Love + Work

by whitewirestudio

workspace of Sean Auyeung and Anna Corpron, the husband-wife duo known as Sub-Studio from NYC.

I’ve looked through The Strange Attractor’s Creative Couple series a little while back, but just came across Design Love at the blog of idsgn recently. TSA’s series started in November of ’09 and their last post was in July. They conducted interviews with “creative couples” (designers, artists, illustrators, musicians, etc.) to chat about their work, space, challenges and benefits of working with someone they love. Head over to each interview to read them in their entirety and see accompanying photos, but here’s a couple snippets from the interviews:

From Caleb Beyers and Hanahlie Beise: What are the benefits of living/working together?
C: We’re never really “off the clock” there are no arguments that start with “you’ve just been working too much.” We do go through periods that make us realize how important it is to take breaks, and to make time for each other.

H: The disadvantage would be that we are functioning as a couple and as business partners. It’s hard to be critical of your partner (couple) and take criticism. We have to break down the emotional barriers and comfort zones that most couples face.

And from Melissa & JW Buchanan from The Little Friends of Printmaking:
We’re a team. And I feel like our relationship is stronger for having worked together so much. Sometimes I think about the hours I have to work and the sacrifices I have to make to complete our projects, and I can’t imagine how I would explain or justify that to someone who wasn’t as invested in the process as Melissa.

From Anna Wolf and Mike Perry: What’s it like working with your better half?
A: Amazing. We work really well together. We do travel a lot so that we have our space… and when we’re in the studio together, we go for hours without talking. We just get into our thing and don’t come out of it until the day is over.

M: We both trust each other and believe in each other’s work. But its great because at the same time Anna loves telling me that something of mine sucks. We keep it open and honest. That said we don’t do that many projects together.


The Design Love series asks similar questions, but limits it strictly to designers who both live and work together. In July, idsgn interviewed the husband-wife duo David Heasty and Stefanie Weigler from the Brooklyn studio, Triboro. (A few months back, I posted some photos of the Triboro Leftovers, remember their beauty?)

What are the best and worst parts of living and working together?
We are very fortunate that we work so well together and that we are able to spend so much time together each day. In some ways the traditional business/life structure seems backwards—spending 8-10 hours a day with people you may or may not get along with, while spending the margins of your life with loved ones.

We like that design is a forgiving profession when it comes to combining work/life balance. We know plenty of people who have maintained a design practice while raising kids at home. Technology has made this more possible, but there is something too about the nature of the work that allows for this flexibility. With our schedule we have the luxury to cook our meals, run errands easily or fit in exercise.

(…) A downside to our situation is that the exchange with people at an office can also be very inspiring—all the different personalities and experiences in one place converging. We find now that we get a lot of this inspiration from our client relationships. Another downside is that weekends and evenings are no longer sacred. We find ourselves working a lot.

And a couple others…

From Jake and Pum Lefebure of Design Army: Anyone who’s looking for balancing work and life is probably not truly enjoying what they do. I ‘integrate’ work to life and make it fun.

From husband-and-wife couple Creighton Mershon and Jessi Arrington of WORKSHOP: Could you be married to a bad designer, or a designer that didn’t challenge you?

C: I don’t think so.

J: No. Next question. [Laughs]