Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Abundant Time and Space

This week I’m diving into chapter 6, “Recovering a Sense of Abundance,” in Julia Cameron’s classic, The Artist’s Way. In the video I discuss how my perception of time, or my perceived lack or abundance of it, has changed (significantly!) since finally going on solo artist dates. I also share an awesome time awareness tip I learned from Austin Kleon in his book, Steal Like An Artist.

I can’t count the number of people who have told me they aren’t honoring their creativity because they don’t have the space. You don’t need a large space to be creative. How much space does a sketch book and a good Pilot pen (my favorite is the Precise V7 Rolling Ball Fine) take up? Not much! So space, or the perceived lack of space, is not an excuse for not capturing your ideas or expressing yourself.

Welcome to my studio! :)

I acknowledge that the challenge of not having a dedicated creative space, where you can leave your supplies out instead of constantly moving them out of the way, grows tiring. I know! Throughout high school I would paint on my bedroom floor and sew at my desk that was intended for doing homework. When I started painting again in my early 30’s I would spread out my art supplies on the kitchen table or the living room floor. A pain in the ass and disruptive to my roommates? Yes and yes. But not having a dedicated creative space didn’t stop me from making art.

On the right. Behind the chair is my 1st found bookcase.

My first dedicated creative space was an old dining room table in the corner of a 2nd bedroom/home office. I shared it with my husband in our first apartment. The four foot round table wasn’t much space to create on, but it was space that I didn’t have to clean up if I didn’t want to.
Inspiration Board

Bigger space is not necessary better space. For 18 months I had an off-site studio. It was about 250 square feet. Sometimes I slept there, sometimes I didn’t. What I certainly did not do was create art in it. For me it just wasn’t an inspiring space. And it resulted in a creativity drought.
The Helm

My current space is perfect for me! For starters, it’s in my home again. I don’t have to drive to and from, wasting precious time that could be used creating . Nope. I can shuffle in, at any time (even in my pj’s and slippers if I want!) to take a peek at my works in progress. I do that a lot actually. My bathroom is the adjacent room (great for cleaning up my brushes!) so I often wander into my studio when I’m brushing my teeth.
On the left.

While my current studio is not large, I am working on larger canvases (three 36 x 36” at the moment) and on more pieces simultaneously than ever before. I think what helps is I’ve found a balance between storage space and creation space. And it also supports me to put everything away when I’m done. Since the space is not large I don’t like it cluttered. But, more than that, pulling out my tools and selecting my paint colors is part of my creative warm up process when I come into the space to play.
Vision Board

A creative space need not be fancy or expensive. I don’t know about you, but when I’m getting my art on, I get my art on everything. If it’s in my studio, it’s subject to being splattered with paint. So I love that most of my studio furniture are things I found on the side of the road or discarded by a dumpster. They already have some mileage to them. A little paint splatter just adds more character.
2nd found bookcase.

My most recent found furniture item is a nifty chest of drawers with a secret desk drawer. And get this – I found it on my fist solo artist date two weeks ago! It has transformed the space. Even though it takes up space, with the addition of the surface top and the storage drawers, I have more space to create in.
Paint, mediums, and tools.

So there you go. You don’t have to have a large space, or fancy furniture, to rock your artistic endeavors. You just need imagination and to surround yourself with inspiration. To give you more ideas for creating your art space, following are more pictures of my current studio that I took today. Happy creating!
It's not a bookcase without books.
Found Chest of Drawers
Lookie here... It's secretly a desk! And that's also a found chair. I have a matching pair. :)
Studio Alter
My Angels. I was lucky to have not 2, but 3, Grandmothers. They are always with me. :)