When it comes to dealing with hangovers, there’s two broad approaches – softly softly with an aspirin and a cuddle or the take-no-prisoners full English breakfast blow it out the water route. As London wakes up this morning in post-Olympics grog, memories already fading and TV schedules bewilderingly bereft of judo and beach volleyball, we needed a pick-me-up and Brooklyn-based Morgan Blair’s work is just the thing. On first glance it’s the kind of technicolour blast we need, but look closer and you’ll see the delicacy in her composition and faultless skill in her execution. So it’s kind of like the big breakfast followed by a hug, which is perfect. In danger of murdering any more metaphors, we decided to find out a little more from the woman herself…
Where do you work?
I just moved studios to a corner within an area within an awesome 5,000 sqft raw space off the Lorimer stop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We are calling our area within the space “Friendly’s.” I have a few tables and some shelves and a bunch of holographic junk and cassette tapes that I like to look at.
How does your working day start?
Eating something with mango cut up into it, answering emails, listening to/channeling Robyn, riding my bike to studio. Then turning on HOT 97 and/or NPR, then staring out the window for a little while, then working.
How do you work and how has that changed?
I have been trying to be more free in my approach, as far as relinquishing control and letting the piece evolve on its own. I used to be more concerned with planning out every detail ahead of time, which I think is either a real or made-up symptom of having started out doing illustration.
With editorial work, you’re supposed to keep the final piece as close as possible to the approved sketch, and working that way was sort of strangling my ability to think creatively. Now I’m trying to make decisions more spontaneously and not be so concerned about keeping everything super clean and flat. I’m sort of neurotic, so it’s challenging. It works sometimes.
Where would we find you when you’re not at work?
When I’m not at work in my studio I’m at work at another artist’s studio, making other money to pay for my own studio. I can also sometimes be found at my house in Ridgewood, or at the grocery store. Sometimes I am on the subway going to or from a place while doing sudoku and listening to Mama by Genesis, on repeat.
Other times I am in Massachusetts picking through the best Salvation Army, or in my parents’ basement working on a project too messy for other places. Right now I have two bike frames at their house which I am in the process of stripping so I can paint them with all pastel gradients. Hopefully you will be able to find me there again soon, doing that.
Would you intern for yourself?
I probably would, but it would be a really silly internship. If I had an intern I would be really overly apologetic all the time about asking them to do stuff. And then I would be like “I’ll totally buy you lunch!” but then I would always just get really cheap tacos from the same place and force them to listen to Bros and Bronski Beat and Sparks all day.
Then my intern self would start showing up later and later and we would both be like “what is the point of this” and maybe just agree to hang out and be friends in real life, and then we would eventually come to realise that we are the same person.