City Local : New York .01

Putting a unique spin on our City Local column, NY designer Chris Pinter's monthly narratives hold a very personal spot in his heart.

Inspired, drained, intrigued, angry, excited, scared. Emotion is often tied to a physical location. Here Chris is exploring and charting this territory making a truly one-of-a-kind geographical map of New York. 

Each month you can check in not only for some out of the ordinary locations to explore but you'll also be invited to share his personal experiences with each one. A thought, an inspiration, an awkward moment, giving a glimpse to someone else's way of thinking, seeing and experiencing. 

After all, we're all just sharing our time here together, right?

NY Local is an ongoing collaboration with Chris Pinter as a part of City Local, an 1137 original column that features art and design, people, places and thoughts from different cities across the country as told by local creatives.  

Emily Proud : Interview & Studio Tour

Emily proud 1.jpg


Emily Proud is an artist with an unwavering penchant for watercolor painting. Proud is a San Francisco native with an inclination towards the natural life of California and the coast, which is apparent in her bright and vivacious color schemes. I visited Emily in her studio and asked her about her day to-day life as an artist and a bit about her process with watercolors.

Read the full interview below.:

Emily proud 2.jpg

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do? 

I’m an artist. These days I paint exclusively in watercolor and my work is abstract and influenced by the California landscape and culture.

Can you talk about your process as a designer/artist?

Sometimes I work in my sketchbook outside in the places that inspire my paintings. From these quick, unselfconscious watercolors, that are usually more realistic than the paintings I share publicly, I take pieces I think are interesting and develop them further. I am always thinking about ways to make shorthand for things via painting. I also make a lot of color studies and color charts to find just the right combinations to capture the mood I’m going for. Sometimes when I’m in a rut I give myself “homework” by making series of quick, small paintings where I try not to think about things too much in order to discover a new approach.

My technique often involves a lot of layering and having to wait for paint to dry, so I may have more than one painting going at a time. However, I am often in situations where even if I have five paintings in progress, I’m spending a lot of time waiting and having to be patient. When I mess up I can’t paint over it like I could in acrylic or oil, so each step I am trying to be very careful, but at the same time I try not to be too careful. I could use tape for some of the lines in my work but I choose not to because I like the little imperfections that come along with doing something by hand. 

How does the community shape your practice, vice versa? 

My (professional) community is very much online via social media. However, there are a lot of people I’ve met online who have become my real life friends. The internet has made it very possible for me to connect with my role models and find people with similar career paths to confide in. So I would have to say that my practice has been able to grow and evolve faster than it might have otherwise due to all the information and resources out there.

What/Who is inspiring you lately? 

I tend to get inspired when I get out of the city. I really love Sonoma and try to go there as much as possible. I stayed in Sea Ranch for the first time last November and I cannot stop thinking about the mood and the colors there. I’m also inspired by whatever movies or books I’ve seen or read recently, and my favorite artists these days include Ellsworth Kelly, Helen Frankenthaler, and Georgia O’Keeffe (her abstract watercolors). 

What are some of your favorite places/spaces in SF? 

Ah, this is a really hard question for me to answer. I grew up in the Inner Richmond but now I live in the Mission so there are so many things. My favorite bookstore is Green Apple, which is a couple blocks from my childhood home. My favorite lookouts are Lands End, the de Young tower, Coit Tower and Bernal Hill. The Rotunda is the best place in San Francisco to feel fancy and Shotwells is my favorite bar. I could write a novel but that’s all for now. 


Words and Photos // Loren Crosier 

Oakland/SF Local is an ongoing collaboration with LoCro Studio as a part of City Local, an 1137 original column that features art and design savvy people, places and thoughts from different cities across the country as told by even savvier local contributors. 

Lindsay Preston Zappas : Interview


The surreal environments created in Lindsay Preston Zappas photographs are rich with layers of heavy textures and rich contrasts capturing bodily limbs and staged interventions. Lindsay’s sculptural images go through many iterations to meet their final destination: still lifes are created and staged, performed and documented, using photography as the last stage in the process to collapse, flatten, expand, and disseminate the once performative work. Individuals live within constructed sets performing everyday tasks: dressing, cleaning, arranging, in an ordered environment nodding to domestic spaces of privacy and security. Often masked behind cloth, fruit, or concealed within a box, subjects lack an identifiable face, which could lead to a feeling of loneliness or isolation. However, what draws me into the world of Lindsay’s images is the seeming celebration of the individual looking to receive a gaze from a passersby eye, but in an intimate environment that heightens the creative imagination.

