• UO Studio Visits: Leah Goren

    Take a visit to the Brooklyn studio of artist Leah Goren to learn more about what inspired her limited edition collab with UO.
    Photos by Kate Edwards

    You’re quite prolific! How many projects do you typically have going on at once? What have been the most exciting or inspiring projects recently on your plate?
    I'm always working on several projects at the same time, but this usually doesn't mean I'm actually drawing a lot of different things in a day, and some days I don't draw at all. The other half of every project is reviewing contracts, drawing sketches for ideas, talking through feedback, making edits, and sending invoices.

    As much as I love the illustration assignments I receive, I've recently been getting back into ceramics and I'm newly excited about that. I've been making a lot of vases and painting them with loose florals. I'll be showing and selling some of the pieces at the Rachel Comey store in Soho, NYC from Dec. 8 through the first week in January.           

    Can you walk us through a typical day in the life? 
    I work out of an office in my apartment, so I'm at work as soon as I wake up in the morning. Every day I make coffee, clean up a bit, and start by tackling emails and making a list of what needs to get done. As I mentioned, the to-do list can be so varied, and doesn't always involve drawing or fun stuff—yesterday I was up til 12 am just shipping prints! Since I am freelance, I am able to make my own schedule and can take breaks to go for a run, meet a friend for lunch, or spend time at the ceramics studio.              

    What's a personal mantra or favorite quotation? 
    I've been listening to Angel Olsen's album "Burn Your Fire for No Witness" on repeat recently and I've been thinking about that title and line a lot. To me it means I should make the work I want for myself and not for others. While I can't apply that to everything, particularly commercial work, it makes me want to work on projects that are meaningful to me, and a reflection of who I am.         

    What other ideas, color combinations, or art concepts have been inspiring you recently?
    I've been really into painting interiors from life over the past year. When I'm not working, I like to reset by painting my surroundings in my sketchbook. It feels really good to not think, and just observe what's around me, and my sketchbook has become a visual diary of a lot of the places I've been and people I've been with. 

    Aside from that, I always love warming up by painting a floral. Drawing flowers feels so loose and free! I don't think too much about these drawings as I'm doing them, and I'm often surprised by the movement, shapes, and colors that result. I can refer back to this as inspiration for other pieces. 

    Who are some of your favorite artists? Is there anyone newly on your radar we should know about? 
    My favorite artists are my illustration friends! Julia Rothman, Rachael Cole, Kaye Blegvad, and Chelsey Pettyjohn are all wonderful. I also always find myself returning to the work of artists like Niki de Saint Phalle, Sonia Delaunay, Matisse, and Richard Diebenkorn for inspiration. Today there's so much amazing work out there it's hard to keep up, but a few of my new favorite follows on Instagram are Karl-Joel Lrsn, Rebecca Clarke, and Rose Eken. 

    What’s next for you? 
    I have no idea, which is both the exciting and terrifying part! I would love to do another illustrated book, and I'm always interested in designing products I haven't had a chance to do yet—maybe wallpaper, home textiles, or a fashion collab!    

    Shop Leah's work at UO