The Mobile Idea Factory.
I would like to introduce ...
Quincy (and Troublesome Violet)
They make delightful witty small ceramic sculptures.
Where do you like to work? What time of day is most productive for you?
A: I enjoy working in my studio, preferably at night, so I can listen to one of my favorite radio shows " coast to coast."
Q: I prefer to work in early morning on new ideas. If I'm painting I like working in my office where I can listen to music and easily access my computer if I need it. Our daughter (Troublesome Violet) likes to play in our office so sometimes it allows me to work and watch her at the same time which is a difficult thing to manage.
What materials do you use and most like to work with? Where do you get them?
We like to work in clay because it is so forgiving and can be inexpensive. We pick up most everything we need locally. There is a huge ceramic supply warehouse near us and we live near LA so we can find most everything else there.
The PM Studio.
What does your workspace look like?
We work out of three little studios located at our home. A drafty garage that contains our kiln and woodworking tools, a converted porch that houses our screen-printing equipment and a table for working with clay, and a shabby master bedroom where all painting and finish work is done.
Where does your source material come from?
A: Most my ideas just come to me. I find inspiration in my enormous clip art book collection from the 70s and 80s. I also derive inspiration from George Pal Puppet animation and the clay animation of Bruce Bickford as well as Mexican folk art.
Q: Ideas usually come by accident, from pop culture references, overheard conversations and childhood memories. Usually we'll be discussing something random and one of us will get a weird idea from it. The end product is usually nothing like what was originally discussed. We have stacks of funny ideas. It's usually finding the time and motivation to execute them that is the hardest part.
A sketch from Adam.
What kinds of images inspire you? Do you keep a sketchbook?
Adam has a gigantic sketchbook that he will occasionally draw in when planning a large sculpture and he keeps three ring binders of source material, usually everyday object photos of animals and random industrial street shots.
Quincy: I prefer to paint instead of sketching with a pencil so I'll sometimes make little watercolor sketched of ideas. There are bits of paper with little paintings or drawings of ideas scattered about everywhere.
Quincy's work in progress.
Adam's work in progress.
How long have you been working in your medium? Are you trained?
We both have BFAs from Cal Arts which is a very theory heavy school with very little technical instruction (at least is was when we were there) and no ceramics classes or lab. So we are mostly self taught in ceramics and painting.
What techniques and processes are your favorites?
A: My favorite technique is sculpting in clay and painting a piece once it has been fired.
Q: My favorite parts are the beginning and the end of a project. I like coming up with ideas and I like opening the kiln to see what comes out. Its very dramatic; either things are perfect and lovely or it is a huge disaster.
What is special and inspiring about living where you do?
We live in the suburbs about an hour outside Los Angeles. It can be a bit of a cultural wasteland so creating new art is a way to keep grounded and feel connected to the artistic community. We live within walking distance of a Mexican restaurant turned folk art environment which is pretty amazingly crazy, complete with enormous toy collage sculptures and hand built fountains. We live close to the Santa Ana River so we are visited quite frequently by a variety of wildlife: coyotes, fox, raccoon, skunks. and opossums. We even have a flock of wild green parrots that come to our yarn once a year and sit in our trees and scream.
What is a normal day like for you? How many hours a day/ week do you get to actually focus on creating new works?
We're both full time artists but we have a tiny daughter named Troublesome Violet who keeps us pretty busy. We get up at 5 am every morning and work until 6 or 7pm while taking care of the aforementioned little one. It's really exhausting and hard to get things done with a three year old but somehow we juggle things.
Who are your favorite designers and artists?
A: Joe Coleman and the Clayton Brothers.
Q: Alexander Girard and Herbert Hundertwasser
Do you go to museums? Where is your favorite art related place to go?
A:Lately I have been going to the local art museum and the art walk that happens once a month. I love going places that are turned into folk art environments that you can walk through and notice something new every time you go.
Q:I really like seeing new work at the Hammer Museum. They always have interesting shows. I also really like the Craft and Folk Art Museum. There is always something inspiring to see.