Through all the hustle of this summer, I've found myself still itching for drawing time. One of the most important things I've ever done for myself is get into my studio and make it regimented. My spaces are everything to me, and when I walk into the studio, I know I'm already getting myself psyched for the next project. Studio space should inspire and energize, help you focus and give you the room to breathe and let go. Artwork, and realistically, all types of crafts that require focus and undivided attention need their own space, and room to breathe.
So what do I do in my space that makes it such a positive environment for my work?
1. Clear the clutter. I can't stand working in a messy area. Sure, there's paint all over the easel and splatters across the wall. But I have my brushes in jars and my prisma markers organized together by color next to the inks and pens. I have shelving for the canvases and papers I want to use. And I have storage space for the in process works that aren't digital on my laptop. I think it's the top reason I am successful in my studio. I have to declutter after every day, but the process helps me clear my head and transition to something else. It's a good routine to say " okay I'm ready to stop fussing over this piece and go get dinner started abs watch a movie" or what ever you do to unwind.
2. Have the right sized studio. It's absolutely essential to be in a room where you feel comfortable. It's different for everyone. I thought when I moved into my Masters studio space that I would feel more at ease, I didn't have the furniture taking up room and the windows let in so much light. As it turns out my home studio is much more suited to my needs. Having a corner nook to curl up in and sketch helps me feel cozy and focused. I'm not worried about the emptiness and what that painting is doing sitting across the room from me. I only see what's in front of me. But others need a large open space where they can breathe and live around in, have space to push all their work around and do multiple things at the same time.
3. Lighting is everything. In my artwork it's the guiding stone I build from, and in my studio environment it can make or break my ability to work. Some need lots of natural light, others like me tend to happily seclude themselves in a controlled lighting environment. I don't count the minutes or have trouble color balancing my digital art when there's no sunlight. It's crucial to have the space you need to think and focus and feel the creative energy flow through the room and into your artwork.
In all of this, I happily reflect on what I've accomplished in MFA studio and at home, and I am always surprising myself with all the sketches and ideas that are constantly flowing when I'm in my happy place. My studio is my zen box, I walk in and the world stays outside. It's just me and my work and it's one of the best feelings in the world when you get it right.
On that note, I'm happy to share that I've been in the local paper! Below is a recent article published about my first painting I had done since I began my professional art journey, the red dog. It was a huge turning point for me, and for my studio practice. Looking forward to many more great experiences in the studio to come!