A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life of Vanessa Knight of Able Ground

by Grace Bonney

Vanessa Knight of Able Ground is one of the many artists I discovered through Instagram. Her photos of stunning crystals and minerals caught my eye and inspired me to dig a little deeper into her archives, only to discover that she is incredibly skilled with textiles. Vanessa creates beautiful tapestries with felted detailing that combine my love of texture with an overall obsession with all things geometric. I was curious to see what a day in her life was like, and I was thrilled to find out it was full of creative inspiration. One of my favorite things about Vanessa’s day-to-day life is that she challenges herself to take a beautiful photograph on her windowsill every morning using something around the house. I love the idea of a daily creative challenge, it gets the day started on the right foot and keeps your creative mind fresh and on its toes. Thanks so much to Vanessa for sharing her day with us! xo, grace

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“Breakfast these days has been kimchi, egg, avocado and cilantro. I usually find one thing I like to make and continue making it until it’s completely exhausted. I’m pretty sure this isn’t the best thing to put in my stomach first thing in the morning, but it’s too good to stop anytime soon!”

“I’ve started a ritual where every morning, while I still have sand in my eyes, I rev up my creative engine by styling a photograph on my windowsill. I find that even the smallest practice of creativity can elevate my mood, so this is a great way to start each day.”

“I’m working on my second collection of tapestries for Able Ground. My first collection was all white, which I still love and am drawn to; but I’m starting to experiment with color. A year and a half ago I was working as a Design Manager for Victoria’s Secret and dreaming of having a smaller life where I could be more creative and work with natural materials every day. Every time I sit down to felt, I feel so honored and grateful that this dream has so quickly become my reality.”

“I also work as a social media consultant, helping brands visually communicate their story and build community in a real and creative way. I can never focus on one way of thinking – one story, one point of view, one artistic style – I just feel too excited to do it all! But also, choosing one and sticking to it seems like such a shame to me! Having a handful of social media clients allows me to play around with different brand identities, different stories, different artistic outlooks and ways of communication – I totally love it! Today I walk over the Gowanus Canal to Cobble Hill for a meeting with one of my clients. There’s always something interesting “floating” down the canal which allows for an abstract texture, pattern or surface design shot. It’s gross but it’s beautiful. I also discover a block that I never knew existed – who knew! It leads right down to a small boat dock on the canal and is lined with Queen Anne’s Lace, one of my faves.”

“Back to the studio to write personalized notes and send out some orders. Instagram has allowed me to meet so many inspiring designers and artists who have opened my eyes to different lifestyles and artistic outlooks. One of those people is the talented, Sarah Higgins (@sarah_inpursuit), who worked with me to design this great logo for Able Ground. Check her out.”

“Speaking of Instagram – time to post! When I’m searching for minerals and stones for Able Ground, I always pick out pieces that are visually commanding in some way. Not only do they have healing properties and are billions of years old (I mean, c’mon, how cool is that?!!), but to me they’re also little worlds of design and landscape. These are from my personal collection, but I’ll be adding more to the shop soon!”

Someone buzzes the door and it’s the UPS guy with my order of wool roving from Montana. If you could hug a cloud, this is what it would feel like.

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“I wrap up work and race down to Brooklyn Bridge Park just in time to catch the sunset. I try to do this whenever I can, and today I’m rewarded because one of my favorite puddles in all of NYC is there – and some guy is standing in exactly the right spot! I walk along the park, eavesdropping in on people’s interactions and taking pictures along the way. A photographer sets up right next to where I’m sitting and we talk about how good the sunset is tonight. I run into a group handing out balloons just for the fun of it, and so I take their picture and join them for a minute or two before I head back to my neighborhood to meet up with some friends. This life, this life in New York City and this life in Brooklyn – it’s so much more than I ever could have imagined life would be. “

“Oh, and let’s wrap it up with this – POW!”

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