This Artist Uses a Rainbow’s Worth of Inexpensive Felt-Tip Pens in Her L.A. Studio

Visiting a person’s workspace is like taking a peek inside their brain. Whether it’s at home or in an art studio, Nice Work explores where creative people do all of their, well, creating—so that you can steal their on-the-clock style.

Name: Bari Ziperstein

Occupation: CEO and creative director of Bari Ziperstein Studio and BZippy.

Where I work: In a 9,000-square-foot studio and showroom  in Sun Valley, California.

Office with red chairs

Time I start: I try to get to the studio by 10 a.m., after dropping my son off at school and grabbing breakfast.

Time I clock out: I don’t really ever clock out, and I’m always on call for my studio team, but I tend to leave in the early afternoon to make it to my son’s Little League games. Wednesday and Friday are my full studio days, so I’m in until late by myself working on production or art.

How I get to work: By car.

Three words that describe my space: Pleasant, active, and efficient.

Most important thing in my office/studio: My notebook. It contains my meeting notes and sketches, and it’s from my favorite bookstore in Pasadena, Vroman’s.

What’s on the walls: A combination of my peers’ artwork and our own BZippy sconces, which were custom-made for the studio offices. The most important wall piece in the studio, to me, is a portrait of my brother and me from the ’80s that my late father kept in his office when I was little. He had it drawn when we were on a trip to London as a family, and it still hangs in its original tacky wood frame. Also in my office is a photograph by Grant Mudford that I acquired about a year ago specifically for our new space. It’s very meaningful to me because it symbolizes a certain time in my life when I worked for an art dealer in my early 20s and represented his practice. Grant’s photography was an inspiration to me, and I’m honored to own one of his pieces today.

Current creative fuel: Books on architecture, true-crime documentaries, podcasts, and trips to the desert with my family.

What I turn to when I’m stuck: My friends, a good movie, a great meal, my sketchbook, gardening, and my family.

How I stay organized: My calendar, my notebook, and my studio team keep me as organized as possible. The array of colors on my Google Calendar is kind of insane. It’s certainly a delicate balance between work and family schedules!

Favorite pen: Paper Mate 0.7 mm felt-tip pens in a rainbow of colors.

Best notebook: Designworks Ink Notebook No 1.

Technology I can’t live without: My Bluetooth alarm clock, Google Calendar, AirPods, GPS, and the backup cam in my car.

Desk chair that I could (and do) spend hours in: One by Herman Miller.

How I fight the 3 p.m. slump: Chocolate or lemonade—preferably both.

Ideal office snack: Cucumbers and hummus, vanilla yogurt, frozen blueberries, chocolate.

Preferred soundtrack: The Daily or my Pandora station mix of Joanna Newsom, Fleetwood Mac, Nick Drake, and the like.

Things I Can’t Work Without

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