Workspace Series #1 – Emily Collins

Emily Collins is a current IMA student and works full time at an animation studio that she co-founded in Carroll Gardens area of Brooklyn.

1) How often do you generally work in the space during the week and about what time do you arrive?

In the summer, I am here 5 days a week. When IMA classes begin, I work in the studio 4 days a week from 9:30am-6:30pm. It’s a full time thing. The studio is for/run by my company Mighty Oak.

2) What are the best aspects of working there? And what are the downsides?

The best aspects of working there are that I know it is a designated creative space for making and thinking as opposed to shooting animation in my living room and doing all my creative/professional work on my kitchen table (which I still do sometimes). Michaela and Jess are also wonderful, talented humans to be in daily collaboration with. Michaela is an amazing maker and animator, and Jess has a great sense of storytelling as well as how to run a business. I love that my partners and I have been able to carve out this space. The downside is that sometimes I have to look out the back window of the studio and see the neighbors playing in their pool on a hot summer day. We don’t have a pool.

3) Brief history of the genesis of the space and how its also a business and collaborative space for you

The space is 2 floors above Jess’s apartment. We climbed the fire escape last summer when we were looking to expand out of my tiny Bushwick studio space. It hadn’t been lived in for over 7 years so we spoke to the landlord and worked out a deal to use it as our studio space. We did a ton of painting, floor ripping and replacing and cleaning. In the space, we focus on doing projects for clients as well as developing our own original work.

4) What do you listen to in the space while you work?_N4A0141

I love listening to old playlists from DJ Monica who was on WFMU for years. All of her playlists are archived on their site. Linked here!

5) favorite tool/object in the space?

My favorite tool is definitely the multi-plane. My husband Ellis built it a couple of years ago. It’s a series of stacked pieces of glass that are slightly spaced apart. It’s basically like analog photoshop (but cooler than photoshop). It allows 2-dimensional worlds to appear more 3-dimensional. The camera is mounted above pointing down at the shot. Some of my favorite animators used it such as Yuri Norstein and Evelyn Lambart.

6) Do you take breaks, if so – how – food, naps, stare at the wall?

Haha. I do take breaks, but they’re not routine. I sometimes walk around the block or to the corner bakery and spend too much money on a cookie. I pet Michaela’s dog, Louise. I also sometimes sing songs to the BQE from the window, since it’s right there if Michaela or Jess is there and I feel like folks could use a little pep.. (Not when I’m alone)

7) something near the space that is noteworthy – good or situate it in space.

Since we’re right next to Red Hook & the water on the top floor of the building, we get to see some incredible sunsets. We’re also right above the BQE which has it’s horrible and beautiful moments.

8) Something you’re working on right now?

Currently, I’m working on a Ted-ed video. I can say that there are lots of insects involved. Most of it is being made from recycled and hand-made paper. It’s a fun one.

9) Any other tips for staying focused and using the space well?

For staying focused, I drink lots of tea, try to clean my desk off everyday so it’s ready for work the next day, and use my little task box in gmail for daily task check-off (aside from bigger project management software that we use).

10) And if you have a direct link to a video you’d like to showcase…cool!

Here’s a link to some of the original projects we’re working on at the studio!