Another thing that will hopefully help me get back into production mode is a clean studio. My studio is in the third bedroom of our home. It is entirely studio, not a guest room/studio. It is just filled with my art, craft and design related items, and boy is it filled. Recently it had gotten so cluttered the floor was pretty much covered. There were boxes upon boxes filled with scrap paper (I’m a vintage and decorative paper ephemera hoarder) and boxes were even overflowing onto the floor. It was a disaster. I’d go in there to start cleaning and organizing and I could only take 5 or so minutes before I just felt lost and had to leave. I’d eventually make progress in those 5 minute increments, but then I’d have some big project and it would get worse than before.
Finally, last weekend my sister came over and spent 2 hours with me in my studio cleaning and organizing. I mostly put things away while she organized: folding and shelving my fabric stash, putting books back in order on the shelves and somehow consolidating all my paper stash down into 2 boxes! It’s amazing what 2 hours of hard, continuous work can do. My drawing table was tidy and there was room for me to do work at it, imagine that! My studio still isn’t perfect, but everything is off the floor and now I just need to do some major organization of shelves and hopefully pare down on things I don’t need or use that often.
The picture at the top of the post is the inside door of my studio. I keep a drawing sheet there where I list all the projects I want to work on. To the right there is a decorative “wind sock” by Ann of A Beautiful Party. Last week she posted about moving furniture around and how it takes her a long time to get fully settled into a new living space. I really relate to that. I always remember something I read or heard after moving into my second place. It was a stat and I don’t really even remember the exact details, but it was something like “it takes 6 months for the average person to really feel fully at home in a new place after moving.” I think about that so much and I have spent so much time online trying to find that same stat, with no luck. I remember thinking that it made sense but that for me it was probably more like a year. Well, that was a couple of moves ago. Now, I’m pretty sure that every time I’ve moved since then it takes me an additional 6 months before I get all the kinks out. It makes sense because here I am 2 years later and only now just starting to actually hang things on the walls. It’s all about committing and putting something in a place that you know will make sense, or finding that sweet spot for a piece of furniture that is most efficient.
It’s a little bit over 2 years since we moved into our current home. I went for a walk during the summer and walked by our old house. I saw my old studio window that was lit up at night and just had a moment where I missed that studio soooooo much. It was just a spare bedroom with one window and a big closet, the same as my current studio. It was on the second floor and my drawing table, under the window, looked out over a few of our neighbor’s yards. I think about all the time I spent in there and all the creative projects I worked on and feel like it held some sort of magic that maybe my new studio doesn’t have. Then I have to remind myself that when we first moved in to that house that I had major guilt for about a year and a half where I almost never even went into my studio. Matt never said anything to me, but I felt like we are paying all this money to be in a 2 bedroom home and I’d just walk past this room every day and never actually open the door and go in it. It took me a good long while before I got things arranged in there to the point where everything flowed and I felt comfortable, but then after that point I was in there ALL THE TIME. I’m still waiting for that to happen at this new house. I know it will happen and I’m hoping with the recent organization that it is just around the corner. I’d really love the amount of time I daydream about working on art to reflect my actual time spent in the studio.
Ideally, by the end of the month I will be working in my studio all the time and it will be in good enough condition that I might share a little tour.