I am a great one for making plans, writing lists and organizing my working methods to give maximum output especially in the studio where time is very precious. I am so much more relaxed and productive when I have a plan. But life has a way of disrupting plans!
I’ve been sharing my studio with my son Callum for the last year to support him starting his own picture framing business. It has been wonderful to be able to do this and we have worked around each other reasonably well. He uses it 2 or 3 days in the week and I use it in the evenings and at weekends. We each have to tidy up a bit more than we would do if we weren’t sharing but it has been a real pleasure to see his business grow. And I have got to see some wonderful pieces of photography, print and even textiles. The great news is that he is now moving into his own studio. The bad news is the period of chaos that we are going through!
The date he got access to his new space has been a bit fluid. As has how many hours he can spend getting the space ready (it needs a lot of work!). So the date he moves out of my studio has become very fluid. He also still needs to earn money so he has been coming into the studio at odd times including weekends to do framing. When he moves out next weekend he will be taking his big work bench and the glass and paper store we build on the back wall. This will involve dismantling them. And then he needs to build me a new print bench and some more storage spaces. All of which creates sawdust. Lots of sawdust. Which means I will be packing up and covering up all my stuff for a period of at least two weeks.
I don’t actually mind being without a studio for a couple of weeks because I’m going to end up with more space (and no sawdust). But uncertainty is a powerful distraction. Although I’m making good progress on the goals I set for April and May I have struggled to enjoy the hours that I have spent at my print bench and am not as happy with the results as normal. As Steven Pressfield would say the Resistance is very strong in my life right now.
So my coping strategy – shift focus to activities that don’t require ‘creative’ input. And to activities that I can stop and start at short notice. I have been busy finishing ‘finished’ pieces – that is binding or stretching, adding labels and photographing. The extra space means that I’ll be able to move all of my ‘stuff’ out of various nooks and crannies in the house. Including all my quilts and my many boxes of fabric. So I’m using this period of chaos to think about how to store quilts and to decide if I even want to keep all of them. I’m also looking at all my boxes of fabric and wondering the same thing. Maybe a ‘studio’ sale on Etsy?
The key thing is that I am still ‘turning up every day’ and ‘doing the work’. So what if it is not the work I thought I would be doing. Steven Pressfield would be proud!