Thursday 1 October 2009

Creating the Space in order for our Needs to be met

Since moving I seem to be dragging my feet setting up my studio space. I still have things in storage, and I find it hard to sort when everything is not in one area. I have also gone from having two huge studios and one gallery space a year ago to.... now... well...a rather small loft!
Don't get me wrong ~ I love my loft! It's all wood and skylights with one whole end wall being glass. Did I mention it overlooked the ocean?
I tend to think I have to get my space "perfect" before I actually do anything in it, so three months into the new home I'm still not really doing anything. Granted I did move twice in one month (don't ask!) set up home, found new furniture, participated in five art shows, grew a garden and that's since June, not to mention helping out on several landscaping projects.
But no studio...

I've done quite a bit of the layout, and got rid of a lot of things I no longer need, organised some of what remains, and most important of all can actually walk across the floor most days without incurring personal injury. And always... always I've keep journalling....
But no studio....

Yesterday in total frustration I finally bought a bag specifically for my large sketchbook and pouch of favorite pens - at least I'd have a portable studio!

Today I was thinking about something I taught in a class years ago: that self-discovery is usually about learning to figuratively create the space in order for our needs to be met. In a "duuh" moment (I just teach this stuff!!!) I decided to not only take that literally, but to turn it around. That maybe it was about defining my needs in order to create the space.

So grabbing my journal I wrote down the issue:
What are my needs?

I need somewhere to WRITE (I have that in my writing area downstairs)
I need somewhere to PAINT
I need somewhere to DESIGN
I need somewhere to CREATE
I need somewhere to PLAY
Even faster I jotted down:
1) LIGHT (good source of natural light and excellent lighting)
6) BEAUTIFUL SURROUNDINGS (the totes had to go!)
I'm scribbling hard by this time... I then made two lists, one, what I needed at hand and the other, what I could store elsewhere:

(At hand)
Art Supplies... Collage Supplies... Sewing Machine & Supplies... Art Books... Sketch Books...
Music (!) CD Player/Radio and CD's... Inspirational pieces (bird's nests, stones, driftwood, other artist friends work...)

Mats... Frames... Fabric/Patterns... Extra Note/Sketchbooks... Embroidery Threads... Beads... Accessories

There's a lot more to add to the list, trust me... but I was suddenly VERY clear on what I needed to do to have the space to create!

I felt totally liberated and can't wait to get right in there and put into practice what I had realised in writing. The fact that my friend and I are planning a huge garage sale Thanksgiving weekend suddenly makes it easy to let go of more stuff...

Now here's the truly magical part of all of this.... remember the portable studio? the bag with the sketchbook? Feeling very pleased with what I had worked out, I took it out and doodled a bit, played with my pens and loving the feel of the line as it sweeps across the page chasing my hand. Then without really thinking about it I began sketching for a new line of greeting cards I have been thinking of doing for several months now. I sketched some designs for some birdhouses I want to make for the winter. And from there came up with the idea for a mural that I have been commissioned to do: concept, outline, design, the lot!

WOW! Did it ever feel good to be in that creating space again!
And for my needs to be met...

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