We spoke with artist Aggie Pavlidis about her creative process and the unique work environment she's developed to fuel her inspiration. Her exhibit "Dream Lines" is currently on display at The Yard: Williamsburg. In January, we celebrated the collection with an art opening for members and the surrounding community, and we were thrilled to have Aggie there for the special night!
How does your artistic process, and your completed works, help you understand the world around you?
I think of my artistic process as analogous to the way I live and move through the world. It allows me to explore and push my boundaries as well as the feelings that those are based around in a controlled context. Like a laboratory, but I’m studying myself, which is a little ridiculous.
For example, I hate change. (It’s actually more that I hate the moments leading up to change, but afterwards, when the change becomes normal, I can relax and ease into it.) So I challenge myself to work in new processes or with new mediums where I know I will become frustrated and irritable. I’ll try to avoid the project that I gave myself, that’s making me feel that way, but then I do it. The more I do it, the easier it gets, and the more I notice that during those moments of imposed distress, my projections of the world and the people around me change. My studio ends up being a place where I put myself through a bunch of experiments to see if I can come out a better person.
You’ve worked with a variety of mediums in the past. Do you have a favorite?
I really love ink. It’s so fluid and vibrant. It’s such a freeing medium. I spend so much time managing my life and surroundings that it feels nice to have something that is resistant and permanent. I can’t erase the mark, I have to accept it. I know that there is an element of control involved. I’m choosing the color and making the marks, but once the ink hits the paper it has a life of its own that I have no part in. That’s the part I’m attracted to.
How did you design your creative workspace to lend itself to your projects?
I had my friend build a large wooden table that gives me a big flat surface to work on. This helps me work larger and on multiple drawings at once. It was a game changer, and it's beautiful!
Since the table is so tall, it also gives me extra storage space underneath. I use standing desks, which work well for me. I tend to work for extended blocks of time, and being able to stand and move around makes that easier to do.
I like to keep plants around, too, not just for aesthetic value - they keep me honest. I have a couple of other day jobs, and sometimes getting to the studio can be tough. I’m often tired after work, but I have plants I have to take care of every week or else they’ll die. They help keep me consistent.
We were thrilled to have you at the gallery opening in January. How do you think the "Dream Lines" exhibit has influenced the work environment here at The Yard?
I hope positively! Having art around is great because it’s a map of creative energy. I think for that reason it’s pretty crucial to have it in an environment where people are trying to build new businesses that demand both energy and creativity. Art supports creation, because that’s what it is. In the very least I hope it gave people something to stare at while working through ideas.
A big THANK YOU to The Yard for supporting the arts and giving me a place to show my work!
Extra special thanks to Aggie for sharing her beautiful work with our community and giving us a peek at her creative process!