About | In The Make | Studio visits with West Coast artists

Founded in early 2011 by photographer Klea McKenna and writer Nikki Grattan, IN THE MAKE is a collaboration that offers an intimate look at current art practice. Through visiting artists in their studios we learn about each artist’s space, process, influences, and the behind-the-scenes elements that are often unseen in a gallery or museum setting. We document these visits with the hope of revealing both the richness and the daily realities of creative work. Our aim is to raise interest in art practice, while simultaneously debunking the romantic myth of the artist. We recognize that creative work is real work, done by real, passionate people in all sorts of different spaces. We are not art critics, but rather deeply curious observers; looking for the ways that each artist’s aesthetic pervades their environment and reveals their perspective.

Our focus on West Coast artists is the natural result of being based in San Francisco and witnessing a vibrant, but under-represented community of artists in San Francisco, Oakland, LA, Portland and beyond. While we do take detours, we primarily focus on artists in the west who are committed to their craft and vision whether or not they are in the limelight, people who are taking risks and working hard at the edge of our culture and continent.

From the beginning our goal has been to create an online journal that is both beautiful and informative. We post a new studio visit each week.

Klea McKenna   ///  Photographer / Founder
Klea was raised in the rural, bohemian subcultures at the western edge of the United States. She has studied art at Florence Art Institute, UCLA and UCSC, and received an MFA from California College of the Arts. Klea’s artwork has been exhibited widely, most recently at Haines Gallery and Rayko Photo Center in San Francisco and at Jen Beckman Gallery, Regina Rex in New York and at the center for photography at Woodstock.  She has taught photography at CCA and UC Davis. In a rare moment of free-time Klea might be attempting to grow something edible in her tiny San Francisco garden or eating a big meal with her man, David Charne. In art, Klea is enamored by incredible craftsmanship, meaningful narratives, inventive use of materials, and anything that plays with light.

Klea McKenna’s work can be found here: www.kleamckenna.com

Nikki Grattan   ///  Writer / Founder
Nikki was brought up by enterprising and unconventional parents with nomadic tendencies who always chose roads less traveled. Nikki’s formative years were spent in India, Australia, New York City, and Hawaii, though there were many other places in between. Nikki received an M.A. in English and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, and recently has ventured into non-fiction territory, writing for The Bold Italic and San Francisco Magazine. She currently lives in San Francisco and when not writing for IN THE MAKE, she’s hard at work on a novella and works as a wardrobe stylist. She’s inspired by outsiders and underdogs, unmapped landscapes, the shifting nature of memory, and how the smallest of moments can feel like the biggest.

Nikki Grattan’s work can be found here: http://nikkigrattan.tumblr.com/

Dana Laman  ///  Video Editor
Dana is a freelance video editor in San Francisco, CA. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a B.A. degree in Film and Digital Media in 2004, she moved up to the Bay Area and spent a year absorbed in public radio journalism as an intern for KQED. Since then she has pursued her passion for documentary storytelling and focused her talents in video editing and a variety of other post-production skills. Recently she spent 18 months working as an associate editor and motion graphics artist on the feature documentary film, Revolutions, and now is the video editor for In The Make. She also regularly freelances as an assistant editor at Bonfire Labs, a San Francisco post-production house.

Dana Laman’s work can be found here: www.danalaman.com