This ceramic artist believes in honoring your own pace when working

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Pottery artist Iori Espiritu talks about finding joy in plants, feeling productive in the afternoon, and the importance of listing down small goals for the day. Photo courtesy of IORI ESPIRITU

Rizal (CNN Philippines Life) — “I've learned that we have too much unnecessary clutter,” says illustrator and ceramic artist Iori Espiritu. “It makes things easier if we let go of things and keep it simple.”

Espiritu is the artist behind some of the most coveted and functional homeware pieces right now, mostly purchased via her Instagram store. Her pieces come to life through Espiritu’s whimsical illustrations, which she has used in several children’s books. Each piece is adorned with a face on the surface, often in repose.

Whenever she posts new pieces — sometimes a cup, a tray, or a plant pot — there is almost always a fight in the comments section for dibs on the item. In one of her more recent Instagram posts, Espiritu teased a few works in progress. “Mine!!! Practice lang,” commented one user. Others expressed hope that they would be able to be fast enough to purchase the items when she’s able to put them up for sale.

“I made a new version of the face mugs and am working on a new series,” Espiritu says of her latest work. “I've also made a separate account for selling my works.”


Espiritu has been open with her creation process, which she says hasn’t significantly, but it’s definitely pushed her towards improvement. She says, “I've been doing things more slowly but with more intent. Surprisingly and fortunately, there are still a lot of people supporting our craft.”

As she pushes forward with her work, she notes that ceramic work isn’t a one-way relationship. “It is also important to take care of your relationship with the people who support you and your work,” she says.

In this interview with CNN Philippines Life, the pottery artist talks about finding joy in plants, feeling productive in the afternoon, and the importance of listing down small goals for the day.

What’s the first thing you do each morning?

I check out my plants! Keeps me energized and happy.

What time of day do you feel most productive? Why do you think that works for you?

I'm most productive in the afternoon. There are less distractions during this time and I've already finished household chores.

What do you enjoy most about your job, and what do you find most challenging about it?

I like that I can make things that can be useful to other people! The most challenging part is having to do everything on my own, from the making, to the business aspect of things


How do you deal with distractions?

I let it distract me. (Laughs) Sometimes I tend to get too focused on working, I lose track of time.

With regard to day-to-day challenges, do you have a ritual that helps you through it?

I write down what my intentions are or list what needs to be done.

When did you start this ritual? Was there a specific moment that inspired it?

I think it started when I got sick a long time ago, I didn't know what to do so I started listing small things that I want to accomplish throughout the day.

Are you always able to accomplish this ritual? What do you do if you aren't able to do it? Does it have any bearing on your mood and your productivity?

No! It's okay if things don't go as planned. I think it's important to honor your pace and take things as they come.

Would you recommend this ritual to other people? Why or why not?

Yes and no. It gives you a clear view of what you need to deal with but sometimes, it becomes too systematic.

Are there any apps you use for productivity?

I only rely on Google Sheets.

How do you unwind after a busy day?

I go back to my plants or have some tea. (Very tita, haha.)