Jennie Bishop is equal parts rigor and whimsy. The co-founder of boutique design firm Studio Gild is refreshingly fun and irreverent—in addition to being ridiculously talented. Bishop started Studio Gild in 2014 with two fellow Kara Mann Design alumni and has already collected accolades, including top honors from CS magazine. Bishop focuses on sophisticated and finely detailed residential interiors, which range from hip bachelor lofts to comfortable suburban homes. Her impeccable style, collaboration and fearlessness are hallmarks of her design approach.
What’s your creative process?
My process with design, or really anything in my life, is to dive in immediately, typically without checking the depth or temperature in the proverbial pool. If I question too much at the onset—“Should I do this?” “What if this happens?” “What will I do when…?”—then I probably won’t do it. So I dive in headfirst and tackle the issue with my gut.
But I need to pause here. There is this thing I have to do before I can do anything. I have to clean the countertops, pick up the clutter and obliterate the piles to have a calm, orderly environment. Now my brain can be chaotic and run wild. Dream. Dig. Clip. Sort. Look. Listen. Challenge. Refine. Draw. Study. Expand.
Then I review my work, freak out, hate it, doubt it, cry because I know it will bomb, and finally sleep on it for a few days. Eventually, I pull myself up and realize that what I’ve created is really good.
But I must freak out—take myself to the bottom and then mentally work my way out. I used to joke in design school that I would give up a project to the design gods, but now I know it’s true. At some point it’s imperative to give up the process to the universe and move forward with gusto. And I swear, nine times out of ten the work is a complete success.
As I barrel toward forty, I’m learning to see the stability in my creative emotional roller-coaster. Or is there stability? What will happen next time? What will I do if…? And then shut it down, rein it in and embrace it. (Brenda Bergen)