Book Review: Creative Spaces: People, Homes and Studios to Inspire

Discover the creative spaces that inspire in the debut book from lifestyle brand Poketo. And come talk about it at an #imakealiving event near you!


Creativity, and the inspiration it feeds on, can manifest as anything. Literally.

Take Sonoko Sakai, whose medium is soba noodles. The ingredients may be the same every time she masterfully makes them, but every batch has its own unique texture, shape and taste.

creative entrepreneur

Or designers Jean Lee and Dylan Davis who live and work in Brooklyn. Their collection of random samples, scraps, found objects and design explorations come together to create everything from lighting to kinetic sculpture to abstract geometric mobiles.

Then there’s architect Takashi Yanai. His self-designed home is an expression of his Japanese roots and blurs the line between architecture, art and nature.

They’re just a few of the creatives featured in Creative Spaces: People, Homes and Studios to Inspire, a visually stunning new book from Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung, the husband-wife team behind lifestyle brand Poketo (see book review below).

A Partnership Rooted in Community

Poketo was born by accident back in 2003. Ted and Angie wanted to help out friends who were struggling to sell their work at art shows. They created an affordable wallet that featured their friends’ artwork. Today, Poketo collaborates with hundreds of international artists, offering custom lines of stationery, home goods and apparel, as well as, creative workshops and art exhibitions.

The two brought their energy and expertise to a FreshBooks’ #imakealiving networking and learning event July 21. As panelists, they shared their experiences on starting and running Poketo. Here’s a clip. Just like #imakealiving, Poketo also understands the importance of supporting the self-employed and creative community.

creative spaces ted + angie imal

FreshBooks’ #imakealiving events aim to provide insight into running a successful small business by exploring the obstacles and challenges owners and entrepreneurs face. The goal is to provide a safe space to promote the ongoing connections of individuals looking to learn from one another.

Thanks to the synergy between #imakealiving and Poketo, we’re sponsoring several book tour dates. You can pick up a copy, hear from the authors and gather insight and inspiration from other creative entrepreneurs at any of these dates:

  • October 6, Los Angeles: Panel discussion + book signing at MoCA/Geffen Contemporary in LA.
  • October 17, Brooklyn: Panel discussion + book signing at McNally Jackson in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
  • November 5-7, Austin: Austin Design Week will have an official event as part of that festival with a Line Hotel pop up and book signing, plus an influencer brunch at Elizabeth Street Cafe with Chameleon Cold Brew.
  • November 20, Toronto: The #imakealiving team will distribute 250 copies of Creatives Spaces to event attendees.

Book review—Creative Spaces: People, Homes and Studios to Inspire

“Creative Spaces is not just an interiors book but a celebration of creatives, their work and their spaces. With stunning photography, intimate profiles and unexpected takeaways, the book showcases an eclectic mix of creatives in the spaces that inspire them.” – Poketo

People have long been fascinated by the way other people live. Coffee table books and specialty magazines are devoted to capturing behind-the-scenes glimpses of aspirational homes.

Creatives are no different. Don’t we all want to know what our favorite artist’s home and studio look like? Whether it’s to better understand their art, divine inspiration for our own work—or just give in to a voyeuristic urge, we crave an inside look. And all the better if we can learn the origin stories of interesting objects and elements straight from the artists’ mouths.

Creative Spaces satisfies that curiosity and offers plenty of insight and inspiration in words and photographs. Reading the book is like traveling with Poketo founders Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung as they enter the homes and workspaces of 23 creatives who work in mediums from ceramics to graphic design to architecture to jewelry to abstract art and beyond.

creative spaces poketo Ted+Angie

Although you’ll immediately be drawn in by the stunning photography that is worthy of poring over to take in every last detail, the written profile of each creative is what provides context and insight that you’ll likely be pondering for a long time to come.

Creative Space: Home of Tammer Hijazi and Caitlin Mociun

Ted and Angie set the scene by sharing textural details that other creatives understand and appreciate. For example, a favorite element the home of designers and partners Tammer Hijazi and Caitlin Mociun are the comforting and casual corners they’ve created, arranged for their lifestyle, not simply as a canvas for display. “Of special note is a small corner of respite in which a pair of floor pillows and an altar of plants and a meditation bowl are overlooked by a multicolored wall hanging and a large arched mirror. The sum of these objects produces the embodiment of quiet self-reflection, offering the couple all the tools to welcome back calm into their minds when needed,” they write.

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A photograph of a “cozy corner” in Tammer Hijazi and Caitlin Mociun’s home featured in the book “Creative Spaces.”(Ye Rin Mok)

Creative Space: Home of Adam J. Kurtz

In the home of artist and author Adam J. Kurtz, they marvel along with us at the design elements that inspire its occupants, calling attention to the things that especially catch the eye. “Personal work and ephemera collected over the years color the walls with texture: a pin collection peppering two-thirds of a large bulletin board like an assemblage of emojis made real, or the precariously stacked pile of his books translated into numerous languages, revealing his global audience. Photos and postcards suspended by string and clothespins over their bed serve as a timeline of the who, what, when and where of their life together. There’s a never-ending compulsion to lean in for a closer look at every detail.”

A Common Thread

The things Ted and Angie choose to draw out of and share about their creative subjects aren’t restricted to simply the backdrop of their lives and work. They also discuss the complexities associated with working creatively, engaging in conversations and sharing experiences that other small business owners can relate to and learn from. And their personal relationship draws out some of the more reserved creatives who typically shrink under the spotlight.

Book Review: Creative Spaces: People, Homes and Studios to Inspire

What brings all of the stories together is the earnest desire to continue to learn and grow, creatively, a passion they share with Ted and Angie at Poketo.

“In writing this book, we discovered everyone is in a state of ‘work in progress’. A home, studio or office of a creative is rarely static; it changes perpetually as needs, inspirations and desires arise. We are all constantly in flux—a sign of growth, both personally and professionally,” they write in the introduction.

A community of collaboration is essential to Angie and Ted and the vibrancy of their company Poketo. They share that ethos with many other self-employed creatives—and #imakealiving.

Buy the book and join us as an upcoming #imakealiving event near you. Who knows what you’ll learn—and who you’ll learn it from!



about the author

Freelance Contributor Heather Hudson is an accomplished freelance writer and journalist based in Toronto. She writes for a number of publishing, corporate and agency clients who depend on her to deliver high-quality, on-brand content and journalism with a fresh perspective. Learn more about her work at heatherhudson.ca.