Tracy Wilkinson

APIECE APART WOMAN
Born in Yorkshire but now living in Los Angeles, artist and designer Tracy Wilkinson came to California 20 years ago for a job, thinking she’d stay a year or so. Fast forward to today, “here we are,” rooted in a beautiful home tucked away in the windy hills of Mount Washington. Wilkinson spent 25 years working in fashion before evolving her business to operate on her own terms: today she designs clothing on a freelance basis and consults with fashion and fabric companies, all while producing her own collection of homewares, ceramics, and furniture. We stopped by to visit her at home and in her studio, go for a walk with her two dogs, and find out about how she fuels her creative life.

Tracy wears SHIRRED AGATA and TAIYANA WIDE LEG PANT

Can you share the schedule of a typical day in the life?

I don’t have a typical day but I do get up early to walk the dogs in the canyon nearby or take them to the park. Then it’s home to get ready to go into my studio or to work with one of my freelance clients. Sometimes this means going into their office for meetings and sometimes I work at home. If I am working at home that day I will usually arrange a lunch with a friend. Most of my friends are designers and quite often working freelance so it’s good to share a meal and talk. There are some great little places in my neighborhood that have opened lately like Amara Café or Kitchenmouse – two favorite spots. Then it’s back to work until dusk when I go on a long hike with my dog. In the evenings I see friends or work on some of my large woven basket pots.
 

"I don’t have a ton of rules, because I would always break them. I have a few I try to keep: Be creative every day, hug my dogs as much as possible, be kind to myself and others, dance as much as possible, don’t be ashamed of watching the telly, keep a tidy workspace, pick funny people as friends and make lists
."
 
 
We have recently become interested in Sister Corita Kent’s list of “rules.” What are some of your own “rules” for living + working?

I don’t have a ton of rules, because I would always break them. I have a few I try to keep: Be creative every day, hug my dogs as much as possible, be kind to myself and others, dance as much as possible, don’t be ashamed of watching the telly, keep a tidy workspace, pick funny people as friends and make lists
.

Tracy wears AMORGOS WRAP DRESS and TAIYANA WIDE LEG PANT

What object has been most significant to you lately?

A handmade mobile I brought back from the Coromandel in New Zealand.
 
Please describe your last month in a word.

Nuts.
 
What reliably makes you feel happy?

The love I feel for animals, spending time with family and friends, dancing…and being creative.

What reliably stresses you out?

Being late.
 
What’s the most exciting thing you’ve recently discovered?

New Zealand…others already knew how amazing it is, but I didn’t.
 
What are you serious about?

Cruelty towards animals.

What things will you never take seriously?

Juicing.
 
What do you make for a dinner party?  Can you share the menu?

I am completely disinterested in cooking. I love eating, but the cooking thing is beyond me. If I have friends for a dinner party, they are usually scared. I do manage to follow a recipe and make something simple, like grilled fish and a salad, and I tell myself that it’s about the time we all spend together.
 
Do you have a mentor?

No, but I have admired Li Edelkoort for many years and always look to her for inspiration. In an ideal world, she would be my mentor.

Tracy wears HERA FLIGHT SUIT

Can you share an as-of-yet unrealized project with us?

There are so many! I am constantly having ideas of some things I want to make and can’t find. I made a daybed a few years ago and want to make some chairs to go with it. I would love to spend a month somewhere away from the responsibilities of home and work and spend that time realizing these ideas.
 
A great artist gets inspiration from anywhere — what are some of the most unusual sources of inspiration for you?

It’s hard to pinpoint unusual sources because I am always looking at everything and not always connecting how that inspiration will come out in my work. I work with natural materials, and the forms I make are quite organic so most of my inspiration comes from the natural world. On the flipside of that I am also inspired by large industrial machinery, like the machines used in a quarry and hugely inspired by NASA and space rockets.

 

twworkshop.com

Photography by LAURE JOLIET | Words by LEIGH PATTERSON