, otherwise it takes out 30 minutes of my day before I even know it. Why am I looking at some gizmodo article? I dunno. I don’t want to do that any more. I set my emails to come in on the hour, not immediately. I have a weird OCD thing where that little red Mac Mail dot can’t be there. I’ve been alot more attentive to the feeling of getting listless, so when that happens, I refer back to the to-do list and keep going. I guess I’m productive so that I can get out ASAP and go somewhere near the ocean. To shoot a sunset. On Instagram.

image

Do you sometimes wish you shared your studio with one or a few other artists? What are the pros and cons of sharing your workspace with someone else?
I already feel unsocial working for my self by myself, so I couldn’t imagine working in my own space, solo all day. Nice to have other folks around, even just as a presence. It’s also nice to share grip equipment and have someone in-studio if a file needs to get send out and I’m thousands of miles away. I guess the only con is that I can’t work naked playing Bonnie Raitt all day.

image

What is your favorite track to edit photos to?

for more of Jake’s work, please visit www.jakestangel.com