I want to begin this week’s Spaces feature by thanking everyone who was been apart and will be apart of this column. I have had so much fun learning all about so many amazing artists, designers and the like. Our workspaces reflect our work and our lives and each has it’s own character. And this week, I’m excited, yet again, to share another talented creative, Zoe Rooney. Zoe is an amazing web developer, who also dables in various forms of design and art. Be sure to check her out, and if you’re a designer in need of some mad code skills, Zoe is your girl. Enjoy!
Tell us about yourself as a creative.
I’d say I’m about 60% “serious” front-end web developer and 40% creative experimenter. I just love anything visual, from cooking to design & typography to interiors to fine art, and so I kind of flit around doing all of those things at once in my very limited free time and getting none of them done with any kind of speed (but having a ton of fun along the way).
Describe your creative journey.
I’ve been coding since Geocities (I first started learning HTML in middle school, just because I was curious), I also have a background in visual arts and design. After bouncing around between departments, I ended up majoring in art in college mostly because it was fun and it eliminated final exams for most classes. While in that program, I focused on painting but also got to dabble a bit in screenprinting and sculpture. After college I joined Teach For America and taught for two years here in Philadelphia, and then worked for the program for 4 years designing training materials for new corps members.
I’m always trying out various forms of art on the side, but my primary focus right now is on bringing other people’s designs to life via code (a whole different art form, in my opinion). I’ve been doing freelance web design and programming for about two years, and just recently quit my full time job to be a full time programmer! I’m hoping that this move will let me free up more time for my family and for other creative pursuits (I recently broke out my paintbrushes for the first time in years).
Share a little bit about your space.
I feel very fortunate to have an entire room in our house as my office (plus a sunroom, which is just storage and needs to be renovated but eventually will make a lovely art studio). I’ve worked from home since my first son was born (he’s now 3), so it’s been important to have a door I can close so that I can talk to clients or designers on the phone and really focus in on a coding project. That said, my space needs a lot of work – it’s only partially painted, the floor is a mess under the rugs, there’s a random door to a guest bedroom that I’d like to close up, and the desk is basically an assemblage of plywood and 4x4s, hastily attached to each other and the wall with drywall screws. I also am a total hoarder of random stuff, especially art, and it ends up stacked everywhere waiting for a frame or a spot on the wall somewhere in the house.
What’s your favorite thing about your space?
There are four things I especially love about my space: (1) it’s at home, so I get to see my boys whenever I want throughout the day (a blessing and a curse, really), (2) I built the desk at bar height so that I can stand and work when I get tired of sitting, (3) the vintage Moroccan rug, which was a gift from my father who brought it back from a hitchhiking trip in the 70s, and (4) the door, to shut out the aforementioned boys and their noise.
What’s one thing you think every creative needs in their space?
On the one hand I am kind of a maximalist and love to have tons of craft and art supplies stashed nearby, but on the other hand I think the most amazing thing about creative work is that all you really need is something to write on and something to write with. Of course I also couldn’t live without a computer with internet for all that code.
*Love her floor plan and all the little labels!
Photos by Zoe Rooney.