PROCESS—Nina Garner

Welcome to the blog series, PROCESS. In this series I ask artists of various mediums about their artistic processes. I’ve decided to open the door to visual artists and composers of music alongside our writerly types because as artists, I think we are most similar in our approach to process—how we do the work. Whether it’s an outline of your daily schedule, ruminations on a brainy process, the tape and scissors approach, the need to wear pajamas to work, I want to know anything about your artistic process, even if it’s the work you do to sit your body at the desk.

 -Lauren Capone, Associate Editor


Nina was born September 6, 1986. She grew up in various parts of the United States and Okinawa, Japan. In May of 2009 she graduated with a B.A from the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC where she currently lives with her husband and two dogs.

Nina takes us through her typical work day:

My work consists of many parts and stages. First, a concept is born. Once it’s born, I cradle it for days, weeks, sometimes months before I act on it. Once it’s taken hold, I go out with my heavy medium format camera and try to recreate what I have imagined. Then there is the darkroom stage which I tend to do in the evenings, preferably with no interruption until I have at least three or four possible print options. Once I have my prints ready, it’s time for desk work. This is another process all together where comfort and time are important. I tend to work on days with no reservations so that I may sit at my own leisure with the whole day available for productivity. I start working after breakfast, still in my pajamas, with my coffee at arms reach and my materials spread out all around me. I will then work for six or seven hours if I am making progress, with a break in the middle for lunch. Sometimes my pieces come together in a few days other times it will take weeks. I hardly ever have preconceived notions of what a photograph might become. Instead, I sit and manipulate materials until it feels complete. I hate to work at my desk in the evenings. I prefer the warmth and comfort of natural light.  Each productive working day is a variation of this formula. It is ideal.

Check out more of Nina’s work at her website:

Her work is currently for sale at show and tell art and design.

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