Kristin Hussey's Sunny Studio on the Bay
Profession: Painter & Calligrapher | Location: Traverse City, Michigan
Kristin Hussey founded paper co. Sable & Gray in January, 2014 in the hopes of sharing her love of painting, snail mail, and beautiful paper with others. She currently lives in her hometown of Traverse City, Michigan after spending 9 years on the East Coast attending design school and working as a designer. When she is not creating paper goods, Kristin enjoys spending time with her two little girls, hiking with her super-creative husband and sweet dog, singing, and sipping on lattes.
What inspires your work?
I am inspired by so many different things, but am definitely drawn to the innate beauty of nature. My mom is an avid gardener so I grew up surrounded by the most gorgeous flowers, so I love to try to capture that beauty with my watercolors. I also have a background in architecture so I love being inspired by the architectural design of the city or venue where my clients’ weddings will take place.
What are your favorite mediums and tools to use?
I work mostly with watercolors, and always use Dr PH Martin Hydrus watercolors, Arches fine watercolor papers, and Princeton sable hair brushes.
What is one word you would use to describe your studio space?
Peaceful. I have two young daughters so I treat my time in the studio as my quiet “me” time. It has tons of natural light, yummy-smelling candles, lots of coffee, and my favorite snack foods. When my surroundings are peaceful I’m able to be the most creative and efficient with my work.
What is your favorite thing about your studio space?
All of the windows! My desk has a really beautiful view of Suttons Bay, and I love seeing the clouds roll over the water. And that also gives my studio really nice natural light to paint in. My studio used to be in a basement so this is a whole new world for me!!
What are three items in your workspace that you can’t live without?
Endless coffee, and all favorite paints & paint brushes, and now that I have it, I can't live without natural light.
What does a day in the life look like for you? What are your daily habits?
As a small business owner I have to wear a lot of different hats so no two days look the same. I normally start off by answering emails, putting together my to do list, looking at my project calendar, and setting my goals for the day. Then I am either working on rough sketches of my designs, painting artwork, doing layouts of my designs on the computer, submitting orders to the printer, or assembling finished suites.
How do you practice self-care throughout the day?
I used to REALLY struggle with this and am really trying to be better, but I try to treat myself with the kindness I would want any boss to treat me. If I'm feeling stuck with a design I go for a walk, I've started bringing healthier snacks with me to fuel me throughout the day (my favorite are the amazing frozen smoothie kits that are chock-full of nutritious stuff and made locally by my friend Jules at The Purple Beet), and most importantly I set boundaries. I don't get emails on my phone any more, and I rarely ever bring work home with me. Once I leave the studio, I am done working for the day. I used to work all hours of the day and night and not only was that hard on me but it was hard on my family too. So I'm working on being more present in whatever moment I am in. So far, Ive really loved how much better I feel with a little bit more balance in my life.
How do you store your artwork?
I have a flat file that I got at Ikea and I love it! I also have drawers that I keep past projects that I use for client samples.