Tuesday, March 24, 2009

George & Jacqueline

I've always wanted to feature artist couples so when George and Jacqueline agreed to do "The Other Half" I was over the moon! I hope you enjoy The Other Half's first double feature...

>> Who: George & Jacqueline of Screech Owl Design

When I met Jacqueline...
We’ve known each other for 13 years. We met at an old apartment I used to live in on Spring street in little Italy. A mutual friend introduced us.

When I met George...
We met 13 years ago in SoHo. His eighth grade girlfriend and I were on our way to New Orleans for Marti Gras. She bumped into him on the street and somehow we slept on his floor that night. I must say that I was absolutely smitten with him the moment I met him.

>> click here to continue reading about George & Jacqueline

I love my mechanical pencils
I walk one of my cats on a leash.
I can watch a slow lorus climb a tree for hours.
I love the smell of fresh cut grass.
I like to eat my bagels frozen.

It’s got the same color scheme as TC’s helicopter on Magnum PI.
The downhaul is a bootlace and two carabiners.
The port rudder has a broken part in it, and it flips up out of the water at high speed, causing incredibly awkward and somewhat dangerous manuevers.
There seems to be a bat making his home in the upper part of the mast.
The plan to sail it from Michigan to Rhode Island via Nova Scotia is still under serious consideration.

1. What would you say are the three most important things that you do to support your other half in his/her creative endeavors?

The absolute number one thing that I do for Jacqueline is encourage her. Working creatively is a challenge because a fair amount of the time you are venturing into areas where there isn’t much of a precedent. You’re making it up as you go along - so there is always a little bit of doubt, which a strong partner can help you to ignore. The second most important thing is space - no one can work effectively with people hanging around all the time putting in their two cents. The third must be trust - Even when Jacqueline has an idea that I totally don’t get, I know that somehow it must be awesome, because she is!

Recognizing that George is an individual with his own ideas, beliefs and desires is key. Respecting him as an individual and honoring that he needs to pave his own path allows him to grow. I try to encourage and challenge him to stick with things, to see things through. I think that being dedicated is a useful formula in being able to experience personal reward and a sense of accomplishment. I celebrate him and his vision whenever I can. I try to meet him where he is at.

2. Living with someone who works long and irregular hours can be tough... from missed dinners to not being able to do simple things like relaxing or watching your favorite shows together as often as you'd like... How do you stop the craziness from impacting your relationship? Can you please offer some survival tips for those in similar situations?

Again - and I think this is probably key to most strong and happy relationships - it’s space. Before either of us tried to share this life together, we were out there doing our thing and being ourselves, we try to make room for this. Every now and then the partnership has to cede precedent and make room for the individual - it’s who we are.

Creating a routine somewhere in our hectic schedule roots us. We love Sundays and always make that day our day for exploration. Expressing gratitude for one another has always been helpful in keeping our bond strong. Of course trust and faith are paramount in that when it does get busy and we do get side tracked that we know we are on the same page and will eventually find each other again. Setting time aside, slowing down, making it a priority to not neglect each other is really important for us.

3. What was the strangest thing you've done to support your other half in what she/he does?

Before I was replaced by a flatbed scanner, I did a fair amount of woodgraining in Jacqueline’s drawings. That was something I enjoyed - it gave me somewhat of a proprietary feeling about the pictures!

A few years back, I sent out applications in George’s name to try and create opportunities for him.

4. What is the easiest and hardest thing about being the other half?

The hardest thing is probably that (like most artists) I’m a crusty, stubborn, mulish knothead that has a hard time doing things unless I’m doing them my way - I’ve been working on making it seem like I'm cooperating though!

The easiest thing about being George’s other half is that he can do anything and well!!! I am constantly amazed by his talent and the fact that he built our home with his bare hands. He is truly gifted. The hardest thing for George is probably that he has grand ideas and not enough studio space to have his visions fully expressed.

5. Please choose one of your personal favorite projects that your other half has been involved in and briefly explain why it is your favorite.

Recently we’ve been collaborating on a series of 10 shadow boxes as part of a project here in NYC. The best part of all has been that the project has really worked towards both of our strengths, and allowed us to stretch ourselves imaginatively. They are arranged in an order that implies a narrative, and each box employs all of our varying skills - It’s been a really happy, really special time for us working on this project together!

George and I are currently collaborating on ten shadow boxes for an amazing new space in Tribeca. It has been so much fun working together and making these little environments come alive. We have managed to really accept each others input and merge our visions. Typically we are both stubborn, so I am impressed with the camaraderie we displayed and the way we communicated throughout the project. I am not only proud of the result of our hard work, but the way we engaged with each other.

Thanks George and Jacqueline!!


Melissa de la Fuente said...

This is so great! I have a soft spot in my heart for them now, knowing that George has a hobie cat and loves it. We had one growing up in Florida and I adored it. Many a fantastic day spent flying out to sea on her. Thanks for this, off to check out what is new in their awesome shop!

KittsKrafts said...

I enjoyed your post. My hubby and I are still in the process of switching the location of our hobby/craft/office room so we can have more room and organization. Being creative together even though our projects are individual is what makes us happy.

Cindy said...

you two are such a great example of a creative couple working well together. giving space is not always so easy because you have to know when to back off vs. when to give a hug. sounds like you've got your timing just right. love your work and what j did in no. 3!