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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What is your favorite track to edit photos to?
for more of Jake’s work, please visit www.jakestangel.com