Lizz Barnes’ team at Ear in the Envelope includes four full-time employees—and each is talented in their own right.
Jordan Delgadillo was a resident artist at Jacob Grant’s Wheel Art Pottery studio when Grant recommended him to Barnes. He began at Ear in the Envelope cutting metal and now helps manage the studio.
“The atmosphere has nurtured my personal work,” Delgadillo says of his digital artwork. “Any other job I’ve had has almost trampled my creativity. Here, it’s the opposite. We are allowed to be creative and bounce ideas off of each other.”
In December, one of his pieces was selected in a contest sponsored by Disney and Tumblr to appear on the red carpet at the L.A. premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Check out his work at facebook.com/DelgadilloArt.
Kavante Barnett is a studio assistant and event coordinator at Ear in the Envelope, overseeing all orders before they are shipped. He is also assistant coach of a dance team with Tesa Irby. “We teach hip hop to children ages seven to 12, and we travel all over,” he explains. Barnes opened her space to his team of 18 kids, who practice there three times a week.
Barnett is also an abstract artist who has displayed his work at the studio. “I’ve had a lot of learning opportunities here,” he notes. “A lot of people don’t succeed in what they do because they don’t have time to be flexible. It becomes a corporate mindset; they forget to be people. Everybody here supports everyone else’s dreams. I’ve been able to pursue a lot of my dreams in this space.”
Zachary Leachman creates electronic music and sculptural cast jewelry. Barnes taught him how to solder, but his creative work has developed independently of his work at the studio. “Lizz is a facilitator,” he explains. “Before anyone else saw what I was doing, she encouraged it.”
Leachman’s brand, Sym, comes from the word symbiosis. He draws inspiration from the effects of time. “The piece is in a transient state and so is the person wearing it—they have a relationship that they both benefit from… so there is an interaction between the two.” View Leachman’s work at symadornments.com.
Chris Smith oversees the inventory at Ear in the Envelope, counting out every item on every order. Though it might sound monotonous, both Barnes and Smith say he was made for this highly detail-oriented job. For him, each order is a puzzle—as he puts it together, he can often guess what the artist intends to create. “When you see what other tools they are ordering—maybe a hammer or a block of steel—you can figure out what they’re doing with it.”
He also uses the space to practice guitar, which he has been playing for eight years. “It’s like a second home,” he explains. You can hear Smith perform on occasion at First Fridays. a&s