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Inside Job

Spend a (Productive!) Work Day in L.A. with Kenesha Sneed

Inside Job BY leah bhabha 04/21/2016


After years leading a double life, working as an animator by day and wheelin’ off to throw clay in the evenings, Kenesha Sneed went all-in on her art. Now that working on her ceramics biz Tactile Matter and her dope illustrations from her home in Altadena, California, is her new normal, we asked Kenesha to let us spend a day with her (we promised not to get in the way).




“I usually wake up at around 8:30, and until I have my coffee, I absolutely cannot function. I’ll brew some coffee—usually Folgers with just a little bit of brown sugar, I’m not a coffee snob at all—and sip on that. While the coffee is taking hold, I’m right at my computer answering emails. I usually spend about an hour going through my inbox. It’s interesting working from home because sometimes you just want to enjoy your home space as it is and not worry about the work portion of it. It’s very much a learning thing, but it’s been great. I’m just trying to create a schedule that makes me feel happy and comfortable—so it’s always evolving.”




“Working from home, my meals are really still a mixed bag. Sometimes, I’ll make some grits, eggs, and bacon at home or just chow on a bagel. I do a homemade bacon and egg sandwich and eat it in the studio sometimes. Or I’ll have brunch out with friends or grab something and bring it home. Fox's in Pasadena is a good local spot—when friends come over to visit, that's the place I'll take them for the very low-key, small-town vibe. My order is always eggs, bacon, and home fries.




“Usually around noon, I’ll really get the day going and work on my ceramics. When I’m working on wholesale or commission, I’m just trying to get everything done at once—especially if I’m on the wheel. If I need to make a big order of clay pieces, I like to throw all the pieces in one day because the second day you end up with a wheel filled with hardened clay. Right now, everything is in the kiln for a first fire. Starting next week, I’ll be on an illustration project for two weeks—on the computer. It’s balancing my pixel life with my clay life—they are polar opposites.”


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“I love listening to music and podcasts while I work. Music-wise, I’m all over the place, from Sam Cooke to MIA to Sia to Beyoncé to The XX. I have a whole crazy playlist—it’s just a mix of things. I’m also a huge podcast person—I particularly love Call Your Girlfriend, Another Round, and Design Matters. I really just started getting into Two Dope Queens as well. “




“For the most part, I try to keep a regular-ish schedule and wrap things up around 7 p.m. Sometimes I fail at that, and time gets away from me—and I just keep going until it’s all finished. I often have to force myself to stop and to make it to dinner or to plans or whatever. I really have to have a clear mind and focus for me to get anything done that I’m actually happy with. Working in a studio space, I enjoyed my coworkers, but I really prefer working solo. I’m not into separate minds doing separate things, so if someone is going to work near me, I need them to be working with me.”




“When I do get away from work, I like to cook dinner or meet up with friends. ERB is a new-ish bar located in the Arts District—I've gone a few times with girlfriends, and their cocktails are next-level good. In my time off, I'm also really into thrift and vintage finds—because I like a good bargain, and you never know what you'll find! One of my favorite shops is the mobile Coast to Coast, so I'll try to pop by and find some goodies when I can. The easiest place to find them is at the Melrose Flea.”




“Just about every night ends in comfy sweats, sitting in front of the TV, watching a movie. I just watched the Nina Simone documentary on Netflix, which left me in tears. I have a pretty no-fuss nightly routine. I don’t like to use a lot of products, so before bed, I wash my face with just a washcloth and warm water. I'm a real homebody these days—trust me.”


Images by Ben Tetro and @tactilematter



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