3 Questions with Adrienne Antonson
Museum of Contemporary Craft Artist-in-Residence Adrienne Antonson on fashion, work ethic, and embracing flux.
3 QUESTIONS is a series of brief, three-question interviews with PNCA’s visiting artists and lecturers. Each year, PNCA attracts innovative, thoughtful, and creative makers and thinkers who share our belief in the transformative power of creativity. In three short answers to three short questions, these artists offer perspectives on career, motivation, and transformation. When available, we include links to audio recordings, transcripts, slideshows, or video.
Museum of Contemporary Craft welcomes Adrienne Antonson to the Fashion Safehouse Artist Residency in conjunction with its latest exhibition Fashioning Cascadia: The Social Life of the Garment.
“You must be resilient, focused, and self-motivated.”
What advice would you offer current students about to embark on a career in the arts?
To succeed as a working artist, you must be resilient, focused, and self-motivated. I like to set deadlines and I work hard to meet them. Sometimes it’s a difficult thing to do, especially when you’re the boss, but it’s essential to work like just like you would at any other job. If you’re like me and didn’t get a basic business class while in school, read as many books possible. But most important, celebrate the good things! At STATE we toast all major (and even minor) moments. It’s good for morale and keeps us motivated.
How do you maintain your creative practice? What keeps you engaged and motivated?
I’m lucky as I can bounce between projects and mediums, so that keeps my process varied and interesting. From making clothing, styling a photo shoot, editing a magazine, or making sculpture, my weeks are pretty diverse. If I’m ever stuck in a rut, I try to do something outside of my comfort zone. Lately I’ve been teaching myself how to make baskets from scraps of paper. When my hands are busy, my brain can reset.
How do the things you create reflect your growth as a designer and artist?
I try to make pieces that are simple and special. As my practice develops, many of the same tenets hold true: a focus on materiality and intricate techniques. As my clothing design evolves, I find myself more interested in making quality garments that can be at home in many different wardrobes. I hope to make pieces that our customers will love for many years, no matter the fashion trends. My sculptural work is always in flux as I experiment with new techniques and material interests.
Adrienne Antonson is a mixed-media sculptor and designer. After living and working on an alpaca farm in the Pacific Northwest, she began incorporating the use of natural fibers in her sculpture as well as her apparel designs. Her clothing label, STATE, is based in Brooklyn, New York and uses local manufacturing and sustainable materials. She is also the Marketing + Retail Manager at the Textile Arts Center, Brooklyn.
During her two-week residency in Museum of Contemporary Craft’s Fashion Safehouse, Antonson will be creating an entire wardrobe of garments using upcycled materials only in an exercise in self-sufficiency and creativity under very specific constraints.