We'll never tire of the opportunity to get a sneak peek inside the spaces where creatives live and work. Home and studio tours are an endlessly fascinating way to gain insight into how others navigate creative entrepreneurship and the endlessly murky work-life balance. And of course, the potential of absorbing some key takeaways into our own practices only contributes to the appeal.
The latest book in the genre, published today by Chronicle Books, comes from Poketo co-founders Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung, in partnership with design writer Gregory Han. Creative Spaces turns the spotlight on creatives who have collaborated with Poketo over the years—designers, artists, authors, chefs, and more.
Focusing on people they already have a close relationship with allowed Vadakan and Myung to conduct a series of highly personal interviews that laid the foundation for an earnest exploration of creativity. "It's an ebullient celebration of inspiring personal spaces aesthetically, but also one where there's an underlying conversation about the challenges that emerge while trying to balance our personal and professional lives," Han told us in a recent interview.
With a slight predilection for LA-based creatives—the city where Poketo is based—the book features Brendan Ravenhill, Lily & Hopie Stockman of Block Shop Textiles, Tina Roth Eisenberg, Terri Chiao & Adam Frezza of Chiaozza, and Jean Lee & Dylan Davis of Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, to name only a few.
The 272-page book includes 258 photographs taken by Ye Rin Mokin in an off-the-cuff style—there were no stylists or special lighting involved, the idea was to capture the spaces exactly as they are lived in, not as they would be prepared for the pages of a glossy magazine. "We were very fortunate to have Ye Rin Mok shoot this book," Han says. "Her eye tends to discover the quiet, intimate, and often overlooked details that personalize a space."
"At the heart of the book was the belief we could reveal the subtleties of the creative mind in observation of the spaces where their creativity is given the opportunity to experiment, fail, and be privately celebrated—the best songs sung are often in the car or shower when we're alone, our finest dancing when we believe no-one is looking," Han continues. "Poketo has always been about promoting a place where people can be themselves, and then share those aspects of ourselves. This book captures that ideal."
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The result is a refreshingly transparent take on the ups and downs of creative life, and a portrait of the authors as much as of the subjects. In parallel to the interviews, Vadakan and Myung share their own journey as a couple who founded a business.
"Because the book comes from such a personal perspective about creativity—one that embraces every single step forward, alongside every two steps back—we're hoping the reader comes away with an understanding that creativity isn't a singular destination," Han says. "It's really a messy map, an everyday journey pushed forward by the numerous choices we make consciously and sometimes unconsciously. Just as we reorganize, redecorate, and rethink our spaces to create, so do we reshape ourselves."