Creating space with Leslie Kirchhoff

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Leslie and I’m a photographer, artist, and entrepreneur living in Los Angeles, where I run a creative studio and an ice company called Disco Cubes.

How would you describe your space?

It’s really peaceful. I love being at home. It’s also always in a state of transition—I like to move my furniture around to find what feels best at the moment. The overall vibe is probably best described as midcentury California with a little Japanese flair.

What are you working on lately?

My cocktail book came out a few weeks ago, so I’ve been working on the book launch! I was supposed to be on a mini book tour right now, which has been replaced by a lot of virtual happy hours and press pieces. I still go to my studio some days—working there alone of course—since I thankfully have direct access to it. I’m very lucky to still be able to shoot and produce work right now. I just shot a big social campaign for Johnnie Walker, and have a few other fun projects coming up for brands like Nespresso, CB2, Playboy, and Susan Alexandra.

As a creative person, what is the biggest challenge you’ve been facing?

I think my biggest challenge right now is being realistic about my expectations of myself. I started off this pandemic really strong and motivated, but lately it’s been tough to figure out what headspace I should be in, and how to navigate my days. Time is really flying by, and it can be really tough to stay motivated and not let myself get distracted by the news.

How has your creative process evolved over the last few weeks?

My creativity has really been coming and going in waves. I’ll feel so inspired one minute and then lose it the next, so I’ve just been trying to slow down, focus on one thing at a time, and do everything thoughtfully. I’ve been taking a lot of long baths and setting aside that time to really think and let my mind wander, in hopes of wrangling some new ideas or inspiration.

Could you tell us about a few of your favorite details or objects?

I love my old Japanese flag, and really love the little stool beneath the cacti. I try to find one-of-a-kind pieces when I travel, and I’m big on flea markets and vintage stores both in LA and any other city I visit. I always travel with a collapsible duffle bag so I can bring home anything I might find along the way. It’s probably obvious, but lighting is also super important to me. This hanging lamp was a great craigslist find, but beyond the lamp itself, one of my favorite things about my home is my lighting system—I use Philips Hue and couldn’t love it more, especially right now. When you’re confined to the same place day and night, I think it’s super important to create a palpable shift in your surroundings to mark the end of the workday.

How about where you feel most inspired?

I feel such different ways in each room, but I feel especially inspired in my kitchen. It’s where I created my whole book, where I ran Disco Cubes out of for so long, and it’s really where I spend the majority of my time when I’m home. I love creating in this kitchen at night. Daytime in it is amazing too—I have a great leisurely breakfast ritual. I have to force myself out of it each morning to go get real work done, otherwise I would gladly stay there all day just tinkering and cooking.

What is one thing you’re doing to help someone else?

Funnily enough, I’m helping out my hometown high school’s yearbook program right now. Yearbook was where I fell in love with photography and design, so it’s been fun to revisit. Since they’re all working from home, my old advisor and mentor created a little mentorship program with a handful of the old editor-in-chiefs, pairing us up with the current staff. Also, through Disco Cubes, I just raised over $500 for No Kid Hungry, by creating custom content of cubes for brands! So that felt great!

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