23 April 2011

6 bottles of glue & 9 pairs of scissors

If you have been around the blog any length of time, you know the battle I constantly wage with trying to organize and tidy my studio.

Usually the studio wins.

The reason for that is that my version of cleaning consists of clearing the work surfaces and making sure that most of floor is visible and I don't have to navigate anything. (That's not to say there aren't piles there, I just tend to shove them where I don't have to step around them.)

Several weeks ago, some very nice people asked me to see my studio. I was flattered and since these are people that I like very much and want to make sure that they enjoy the experience, I set about the task of tackling the piles.

I've got an organizer fetish which, ironically, seems to only add to the clutter. All the bones for having a really great workspace are there. I tweaked the layout just a tiny bit and then just stood there and stared at all the piles.


I'd be lying if I said that a wee panic hasn't been following me around as I pick away at the whole mess of it. But since I'm actually being forced to go through all the piles, I'm amazed.

Here just a small sample of what I've found to give you an idea of the problem:

* 6 bottles of sobo glue (and that's just one brand, the grand total of glue bottles is impressive)
* 9 pairs of scissors
* 25 yards of PFD fabric (that I wasn't aware I had)
* 4 unused sketch books
* 10 black sharpie markers

My reluctance to bite the bullet and actually clean up all the piles has caused me to buy multiple duplicates of things.

Coming across these few things has actually motivated me to keep cleaning because the fact of the matter is, I've decided to put myself on a stash/supply diet. I'm pledging to not buy anything new through the rest of the year unless its for a particular project and its something that I absolutely do not have and can't be substituted out.

At first I felt grumpy about having to go through all this work. Its not like I'm not constantly cleaning in there to begin with. But I think its actually a blessing in disguise, and its steadily coming together.

The part that I'm really enjoying is the decorating. I tend to treat my studio like one giant assemblage. I'm definitely not of the zen space idea when it comes to where I create. I like the walls to be covered in artwork - mine and the pieces I collect. It instantly throws me into work mode to be around that much creative energy.

The thing that got me wondering today was this: why am I willing to do all this for someone else but not for myself? The thought crossed my mind several times as I worked that if it wasn't for the fact that strangers were going to be looking at my space, I most likely would have continued to plod along with the piles and clutter.

I'm not saying it didn't irritate me, it totally did. But for some bizarre reason, I was completely willing to accept it when the space was closed off to the outside world.

At any rate, it will be some time before you'll see the results but when they do get posted, I'll also be showing the before pictures. Because I think its important to see that all of us start in the same place - from several little piles of scissors and glue.


Dale Anne Potter said...

Lynn, you CAN DO IT!
I had the same issues & finally got organized - did a video in early January. I set aside a day a week to keep it organized and I'm finding it makes me even more creative. GOOD LUCK & look forward to seeing the finished organization!!!

Leann said...

Heavens, woman, your studio is turning into a store!

Jo James said...

Good for you!
I look forward to seeing the before-and-afters :)

bj parady said...

I, too, have taken the no-buy pledge for 2011. Thing is, though, I should probably extend it for about 5 years. One thing I've found is it actually helps my art to have to make what I already have work. Good luck!

Cedar Ridge Studio said...

Sounds like me and my studio.
I feel for you.

Eileen Cox said...

Thank you for once again being so honest, so brave, and for holding up that mirror to those of us who are picking our way through those haphazard piles of STUFF. You hit the nail on the head with the question about why we clean & organize for others, but not for ourselves. It's a question I'm constantly asking myself, only I haven't come up with an answer yet. I do know that I could be so much more productive if I could keep things organized (and avoid buying duplicates, like you discovered) - and still that isn't enough reason to stay on top of things. I wonder sometimes if I'm self-sabotaging my creativity?

Jay said...

I love your pledge...so much I am going to "steal" it!!! I think you and I are in very good company...artists just are pack rats!! It is in our blood!! Good luck to you in your endeavors!!!

jen said...

I laughed out loud! I think I would really love you in real person! Usually when I have piles like this it is because I don't really have the right sort of storage space!

Lynda said...

Great post! I organized my studio several months ago but found I still had so much stuff with no place to put it. Yesterday I again started sorting - even removed a table that was just another surface for me to pile up. I'm getting together a box for my church's rummage sale and will also probably give some stuff away on my blog. Way too much stuff here.Look forward to you after post!

Michigoose said...

Woman after my own heart..I've been trying to get my "studio" cleaned up since early March....I took before photos, but I am unsure if I have the courage to show how bad it really was..now if only I could find my black sketch book!

Lisa Quitnana

Gerrie said...

I personally see no problem with this! Sounds just like my studio. If I just look, there is no need to run to the store.

Misty said...

i have the same issues! several times a year, i do a massive clean out and organization. the first big project i work on turns my space back into a danger zone! for me it just seems to be part of the process. drives my hubby crazy because my workspace is our bedroom.

Deb H said...

I have this project looming ahead of me - I think I'll read this post everyday until I get it tackled - thanks for the inspiration!