Artist Q&A

Studio Clips: Meet Ellen Struve
Questions and Answers


1.) Describe your normal studio or workplace. 

Normally, I’m making my work in a theater with actors and designers and directors and stage crew and audiences.

2.) Describe your makeshift studio or workplace in a time of social distancing or isolation.

Social distancing has definitely increased my appreciation for the large numbers of people it takes to bring a show together. Making this show in my house with my family was a joy as well. Turning our bedroom into a makeshift production space wasn’t ideal, but it was worth it to be able to perform live for our audience members.

3.) How has sharing your work with co-creatives or others shifted?

There is so much Zoom in my life, but I’ve been grateful to have a method of story sharing.

4.) What is your favorite non-art oriented activity that inspires you?

I believe strongly in the idea that “walking is writing.” Walking the trail and our neighborhood streets has been enormously beneficial.

5.) How has working in a socially distant environment affected your work?

Besides conning my husband and children into making a show with me, it’s pushed me into exploring different modes of storytelling and working on my visual storytelling.

6.) What is your favorite go-to snack after long hours working on you artistic practice? 

Rosemary Triscuits are the devil.

7.) What are one/two of your favorite books that resonate with you and/or your practice?

There’s a wonderful book by Robert Adams, Why People Photograph, that has meant a great deal to me. His desire “to affirm life without lying about it” speaks to me. Also, when I need to experience beauty, I turn to The Forest Unseen by David George Haskell. Such gorgeous and interesting scientific prose.

8.) Who are one/two of your favorite artists that inspire you?

Caroline Shaw and Valerie Coleman are composers  that I can’t get enough of and right now I am deeply inspired by the First First Draft cohort at Great Plains Theatre Commons. Their energy and ideas are keeping me buzzing.