Sunday, September 15, 2013

Reflections on s new studio

Like Liz, I've recently moved into a new studio outside my home. My husband and I are sharing a loft in a building of artists' studios in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

This is what the loft looked like when we moved in at the beginning of July:

Our space is about 26 feet square (and 11 feet high!) and we've divided it more or less equally between the two of us. After two months, we've almost finished setting up and settling in and I've learned a few things that I wanted to share.

1. Being in a building full of other artists working in so many different media is very inspiring and energizing. Our building has visual artists working in oil and acrylic paint, charcoal, wood, jewelry, decorative painting, ceramics, and more, plus there are a couple of film makers, and quite a few musicians. Even when you are working in your own studio with the door closed and concentrating hard, there is a low creative hum going on around you. Not loud enough to disturb, but enough to give you a sense of collective creation, almost like being in a hive.

2. For the first time in four years, I'm finding it a little easier to separate work and home. I've even started taking weekends "off", sort of anyway (baby steps, people). As a workaholic, this is huge.

3. If I need a tool or supply, it is where I'm not.

4. I have to guard against getting sucked into building politics. We're organizing our building to take part in a city-wide art celebration in November and some aspects of it are taking up too much room in my day and in my head.

5. Carlos and I haven't shared the same space before and we're adjusting well, but there's still an adjustment. We have to compromise about temperature, music, and other environmental factors, plus be respectful of each other's things and space. It's a work in progress!

6. Seeing other artists' work inspires my own. Color combinations always, subjects sometimes, and conversations without a doubt, are all feeding my muse.

7. Having all of my art supplies in one room for the first time in 12 years has made me realize that I have a LOT of stuff (too much) and duplicates or triplicates of too many things, so condensing and simplifying is on the agenda.

Do you have or have you ever had a studio outside your home? What are/were the advantages and drawbacks for you in that experience?

~ Jane Davila


Natalya Aikens said...

Your new studio is perfect! As an artist with a studio at home (as I like it best currently) I am slightly in awe of a separate studio.. Someday... Enjoy your adjustments!

Liz Kettle said...

What a great space Jane! I LOVE being in my new outside the home studio too. I love the energy, visual stimulation and getting to know other artists. Congrats!

Kristin L said...

I've been hanging out at a cooperative studio space somewhat like yours, and I love that hive buzz you mentioned. Right now it makes more sense for me to work at home, but there's a lot of perks to being separate as well. I'd love a separate studio someday.....