Arkansas in the Making is a series of interviews featuring local artisans, their workspaces and accoutrements. For this post, we interviewed Morgan Hill, a Little Rock artist and designer who specializes in woodworking, furniture design and making, and jewelry design and making.
At Home in Arkansas: Define your personal style in 6 words. Morgan Hill: “Twin Peaks”/white box have offspring.
At Home in Arkansas: What are your current obsessions? Morgan Hill: Scientific illustrations + burnt things + Julia Deville + gay rights + vintage Hawaiian
At Home in Arkansas: What color could you not live without? Morgan Hill: PINK!! Most specifically, warm pale pinks and corals.
At Home in Arkansas: Tell us about why you make what you make…a history, timeline or some sort of list. Morgan Hill: I started school as a drawing major at a fine arts college, switched to interior design, then moved again to study furniture design and woodworking, which gives me the best of both worlds. Between all the fine arts and design classes in eight years, I learned a little bit of everything. I need to burn my creative fires in many different ways to reach true fulfillment, so I have just continued to do a little bit of everything. My most intense passion lies in craft, but I love to take on projects involving installation, watercolor, costuming, 2D design, illustration, even taxidermy. These days I spend most of my time on furniture projects and getting my jewelry business going.
At Home in Arkansas: What is your greatest achievement or goal for your brand? Morgan Hill: I would like to support myself with my work. That seems to be the hardest thing that my artist friends and I face. I would like to be one of the few who live off their passions without getting hungry.
At Home in Arkansas: What is your go-to for a quick burst of inspiration? Morgan Hill: Pinterest, for sure. I once thought I had lost all my pins. I cried. Then I called Pinterest. It was fixed quickly.
At Home in Arkansas: Which of your tools is most important for your work? Describe it, how long you’ve had it, etc. Morgan Hill: I couldn’t do without my Foredom Flex Shaft these days. It takes on so many roles. It is a motorized rotary tool. I was just given my very own. I have been using one for a few years though.
At Home in Arkansas: What makes your workspace, studio, etc. uniquely yours? Morgan Hill: It, in fact, is not uniquely mine at all. I can’t afford all the equipment on my own, so I share a shop with many other artists. Most of the time I like it that way. I get to share ideas and draw inspiration from them any time I want.
At Home in Arkansas: To an aspiring artisan, what would you say is the most important part of doing creative work? Morgan Hill: Finding an art community to share in your passion. Even if it’s just a few people to start, it will grow. Artists like to support each other. It has meant the most to my work and my career to know like-minded artists.
At Home in Arkansas: How does your lifestyle support your work? Morgan Hill: I work at the Esse Purse Museum and live just down the street in SoMa, Little Rock. I am surrounded by creative people and beautiful things everyday I’m so inspired sometimes it physically hurts. Plus, somehow I have so many people that want to see me succeed, and that makes me want to work even harder. I’m very lucky.
At Home in Arkansas: What do you want your customers to know about you/your work? Morgan Hill: There is one drop of my blood on every piece I make. Ha ha, joking. I would like my customers to know how grateful I am for their support. It feels so good to make other people happy with what also makes me happy. I’m not sure I would last long without them.
At Home in Arkansas: Within the field of your work, who is your greatest inspiration/influence/role model, etc? Morgan Hill: Picking one person seems impossible. Polly Morgan, Maurizio Cattelan, Julia Deville, Avery Lawrence, my Southern upbringing, my professors, mid-century modern … I could go on for a while.
Thank you, Morgan! And as a bonus for you, today, Morgan is giving away a custom set of earrings and a ring To enter: go and “Like” the Morgan Hill Creative Facebook page, then “Like” the At Home in Arkansas Facebook page and let us know you’ve done so by leaving a comment below! A winner will be selected at random on next Wednesday, July 2, at 4pm, so be sure to check back to see if you won. Best of luck!
WE HAVE A WINNER! MARGARET CAUDELL ALLEN was randomly selected! Thanks to all who entered.
[Photography by Megan Douglas]