NYC artist Laura Hughes is a jack of all trades, with a career that started in photography and shifted, most recently, into needlepoint (her blog Meanderings in Thread might certainly have been Alexander Girard-approved). Take a look at Laura's combination home/work space in the middle of Manhattan in this office tour.
Give us a glimpse into your background. When I first came to New York, I worked in fashion in a showroom on Seventh Avenue. I became very interested in photography, and through a stylist I met at the showroom, I got a job as a studio manager for a well-known celebrity photographer. After years of producing and casting jobs for this photographer, I went out on my own. During this time, I started taking my own photographs. I was shooting with Polaroid Land Cameras and was the recipient of many Polaroid Artist Grants. For 10 years, I showed my work in galleries and shot CD artwork and book covers. Wanting to try something different, I took up needlepoint. At first, I stitched homages to my favorite artists, then created my own designs using my photography, psychedelia, and pop culture as inspiration. This obsession with "thread" led to my blog, Meanderings in Thread.
Tell us about your home office. What do you like or dislike? What would you change if you could? My space is small -- 550 square feet -- and I live and work there. I decided to go minimal with lots of storage via built-ins. The space looks like a gallery with white walls and lots of natural light; not only is it my office, it's also a showcase for my art. I didn't want it to look too sterile because I live in it, yet I wanted it to look professional for clients. I am very happy with the balance.
I like my workspace since I re-designed it. When clients come to visit, they can't believe how efficient it is. But I wouldn't mind more windows since light is so important to what I do.
What year was your business established? I made it official in 1990. I knew I would have many pursuits, so named my studio Laura Hughes Productions. This was the umbrella for production, casting, and art. I got to the point where I wanted to take the leap and do my own thing. I figured if I did a few different things, I would never be bored or broke. There were times when I was busy with everything at once and that was very stressful. Four years ago, I decided to stop producing and casting and just focus on my creative endeavors.
Tell us about those endeavors -- what you're passionate about, what inspires you, and where you're going. Right now I am passionate about crochet. I'm new to it, and though it's popular in Japan and Eastern Europe, it doesn't have the following knitting has. I started Meanderings in Thread in 2008. It is an archive of artists and designers I'm inspired by who use thread in their work. I also love to travel, take photos, and discover new artists and designers
I am focusing on a few crochet projects; designing bespoke sweaters that are wool free (I'm allergic), and creating a home collection of coasters, place mats, and table runners (PDF patterns will be available for the home collection; I won't be manufacturing them at this point. The sweater collection will be available as PDF patterns, too.)
I will also be representing a truly unique property in Red Hook, Brooklyn, for film, TV, photo shoots, and events. The property takes up half a city block and has an in-ground pool, ivy-covered courtyards, cobblestone paths, large finished and unfinished rooms, and the best views of the city from the rooftop. This brings my past work full circle, and I am very excited to be in touch with my old contacts.
You have an Aeron Chair in your space. Why did you choose it? The Aeron is the piece of furniture I use the most. I have had the same chair for 12 years and it is still like new. I suffer from arthritis in my hips, and this chair has been a lifesaver as I am able to sit in it for hours. I would, and have, recommended it to anyone who is looking for an office chair -- the investment is worth it. I needed seating that would give me lumber support and that could adjust to my body. So many chairs might have lumber support, but are lacking in the adjustment details. I find my Aeron to have it all.
(Images: Laura Hughes)
Republished in partnership with Herman Miller Lifework. Originally posted by Amy Feezor.