Sunday, September 25, 2016

To Have an Art Studio? The Ultimate Crafter's Question

Often times I get to wondering about what my favorite artists' crafting spaces look like. I read things like 'kitchen table' or 'corner of my bedroom' but I never really get to see what they actually look like. The internet doesn't provide much help in this regard either. I mostly just get Pinterest results of staged organization ideas. Nobody is that clean. Not even me. Trust me, even with a nice space inspiration sometimes never comes. And keeping it nice is even more of a chore. So, I've decided to share a bit of my own past and present with the whole picture perfect studio vs. home studio debate.

I had an art studio once. It was both good and bad. It was good because it was the perfect place for me to emerge from my two year long creative slump. And it was located next door to my job at the time. And it got me away from the house. And it was filled with sunlight. See:

This is the room when I first encountered it.

I first came across this space when the World's Littlest Skysecrapr and attached boutique was changing hands. The new business owners were about to take up residence inside of Hello Again and the old owner was moving away. The old owner was a regular of mine at the restaurant next door. For some reason, I had never actually been inside the skyscraper, so I decided to visit and tell her goodbye. And fell in love. And was told no, I could not rent out the empty space.....because. The new owners later changed their minds, but not before I had spent a couple days at home crying over the matter:

Still rocking my Pi shirt though!

This happened roughly in May of 2015, not that long ago really. At the time I really needed to have a place of my own. It needed to be a place that was neither work nor an apartment that I was quickly tiring of. It needed to be a space specifically for crafting. This room fit the bill!

Beading desk, chair, stool, and old tv stand for storage.

Jewelry displays/hidden storage.
This and two other pieces were the only things I sold in six months in the studio.

If I remember right, the space measured about 14x16 feet. So, not much bigger than a craft show space. It was perfect. I got to meet tourists because of the building itself. I had a downstairs neighbor who was a colored pencil artist. And I got lots and lots of sunlight! But all of this didn't last long. I soon started a second job inside of town, rather than downtown. I then left my restaurant job for the second job and had less mandatory reason to frequent downtown, especially with an erratic schedule. Then I bought my new/old car back in October and had to make the tough decision to replace my studio rent for car payments. But never fear! I was not terribly upset because by that point, JD and I were on the way to moving out of our sad apartment and into a three bedroom house. :-)

This ended up being an even better thing for me. For all my fancy studio, there was very little I could do to work on tutorials, or blog or, you know, stay in the building past 5:30 PM. It was a very sad thing to be kicked out right when I'd just started being excited about a project. Or to only be inspired on Mondays, when the building was closed. :-(

I like having a home studio anyways. I can bead in my pajamas. Here are some images I took fairly recently:

Beading desk with beads up top, MST3Ks, tins, WIPs, magazines, etc. (Set up in the space between the hallway and hearth.)

Work surface with WIPs, current issue of BEADWORK, Oopsie Pikachu plush, and Evil Stan pretending to be Batman.

Bonus room computer desk setup.
Bonus room closet setup.Various art supplies and cosplay stuff. Fisher Price toy collection on top shelf.

Bonus room doodle desk! Old school desk from my grandmother's house. Side table and nerd display.

 It's strange. I never would have thought that working from home would have been the preferable option. I have gotten SO SO much work done these past eight months. But I was really tired of that old apartment and don't miss it at all. I miss a few things about the studio though. My downstairs neighbor was super nice, but she wasn't there very much. The furniture was really cool, especially that desk. But it was on temporary loan from a fellow artist friend. :-( And, of course, the sunlight. It always comes down to that with me. I get a fair amount in the mornings now, but not enough. Maybe someday I'll be able to afford patio furniture and be able to bead outside while enjoying breakfast! (Any bug candle suggestions?)

Tonight's listening pleasure: Ingrid Michaelson <3 <3 <3