A Studio of One’s Own
February 20, 2019
I've been dreaming of studio space for a while now, having lost my personal workspace after moving in with my partner and our third housemate.
One becomes cognizant of how much effort tidying up requires and how nonsensical it is to tidy if one is not done when there is no designated table space to leave stuff lying around.
In short, my work life has been work quick and tidy up.
This month Abby and I (as jabs) finally took a leap and moved into a little space at Makeshift Studio. This decision was a natural extension of my personal decision to go out on a limb and spend more of 2019 working on my art instead of prioritizing community organizing and freelancing project after project, contract after contract.
As process-based workers, the two of us spend long hours together just repeating tiny little movements until our hands fail us. How can a physical space enable us to be our best and most comfortable selves while we do this work? Not only is it a reliable place to anchor my creative practice and time, the studio also offers me space to unfold in messy and wonderful ways.
Putting the space together made me reflect on the many moving parts that make up our craft. From the height of the table and chairs to the kind of tool storage we needed, every little detail impacted differently.
Co-constructing that space with another person who has different needs means that constant communication to figure out a solution that works for both of us is important.
Luckily Abby and I are not the arguing sort. We've been working together for too long.
As I unfold into my new studio space I am also reflecting on how much legitimacy I give my work. I find myself undervaluing or dismissing my labour far too often around my peers. Maybe I'm afraid they won't understand, or that they have already made certain assumptions.
I don't think a studio will change that. But at least, in a space built specifically for my work, there is no room (literally) to not take myself and my labour seriously. Space for my artist self reminds me that my artist self demands room too. I am grateful to finally be able to afford a bit of that in this season.
I'm excited to see what other confidences and questions this little studio nest will incubate. I'm excited to be inspired, to despair during production, to develop early signs of carpal tunnel while cutting deep into words and images and everything in between.
I'm excited to feel like an artist coming home.