I was first introduced to Lindsay when I received a cold email (today’s equivalent of a cold call) about publishing a magazine, and I quickly realized I had questions about hers as well. In addition to having a studio practice, Lindsay is also the co-founder of Carets and Sticks, an online magazine platform that invites writers to share local reviews. Over beers and Manhattans at Tony’s Saloon in Los Angeles’ Arts District, the two of us bonded over the pleasure and sometimes pain of our writing practices, running a magazine, and the process involved in bringing her photographic sculptures into being. After a few weeks of bantering back and forth over email, we teased out a few questions capturing Lindsay’s practice as an artist and writer living in Los Angeles.

What do you find most exciting about LA?

I’ve never lived in a quote “big city.” I guess by big I mean that there’s always something to do: always an art show to see, or a taco to eat. LA’s proximity to nature is also really exciting. I live downtown (fairly treeless), but I can drive 30 minutes and be in the middle of a mountain range. Oh, and my neighborhood bartender finally knows my name.

What is your favorite alternative space in LA and why?

Not really sure what alternative space means these days. I find backyards, and friends BBQs pretty inspiring.

Your photos seem to have a sculptural element to them, including staged props with a certain flatness to the image. How do you see yourself using the photographic medium?

Photography becomes a step in my process. I use it to flatten, and compress imagery. There’s also this thing with photography that’s more “truthful” than other mediums. Of course photoshop is widespread these days, but when people look at a photo, they generally assume that it’s a still taken from an event that happened. The medium is steeped in a history of documentation, so capitalizing on that history, my photographs become scenarios that call back to time and space in a different way than an abstract drawing does, for example. So, then to bring the photos back into a situation with drawings and sculptures becomes a really rich space for me.

What art movements have inspired your photographs?

It turns out that a lot of movements that have inspired my work are ones that came to me at the outset of my interest in art: Flemish still life paintings, Tableux Vivant, Tromp L’oeil and Pop Art. As much as I have shifted and squirmed my way into different ideologies and ways of making, my first art heros are branded into my psyche. I graduated undergrad with a degree in graphic design, and some of those graphic sensibilities and graphic movements I studied still work their way in. I’ve learned to accept my graphic design roots, and play up certain aesthetic aspects of the work.

What do you enjoy photographing and why?

I love using photography in weird ways – circling it back into drawings or sculptures. The way photographs flatten the real world is the most exciting to me – color, composition, and form become clearer to me in the 2D. 

Where do you draw creative inspiration? i.e. films, paintings, shows, places, etc?

I get jazzed on talking to other people about their work–working alongside other artists inspires me. The outdoors are also a really soul rejuvenating thing for me. Lately, the desert, and the sequoias are top of my list. I think it’s important to travel, and place your body in new environments and visual spaces.  

You also run Carets and Sticks, an online publication. How has this inspired, or pushed against, your creative practice?

I think of my writing practice as one that is parallel to my art making. They haven't really crossed over in a clear way that I can verbalize, although I do think that the practice of looking at visual objects, and transcribing language about them is a way to keep my brain sharp and teach me discipline that carries over into making. The project has also been really vital to me in my own entrance into the art world. It’s allowed me to network with people, and use the blog as a stepping stone into larger discussions and communities. Being an artist is kind of insane, and community is vital to our survival (both mentally and economically). I place a huge value on my network of friends and colleagues, and C&S has helped facilitated much of that for me.

Are there any artists you're r excited about right now? Especially anyone LA based?

Going to art shows every weekend is still pretty novel to me – I think more than artists, good shows have stuck out. Mark Hagen at China Art Objects, Jibade-Khalil Huffman at Samuel Freeman, and Donna Huanca at LTD have been some of my LA faves so far. I get most excited about work when I feel like there would be a lot to write about it.  

What do you think the future of art writing and independent publishing is?

Sheeh. If I only knew. I would love to see more small operations get underway, but funding is a big battle. With the pervasiveness of online news sources, the landscape has changed, and I don’t believe that crowd funding (i.e. Kickstarter) is sustainable enough to really pay any of the writers / editors involved. For me, it’s been a labor of love so far–I hope by the time all the young writers are sick of writing for free, something changes to support the field.

+Words by Julie Niemi

Image List

+ Snake and Fish 1Paint on wood, Digital Photograph, 42 X 48", 2014

+ Fruit Bowl, Paint and Screen Print on Plywood, Zip Ties, Framed Digital Prints, Performers, Dimensions Vary, 2013

+ Cactus Series (Bust and Crouch), Digital Print, Fall 2012

A Rose is A Rose is a Rose, Digital Print, 34X64, Fall 2012

+ Grass on Grass, Digital Print, Fall 2012

LA Local is an ongoing collaboration with Julie Niemi co-founder of VIA Publication as a part of City Local, an 1137 original column that features art and design savvy people, places and thoughts from different cities across the country as told by even savvier local contributors. 

Kate Ellen : Interview & Studio Tour



Old Oakland is a thriving community of independent retailers, small businesses, and fun dining experiences located in the historic district of downtown Oakland. One fixture to this community, also known as "popuphood," is Crown Nine. Kate Ellen is the owner and master-mind of  Crown Nine, a jewelry boutique and showroom that boasts a handful of skillfully crafted jewelry lines from local Oakland designers and beyond.

