what's on my desk

What’s on Textile Designer Sara Berks’s Desk

Photo: Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

How someone organizes their desk can tell you a lot about how they get work done. That’s why we’re stepping into the offices of enviably creative (and productive) people to look at what’s on their desks — pens and notebooks and gadgets, but also décor and tchotchkes. Today, we’ve asked New York textile designer Sara Berks of Minna to show and tell.

I always have a handful of these around in my bag or on my desk. They are my favorite pens for writing or sketching: I really like the fine-tipped points, and the lines that they create are very crisp and clear. I’ve been using them since art school and I buy them in black only.

I have a stack of books behind me, but the ones I look to for inspiration most frequently are Sol LeWitt: 100 Views and Agnes Martin. I’ve always been really inspired by minimalist art, and these are two of my favorite artists. I actually have one of Sol LeWitt’s drawings tattooed to my arm, and Agnes Martin is a huge influence in my work. We have this rug called the “Agnes” rug, which is named after her. I also reference Interaction of Color by Josef Albers a lot — I’ve had this one since color theory in art school.

I have one of these on my desk (the exact one isn’t sold anymore, but this is similar) that’s turned into a catchall for pens and pencils. My friend Brooke of BTW Ceramics made a whole bunch of them in different sizes for my wedding last summer. I had her make 30 of them for our wedding, and we kept a handful, then sold the rest in our brick-and-mortar.

I swear by dot grids. I always have one next to me at my desk for writing notes down, to-do lists, initial sketch ideas, etc. The dot grid helps keep my to-do lists neat and subtle enough to have in the background in design sketches.

Our studio/store is usually freezing (it’s an old building!), so I always have a scarf hanging over the back of my chair. This is a favorite from our line. We sell them as table runners and scarves, so I always have it with me to wrap around my neck when I get cold.

I met the founders of Pigeon Toe a couple years ago at a trade show — they’re really cool ladies — and I love all of their work. Everything they make is really simple and utilitarian, but then the color palette is spot on. We carry these in the shop in a bunch of different colors, the terra-cotta one being my current favorite. I have a really bad coffee habit and have been trying to slowly transition to herbal tea in the afternoon as a pick-me-up instead of more caffeine.

Photo: Kristen Schwartz/Echinacea Purpurea copyright by Kristen Schwartz

I usually always turn to herbal remedies before anything else, and I always have a mix of tinctures on my desk to get me through the day. I use Kick a Cold Blend from our neighbor Good Fight Herb Co. whenever I feel a cold coming on.

Photo: Wain Tan @brucewainn

I also swear by Wooden Spoon Herbs Migraine Melter. I usually just put a few drops on my tongue, but you can always mix it into water as well.

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What’s on Textile Designer Sara Berks’s Desk