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A BK studio tour through Rose-tinted glasses

Today’s virtual studio visit is taking us right around the corner in our hometown of Brooklyn, NY, where Rose Lazar has set up shop as Cosmic Peace Studio. Rose debuted on our site just a few months ago with her showstopping Forever Flowers. These 2D, handpainted wooden blooms are a lesson in illusion with a modernist flair. As a former florist, Rose knows her blossoms. Trading in her garden shears for a brush, Rose marries her botanical knowledge with an expert eye for color mixing to produce these ever-blooming beauts.  

But it’s not all roses in this creative BK space. From cards to candle holders, wall charms to wearables, Rose’s workshop is teeming with inspiration and revelry. Our personal fave right now? This Perpetual Calendar is the perfect source of pleasure and procrastination to start the year off on a bright note. Cosmic Peace Studio is bursting with enough color and sparkle to be seen from the actual cosmos, and we can’t wait to invite you in! -Team 20x200

Studio Speak

Where's your studio?                      

My studio is in Brooklyn, NY.                                                                                                         

How has your workspace set-up changed since the COVID crisis, and what effect is your new arrangement having on your artmaking?                                                                                                                                                                                   I moved studios in September of 2020 – which was stressful but necessary as my previous studio was too far away and getting to and fro was just adding extra stress to an already stressful time (notice the many times I used some form of the word stress).   I found a studio space that’s a short walk from my house, which has been amazing.  I share it with two other artists, and we’ve all been mindful of each other’s well-being and safety while still being able to create a fun and creative space. 

What's your favorite "tool" in the studio (and why)?                                                                                                                     My own hands because they are the most reliable.                                                                                                

What do you wear when working in the studio?                                                                                                                              I keep it casual – jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers. I always wear an apron because I don’t like to feel inhibited by staying clean. I’ve learned the hard way that wearing my fancy clothes at the studio doesn’t end well.

What's on your in-studio playlist?                                                                                                                                                      I’m always listening to rap and R&B. Drake, Little Simz, James Blake, Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Vince Staples. But I also love a minimalist electronic song with no words. Just depends on the day and who’s around – you can check out the studio playlists on Cosmic Peace Studio’s Spotify page.

What's the first thing you do when you arrive?                                                                                                                                Give my dog a treat.

What's your work style. Late nights? Intense creative bursts? Slow and steady wins the race?                                              A lot of my work is repetitive in nature so I can work for long stretches really late into the night and not notice that time has passed. When I’m working like that I’m always getting little thoughts and ideas for what I want to make next or look up, so the surface I’m working on usually ends up with a bunch of incoherent notes-to-self that I have to interpret later.  My brain doesn’t really click in until around 5 pm so I am most creative late into the night. 

You previously worked as a florist with a keen eye for color and design. In what ways do your experiences working with real botanicals inform your Forever Flower designs? What are some elements you try to emulate versus features you like to take creative license with?                                                                                                                                         I’ve always loved flowers but working with them and getting to see so many different varieties of the same flower has made me take notice of all the nuances one flower can have. So those little things are the moments I try to replicate – like the veins on the phalaenopsis orchid or the way a peony can have so much depth to it, not just in petals but in the way they can change color as they open up more and more.  It’s not so much about replicating them exactly but more about the way they make me feel when I see them.

What's your favorite way to procrastinate in the studio?                                                                                                              I think procrastinating is part of the process so I don’t necessarily notice when I am! But it’s probably giving my dog some attention or some snugs.

How do you get over creative blocks?                                                                                                                                              I have a library of books in the studio and am always adding to it so that’s usually where I turn when I need a little something something. 

Whens, Hows & Whys

When did you first realize you wanted to become an artist and how’d you get there?                                                    When I was in second grade I wrote my “autobiography” in which I said I wanted to be an artist when I grew up.  I promptly forgot about that and started preparing and focusing my studies for a life as a pediatrician but was still always painting and drawing.  When it was time to go to college I made a dangerous split-second decision to change my major, which I do no regret for a second.  

Why do you think it's important to have a dedicated work space for your art? What advice would you give to artists looking to build a creative work space?                                                                                                                                      There’s nothing more freeing than being able to work on something, make a mess, and walk away.  You can come back to it the next day and see where you were at and keep going instead of cleaning off the kitchen table so you can make dinner, etc.  It gives your work a little more space to breathe along with your brain because sometimes the best way to finish something or get over a creative block is to be able to walk away from it.  Some of my best ideas come from my walk to the studio.

Which artists' 20x200 collections do you most covet (and why)?                                                                                               One of my all-time favorite artists is Hilma af Klint so it’s nice to see that collection and know that the reproductions of them will be great quality versions of them. I’ve always been a fan of Kindah Khalidy and the sense of color and movement in her work.  The Jason Polan collection makes me really happy too – love to see his work anytime anywhere. 

What do you like best about 20x200?                                                                                                                                             It’s a nice hub for artists who both function in a world of making products and art and it presents itself as such in an unpretentious way. It makes it easy for someone to be able to get multiple pieces to start their own collection of art.

The 411 on Rose Lazar                                                                                                                                      Rose Lazar is an artist living and creating in Brooklyn, NY. She began Cosmic Peace Studio as a way to combine her skills in printmaking, sculpture and painting to create unique home goods that while made in multiples still have a uniqueness to them that make them feel as if they were made for you.