Kate Ellen not only curates the showroom and gallery she also runs her own jewelry line, Kate Ellen Metals, and can often be found making one-of-a-kind metal pieces in her work studio conveniently located upstairs overlooking the showroom. If there is someone that stands as a symbol of a maker/designer, longtime resident, and active member of the Oakland community, it is Kate Ellen. I got a chance to talk to Kate Ellen about her business, space, and love for Oakland.

Can you tell us a little bit about your business and what you do? 

I'm a jewelry designer and retail boutique owner.  I started my jewelry line about five years ago, and opened my flagship store Crown Nine about two and a half years ago, our mission is to connect people to 'Real Beautiful Things Made by Real People'.  I personally create limited edition works in silver and gold under my eponymous line Kate Ellen Metals at Crown Nine, my studio is lofted above the showroom floor.  I design things that have a very hand-hewn look with raw textures and loose lines that tend toward asymmetry.  I also design custom wedding and engagement jewelry which is definitely my favorite part of my job. 

At Crown Nine I show the work of over 25 independent jewelry artists--about half of who are local.  The style, medium, and materials range, but each artist I select is grounded in high quality craftsmanship paired with a truly unique voice.  We also carry artworks in ceramic, glass, leather, as well as rare plants and apothecary.  

Can you talk about your process as a jewelry designer/maker? 

I tend to play.  Play is very important because there is no expectation during play, the point it to be in the moment and explore ideas.  I have discovered what works for me is to get a general sense of what I want to make by running through some rough sketches, purchasing the right kind of raw materials, and then blocking out full days in a row to crank up my stereo and just play around.  I start with drafts, lots of designs, and then after a bulk of work is produced I take my editors eye and start selecting yeses and nos.  Some of my most successful designs were accidents or afterthoughts.  It's really important to me that a design feels pleasurable in a tactile sense on the body, so I usually wear all my work for a while before releasing it, just to really make sure it flows with clothing, hair, movement, and just feels and sounds luxurious while on the wearer's body.

For my latest collection, Harena, I created a lot of wax models in different shapes, many of them inspired by hiking trips to The Grand Canyon, Zion, and Yosemite.  I then sandcasted these models in my studio to give them a dug up out of the earth texture.  Sandcasting is one of the most ancient ways of casting and I love doing it, it feels like being included in the arc of history.  From there, I created rubber molds and each piece is lost wax cast.  I also played with setting the deep, penetrating blacks of spinel and onyx, and star setting diamonds.  

How does the community shape your practice, vice versa? 

The Bay Area has been a dreamy place to start this company-- primarily because there are so many customers who just 'get it' and understand why it's important to choose things made by real people, and who value the same things I do in regards to ethically and sustainable sourcing materials.  I do not have to spend a lot of time educating clients on the benefits of shopping local, supporting artists, or paying a premium for items that protect the environment.  

I also have so much support from the other jewelers in this community-- it really feels like an open door network of incredible people.  Anytime I need a resource or have a questions, someone in my circle happily offers help.  I likewise get gratification from supporting my peers and helping people who want to get into the industry.  I really don't believe in 'competitiveness' in the traditional sort of way, I prefer to think of other designers as teammates on my same team, people who challenge me to grow and innovate and be my best self.  I really think there is enough room for all of us to be great.

What/Who is inspiring you lately? 

I've been consulting on some interior design jobs recently, so I've been looking a lot of art.  I am really into Katherine Rutter, Megan Donegan, Mecedes Dorame, Nancy Christensen, Jonathan Barcan, and a bunch of the artists as Creative Growth like Franna Lusson, Donald Mitchell, and Dan Miller.  I also have been listening to a lot of music produced by T-Bone Burnett-- I recently discovered that he has produced many of my favorite albums and movie soundtracks.  

What are some of your favorite places/spaces in Oakland? 

I have so many!  

Tacos: Cosecha

Burger: Chop Bar

Cocktails: Dogwood, 355, Fauna, Cafe Von Cleef

Dive: The Avenue

Pizza: Boot and Shoe

Patio Seating: Forge

Vegetarian: Encuentro

Bakery: Sweet Adeline

Coffee: Blue Bottle and Caffe 817

Beer: Heart and Dagger

Wine: Periscope Cellars and Ordinaire

Trivia Night: Rosamunde

Hike: Joaquin Miller East Ridge Trail

Live Music: New Parish


+ Words and Photos by Loren Crosier 

Crown Nine Kate Ellen Metals

Oakland/SF Local is an ongoing collaboration with LoCro Studio as a part of City Local, an 1137 original column that features art and design savvy people, places and thoughts from different cities across the country as told by even savvier local contributors.