28 June 2012
Artist Lisa Call posted a list of questions on her blog about how she works in her studio. Some people in the comments asked about answering the same questions on their own blogs and I decided it sounded like fun. (Lisa is compiling a list of everyone who did it so be sure to go to her blog and check it out.)
Here's a look at my favorite spot in my studio (I've posted this photo before but I love it, it really represents the feeling I have when I work in there):
And here are the questions:
Is your studio at home or a separate space?
Mine is in my home. Its a spare bedroom. I got to choose between two rooms when I decided to claim a space - one was little and one was much larger. I picked the larger one, figured I didn't need that much room to sleep.
I dream of buying a small house to turn into nothing but studio space. Although I battle the mess with a vengence in the one I have now, imagine the chaos I could wreak in 1000 sq feet.
How big is your studio?
Its modest. About 11' x 14'. But its alllllllll mine. I can leave projects out in progress and I've found that to be a significant thing for my art making. Prior to the studio when I had to constantly put things away and haul them all out again, I lost motivation real quick because it became too much effort. I can honestly say that I am more productive with a dedicated studio space.
Typically, how many hours a day do you work in the studio?
During the week? Almost never. My day job keeps me out of the house about 10-11 hours per day and by the time I get home, the most I can do is think about art. I carry a notebook with me during the week that gets stuffed full of everything that I want to do when I can get time to do it. So in a way, I work in my studio constantly - just in my mind. The most of my studio time is on the weekend. I spend the week planning and scheming so my weekend time is very very productive.
How many days a week?
Usually the weekends get the most action. And if I have a day off work, I'm always in there. Everything revolves around when I can sneak there and just work.
Do you listen to music while you work?
Yes, I like soulful type music like The Beatles and Ray Charles. And also rock like The Runaways. I tend to find one song and set it to repeat. It creates a kind of sound cocoon, blocking out everything else and after a while, I don't really hear it. But it removes any outside distraction and sharpens my focus.
Do you watch television while you work?
I watch movies when I'm doing the mundane tasks - like wiring work and adding labels or filling out paperwork. I need some entertainment for that kind of work, its as exciting as watching paint dry. But when I'm working on artwork, I can't take the constant changes of pace in dialogue and music - it breaks my groove.
Do you answer the telephone while you are in your studio?
Telephones are not allowed in the studio. That's why the universe created voice mail.
How often do you take breaks?
I don't like to stop once I start. I'll work about seven to nine hours straight without a break. Normally when I go up in the morning to start working I haul a lot of drinks and snacks up with me so I don't have to leave the room at all. I look like an art refugee fleeing toward safety.
Do you have any over-use issues with your hands or any other body parts?
My hands, and that's because I do so much printing on fabric and hand stitching and also the constant typing from writing so much. I actually need surgery on my left hand to relieve some issues there but its only uncomfortable so I'm learning to live with it and treat it. I'm right handed so that side takes the most abuse. But I've learned when to back down before it gets to a point that is painful.
If so, how do you manage them or compensate?
I wear an athletic wrist support on my right hand when I'm working (that includes typing) to help with fatigue. On the back of the box it says its great for people who do needlework as well so I'm not alone in this. I think you just have to be smart and if you have a problem body part (that was weird to write), you learn its limits and how to make it happy.
I am most myself when I am in my studio. I don't worry about judgement. I sing, I dance (badly) and I just make stuff. To me, that's what a studio is - the place where you can let go and forget the rest of the world.
How about you? Do you have a dedicated space - small or big or just a corner? Do you think it makes you more productive?