Having a studio space is a must for me. Throughout ‘adulthood’ I’ve had 12, some more commodious than others. A partial list includes: (1) spare bedroom in our first apartment in Eugene, as a newly married lady with a law school husband; (2) large open concept studio at the Eugene Warehouse Studios, started with 8 artist friends; (3) room in a little duplex owned by Euphoria chocolate company (heavenly); (4) 2nd floor shared studio (with my artist pal, Barbara) above Newberry’s 5 & Dime; (5) custom-built “Tuff Shed,” complete with wi-fi, cable tv and skylights; (6) 4th floor studio with amazing views of Olympic Mountains; (7) shared studio in an artist-owned building housing 19 artists. Each space was what I needed during that period of my life.
My present studio is 4 miles from home (my farthest commute to date) and the smallest (12 feet x 14 feet with 10 foot ceiling). South facing in SE Portland, my sunny 3rd floor studio fits my present needs. We downsized with our Seattle-to-Portland move, getting rid of stuff that no longer supported our “empty nest” life style. So too, it is with my studio. Working in a smaller studio forces me to focus on what I really want to create. It’s challenging to move away from my pack-rattedness (I’m a hoarder of scraps of paper, bits of ephemera or snips of ribbon), but so freeing to throw (or give away) materials that no longer hold my interest.
Of course I lust after a larger studio (doesn’t every artist?). Somewhere I wouldn’t have to put everything away and could work on multiple projects at the same time. In the end tho’ it’s about having my own work space, regardless of size, where I can come and create. To paraphrase Virginia Woolf “. . . a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to make art . . .” As I’ve recently “retired” from my graphic design/invitation business, I just need to figure out the money part!