Holly Coley And Annie L

Q and A between mentor and mentee 


Pic by Annie L from the upcoming Antidotes to Confusion Zine produced by SoEx AIE 

Questions for Annie:


Do you have a favorite ceramic artist or potter? What do you like about their work?

I really like @thecoycollection on instagram. Their work is basic but also fun and delivers positivity. 


What activity (could be anything) do you most enjoy?

I enjoy baking and cooking for my friends and family. For art specifically, although I never had any ceramic experiences, I would definitely enjoy crafting them. 


Are you interested in other types of art making?

I am interested in choreography and ceramics. 


In the work that you have been doing, what is your favorite part of working in clay? 

It's very universal, you can make anything out of it. If you make any mistakes you are able to save it easily. 


With all that's happened last year with the pandemic, do you have any creative goals for this year?

To be more aware of public health. I feel like when the pandemic started, people had to stay indoors. Staying indoors for long periods of time makes me anxious. Going outside creates anxious feelings because you have to worry about what's going on in the world. Feeling anxious affects your mental health and changes your lifestyle. The action of creating with clay eases your stress and distracts from negativity. 


Annie L is a graduating senior and was both a 2020-2021 Youth Advisory Board member and a mentee in the AIE Mentorship Program.































Questions for Holly:

Did you pursue a different field before art?

In the past I have worked as a line cook and dessert chef. Art was always what I wanted to do, but I  needed a day job so I could do my art on the side. 


What sparked your interest to make art?

My father was an artist, as a child my happiest moments were spent drawing.  Art making is linked to my personal happiness, it's how I express myself. 

Do you have a memorable experience in the art field?

A few years ago I did a two week artist residency at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in New Castle, Maine. I made work in an old barn with 10 other artists from all over the country. I participated in my first soda firing, it was an amazing experience. I got to dig clay out of the earth and process it and made my first glaze. 

Have you embarked any obstacles while pursuing in the art field?

Around 7 years ago, my practice started to change focus. I had primarily been working in water based media on paper but felt a strong pull towards clay.  At the time, my studio didn't have kiln access, I only used it for drawing and painting. I ended up leaving the comfort and support of my painting studio community at Root Division for a clay studio in the Tenderloin where I didn't know anyone. It was hard to say goodbye to my old studio.  A big adjustment to go from working in a large community gallery space to spending hours alone in a room by myself. But as time went by, I got to know the people at my new studio, made new friends and professional connections. It was a risk to completely transfer my practice to a new medium in a new environment. But I'm so glad that I did, because those choices put my feet on the path where I find myself today.

Check out Holly Coley's website:



and take a ceramics class from the studio she runs in Bernal Heights, SF:



Vase from the New Classic Collection by Holly Coley