Category: This Space of Mine — Published:

Inspired by our current season of exhibitions, we’ve been visiting the studios of artists, designers, choreographers and more to shed light on the environments that inspire creative work. 

Here we speak with fashion designer Rejina Pyo who built her brand upon a philosophy of the everyday. From the mundane to the extraordinary, her aim is to inspire and create pieces for women all over the world.

Go behind-the-scenes with Rejina and her team who generously welcomed us into her studio just before London Fashion Week! Then book your tickets for A Century of the Artist’s Studio: 1920-2020, offering a glimpse into more than 80 workspaces from Andy Warhol to Mequitta Ahuja

If you’re feeling inspired, tag us in photos of your own creative environment using #ThisSpaceOfMine.

Where do you create/make?  

I create and make wherever I can, really. I love that kind of limitlessness, like connecting dots in the middle of the night. That’s why I keep a notebook beside my pillow, so I can just scribble in the dark. Or whenever I go on holiday, I will scribble on the hotel paper. Usually in my actual studio space, I work with my team on various fashion projects, but then I will do pottery or painting in my garden shed. 

I also really love to have some kind of natural elements around me [when I work]. I think it’s really nice to have that kind of connection because you could be so in your own zone and then forget where you are in relation to the real world. It’s helpful to have a little reminder that there is a bigger word out there. 

How has your studio/creative space evolved over time?

My ‘studio’ has moved around with me because I’ve spent a lot of time working from home. I’ve worked in my bedroom, living room, garage, everywhere

While I used to have a studio in East London – it was a kind of semi-open shared desk space with a partition – I’m so glad to have found this current space because I’m able to have a team of people working with me. I love people and thrive off of the interaction and brainstorming and talking. I sometimes hate to do things on my own, but every now and then I’ll definitely need some time on my own, where I just isolate myself from everything. I’ll turn my phone off and just go deep down [within myself] where I can think of things freely. I also have two children, so it’s very hard to find that time. It’s all about finding a balance.  

What unusual environments have you used as a studio?

The most unusual space I’ve worked in was probably a garage that had no insulation and no heating. It was the Christmas and I was eight months pregnant at the time. And my in-laws were visiting, so the house was very busy. We were having fun, but then I also had a deadline and had to hide myself away, just working in a wobbly chair with a blanket and a tiny light bulb overhead. That’s an experience that I’ll always remember, but I wouldn’t like to do it again. It was very cold!  

What are the elements you require in a space to access your imagination? 

I need quiet time. There are lots of distractions in my life and it’s sometimes not easy to tap into that creative wavelength. So I prefer to be really quiet. And then I always have the option to play music and things like that. 

I also need to have natural light wherever I am. I don’t think I can work in a basement, for example. I really need a natural light source because so much of what I do is with colours. Having a window in a space is also your literal connection with the outside world. When I’m working and glimpse out the window, it reminds me of the places I’ve been and the people I’ve met. 

What one object from your studio would you not be able to live without?

I’m quite adaptable. If I don’t have something, I’ll make it work with something else, and that’s why I think I can work in lots of different places. If I don’t have a pencil, for example, I will draw with my eyeliner. That’s always been my approach to things.

Recently I’ve also been writing in a journal called Morning Pages. When you wake up, it prompts you to just write anything. It has been really helping me to download what’s going on in my head. Sometimes work and life can be so overwhelming and everything is just swimming around your head and you don’t know where to start. But when you actually write it out, then it’s it’s like talking to your friend without actually talking. You realise, ‘oh, I actually can do these things today and these things tomorrow’. I think a lot of creative people can be quite emotional and get overwhelmed by massive projects, so this method has been helping me a lot. 

#ThisSpaceOfMine is inspired by A Century of the Artist’s Studio: 1920-2020, on view until 5 June 2022. From kitchens, to classrooms and trusty nightstand sketchbooks, inspiration can and does strike anywhere. And while rising costs are making provisions for artists more and more difficult to come by, we’re here to make a case for creative space of all shapes and sizes. Click here to access a list of resources and local organisations who provide studio support for artists at all stages of their careers.