We had the good fortune of connecting with David Lovejoy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi David, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind my success is that I do what I say I’ll do, when I said I’d do it, for the price I said it would cost. Obviously, that’s often not possible, but if it changes, it changes in a way that we’ve both agreed upon, due to circumstances that have arisen since the contract was signed. Regarding the success of my “brand”, the Spring Arts Tower has been the most important factor, with the Gallery at the End of the World a close second. These are two locations where I’ve had a studio – over ten years in the Spring Arts Tower. The Last Bookstore, on many short international lists of places to see, surrounds my current studio there. The bookstore became a thing at the same time as Instagram, so it’s been a huge showcase for me. The owner of the building has commissioned me for work that has been seen globally, as has my work in the bookstore. The Spring Arts Tower has brought the world to me.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I was sitting at the counter in my shop recently when a guest asked how I got my job. My first thought was, “I made it up.” It didn’t exist before I got here, I just continued doing what I do and it turned into my job. I’m fortunate, in that my shop is linked to a tourist destination, so I’ve had visitors from all over the world. I say that in the past tense because I think that has changed, with covid. Having that volume of people see my work has provided the one-in-a-thousand who needed what I offered. I love the patina of use; a handrail worn from thousands of hands, a rung of a highchair worn from thousands of kicks from fidgeting children. There are stories in these old bits and pieces, and they appeal to me. I started as a ceramic artist, trying to emulate these textures in clay. I then moved into assemblage, freeing myself to use the old materials themselves. I have also, for the past eight years, opened my studio to the public. Not just for studio visits, but coming and going and involving me in conversation as I work. This has been helpful in generating interest in my work, and making my work available to a broad swath of humanity. The key has been to be steadfast, to keep doing. By enjoying what I do, that enjoyment and playfulness is visible in the work, and joy is desirable. People like things that make them happy. It also helps to have a story, and my studio is always a living installation – I tinker with my surroundings, playing with ideas to see what they’d look like. It makes for a memorable experience.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite spot in the city is my spot – The Spring Arts Tower at 5th and Spring. The Last Bookstore is on the ground floor, the Spring Arts Collective features galleries and shoppes on the mezzanine, including mine. A block away is the Pershing Square Metro that will take you to countless adventures throughout Los Angeles, should you choose to go further afield. From 5th & Spring we’ll walk down an alley between Broadway and Spring, ending at a staircase that takes us in the backway through the epic Bradbury Building of Bladerunner fame. We exit the front and find ourselves facing the Grand Central Market. We each devour our stomach’s desire, then continue toward the daylight where we spot Angel’s Flight across the street, L.A.’s famous funicular. A ride to the top takes you to MOCA, the Broad, Disney Concert Hall. Dinner at Cole’s, Drinks at The Wolves, and you’re back at 5th & Spring.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This shoutout is for my wife, Vera. Decades ago, she started a folder titled “Year of the Artist” on our computer desktop, where she put artist calls and links to articles. The “year” in question advanced a couple of times, but eventually we decided there was a window of opportunity and I left my 9-5 job as director of marketing for a manufacturing company and started working on my art, my craft, full time. She’s been behind me that entire time, always encouraging me, always feeling that there was value in my work. She has celebrated my victories and accepted my losses, and for that I’m truly grateful. She deserves a shoutout.