This month we were thrilled to collaborate with a favorite West Coast artist and mother to sweet baby Finn, Katie Gong. The project evolved (because of a perfectly timed stroke of inspiration from Katie) into an epic beach installation captured by our lovely friend Emily Scott. We can’t wait for you to see the results and learn more about Katie’s process, influences, and thoughts on art and motherhood.
Your work makes us conscious of the physical both because of the scale to the body and the obviously heroic manipulation within your process of your chosen material. Your work is, at the same time, very beautiful and serene. We think of Nakashima and also of the wildness of nature. Can you tell us what inspires you and how you chose wood as your medium?
My work is about inspiring innovation. It suggests that the impossible is possible. It is a singular frozen moment in time where something impossible can be. Yes nakisima is a great inspiration of mine as well as Ruth Asawa and Brancusi.
You are a parent now! (Congrats!) What is that juggle like for you and has it informed your work at all?
It is hard. It is the greatest juggle of all. I am fortunate that my husband’s cafe is close (across the street from my studio) so that we can trade off and try to do it ourselves for now.
Do you work with a staff in your studio? If so what are the rewards and challenges? Asking for a friend with a growing business.... :)
I have two people who work for me. I have a full time employee, Gianni who fabricates for me. I also employee a fellow mother, Jocelyn to do some of my admin. They both are a godsend. Worth its money in gold. It allows me to focus on creating. You have to be even more focused as a mother as you have less time of your own.
You sell your work directly to people and do gallery shows but also take on bigger projects like the installations for West Coast Craft. How do you choose which projects to say yes to?
I just go with my gut. If it feels right and I think I can handle it I say yes. Sometimes it gets me into trouble but for the most part it’s been good. I’m a jump in kinda gal.
Anything else you’d like to share with our community?
For those moms out there, keep doing your thing. That’s what I keep telling myself. We owe it to ourselves to do it all. It’s grueling and at times so hard but man what else are we gonna do. Keep grinding.