Creativity is chaotic. That's a fact. Another fact is that for me it is impossible to work in a chaotic environment. Especially a small one. So I need to spend a fair amount of time making sure that my space stays organized and I know where everything I need is and periodically sort and purge my supplies.
There is never enough time yet there are hours that seem to drag by at a painfully slow pace. It can be hard to find the time to work everyday with children and a house keeping me busy. I love my family and I love making our hundred year old small urban apartment more homey feeling and personalized. But the work that needs to be done is seemingly endless. But with my changing schedule I find myself with more time, maybe even enough time if I'm really lucky.
What are you procrastinating right now? I am the master of procrastination. Sometimes I will clean my whole apartment just to avoid writing an email. Currently I am procrastinating carving. My latest carving got started well enough and I am committed to the design (good thing since there is no going back on it at this point) and had grand plans to carve out one design every evening and I would be done in a month. It's been a month and I am not even half done. I got distracted making Rainbow Loom bracelets with my daughters, making Perler Bead Christmas Ornaments, watching Twin Peaks on Netflix with my husband and generally just enjoying life outside of my studio. Oh and I let the mess beast creep in and take over my tiny studio and once that happens doing work there is pretty much impossible. Anybody else procrastinating anything and how do you like to procrastinate?
For the past year or two I have been on a slow journey with minimalism. My free time is very limited so it can be difficult to have big purges but I do what I can whenever I have a free moment along the way. Just getting rid of a few items a week on a regular basis can make a huge difference over time. Then I spend less time cleaning and organizing and more time working and having fun with my family. Our main focus with minimalism is to not accumulate more items without careful consideration. Slowing down the consumption and going without has made a big difference. For our family it is all about finding what each member likes best and uses most and focusing on those items and getting rid of and avoiding the rest.
This philosophy of finding out what I enjoy working with as an artist and getting rid of the extra can be challenging to implement. Living a life of minimalism as an artist offers some special challenges. It is all too easy to collect and hoard various art supplies and justify it saying that it could be just what I need for some later project so I have to keep it around. My small studio starts to fill up with junk rather quickly and then when I need to do work I find it challenging. Now I purge supplies and donate them to my daughter's school on a regular basis. I figure they can put the random art supplies that I have collected over the years to better use than I can. And I still have plenty of materials to draw inspiration from and use in various projects, but without the clutter. Messy does not work very well in a small space.
Sewing machine I am looking at you and giving you the stink eye.
I work in a small space in the 950 square foot urban apartment that I share with my husband and two young children. There are advantages and disadvantages to being an artist who works from home. One advantage is that I'm always close to work-particularly of note when my 2 year old naps for a few hours (most) afternoons. The big disadvantage seems to be missing out on interacting with artists who aren't 6 or 2 years old. This may or may not actually be a disadvantage.
I'm going to spend some time sharing how I setup my studio to keep its' contents both well organized and safe from children. I'll try and share some tips that I learned along the way too.