Today Lily shares a look inside her amazing new home-studio…follow the girl lily qian

So Lily – how was it working out of your studio in Bushwick and how did this neighborhood influence your work?

Two years ago I was working on both illustration and photography. I needed space to work and to have a change of routine hoping to do better work. Together with my good photographer friends we found the perfect studio space in the old 3rd Ward building off Morgan Ave in Bushwick. It was the first and only space we saw, and it was pretty amazing for 4 people to agree on the spot just like that (we are all pretty chill and laid back). The week after we moved in the studio, I got a call to work on an illustration for RCA Records/Justin Timberlake’s music video “Not a Bad Thing”. The DP and production manager came to our studio to film me painting the poster. I took this as a sign of good luck! Between all of us, the pressure of having to pay for a studio space kicked our butts and naturally made us worked harder and better all around. My studio mate and photographer James Chororos and I are very close friends – we talk often about how much we have both grown in the past few years. We both had left our full time design jobs to start over as freelance artists, the studio made us feel more confident as professionals. We didn’t have to worry about storage space, last minute meetings and shoots. We participated in Bushwick open studios, got a studio puppy name “Ru”, and had an amazing holiday party that ended up being 8 hours! I loved the studio, it was my second home.

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We know you recently made the transition to work from home, how has that been going? As an artist in a very fast-paced city why do you think it’s important to have a single place to work?

I moved out of my beloved studio about a week ago. After the holidays I adopted Walnut, my kitty. I was debating the big question of moving out of my apt and thinking about new years goals. I love my studio mates but everyone is so busy with work these days, hardly anyone comes to the studio anymore. When ever we have a studio visitor, its fun but also very distracting. I miss playing with “Ru” our studio pup, but again very distracting! Often I have to make trips to the city for meeting, events and errands. With Walnut around I can’t work late nights in the studio anymore. One day in the studio I said to my self, “what am I doing here? I want to be home with Walnut!”  At first I was having a really hard time adjusting. But as soon as I got my studio desk and string lights set up (just like the studio), I am all good! I really enjoy and appreciate working from my home studio now – all while knowing this too may change one day.

Working in a fast-paced city has a lot of down falls also. When I had two spaces to manage, sometimes it was not efficient when I needed my printer, scanner, and other supplies in the art studio and didn’t have extra time to stop by. It’s much easier now to work late from home with everything I need here. Everyone needs everything done ASAP. It always gets done and works out, but you can get burn out pretty easy if you don’t make other areas in your life easier.

Lily’s Diary

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Sunday, February 14, 2016 – 7:00pm

What’s your favorite aspect of working in a studio and how do you find balance in seeking inspiration in your own space and making time to go and out about in the city?

My favorite aspect of working in a studio was the social interactions with my friends. I also loved having a bigger space to move around, make a mess and leave it like that for days. I also enjoyed taking breaks on the studio rooftop. I find inspiration in everyday life scenes, but yes it’s important to me to go out and see as much as possible when I am out in the city or traveling. On nice days if time allows I prefer to walk over taking the train to see and enjoy the city. I don’t like to over load on making plans on the weekend because it’s already hard to find time to rest living here. When time allows I like to check out new exhibitions, film releases, inspirational stores, parks, and explore areas of New York I have not been to.

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 Check back tomorrow as Lily proves that city life sometimes can be a walk in the park…

Photos by Bridget Badore for OVERT NYC