Kimono My Studio with Artist Phoebe Gander

Olivia chats with New Zealand based contemporary artist Phoebe Gander. Originally from North Devon Phoebe now lives in Gizborne, NZ with her family. She is a still life and abstract landscape painter with many years experience. She has a following of over 90,000 on Instagram and is co-host to a successful podcast called “Fail Like An Artist”.

Phoebe is inspired by the mundane, ordinary moments that often get overlooked, and the beautiful ocean, light and landscape where she lives with her family in Wainui Beach on the east coast of New Zealand. She predominantly uses acrylic paint and oil paint and has a BA hons degree in printed surface design, which she gained studying at Falmouth College of Arts in the UK in 2003.

Click here to see her work and her entertaining instagram account.


Please give me a little description of your studio and your favourite thing about it?

My studio is a little wooden shed at the bottom of our garden that my husband built me from a kitset. It’s only about 9 meters square, but it’s my absolute sanctuary. There a little covered deck as well so it has somewhere outside for me to sit and ponder. I come in here every weekday if I can as soon as my kids are at school. I just love being in here, its cosy and feels almost womb-like. I can hear the native birds singing, sometimes the rain on the roof, sometimes the cicadas… even if I’m not painting it’s just a lovely place to chill out with a cuppa and a podcast. 


What is your studio playlist? 

To be honest I mostly listen to podcasts, I’m a big fan of British comedy podcasts such as ‘Nobody Panic’ ‘Parenting Hell’ ‘Oh my dog’ and ‘Off Menu’ but also love the Aussie show ‘silver bullet’ - I also like ones that talk about mental health such as ‘The imperfects’ ‘The Mel Robbins Show’ or ‘Happy Place’ 


Whats a typical day in the studio like for you? 

It always starts with a cup of tea or coffee, then choosing a podcast, and maybe lighting some incense or putting on my oil diffuser. It then really depends what I’m working on.. I could be gessoing canvases, drawing up an image or painting but I could be photographing work and doing social media or website stuff. Other days it’s varnishing work or packaging it up to send off. There’s no such thing as a typical day for an artist really! 


Favourite studio snack? 

Oh I am addicted to strong mints, so I always need to have a few of those on hand! I’m also rather partial to salt and vinegar kettle crisps.. and I can never say no to a chocolate pretzel!


What would be the dream addition to your studio? 

Ah probably just if it was a bit bigger, so I could have another empty wall to hang paintings on! Honestly though I’m just so grateful to have my own space to create in, it’s my sanctuary and I love it just as it is.


Lady artist stood in studio in jacket with painting of peaches behind her

Brown corduroy studio kimono worn by female artist who is painting

Female artist painter with paint and headphones on, Brown studio jacket

Woman looking out of window in her studio. painting behind her on the wall


Phoebe wears The Studio Kimono made from dead-stock needlecord in Mouse Brown which can be found here.

Written by Olivia May