For almost three months now I've had a separate working studio space away from my home. This has produced mixed results. First of all, anything you might imagine when you think 'studio', you have to strip out all the romantic elements like sunlight, windows, quiet and peacefulness. It's located downtown in a basement of a busy theatre, so the atmosphere can be charged with all sorts of theatrical emotions and, if there is no theatre above, then Phantom of the Opera level subterranean spook, with me being both the creeper and creeped.
My ability to find get down to my studio is quite limited, much more than I initially anticipated. If I manage an hour a day, I get quite excited. Maybe three on the weekend. Maybe.
While I'm there, for however long, is it work time, so that part is working out. Focusing on the task before me, I am not interrupted by the demands of home, childs, husband and cats, leaving me emotionally intact instead of irritated and scattered, which is how I feel when working at home. An hour focused on my work is much more satisfying in the studio as I feel like I've been able to immerse myself.
But what am I working on? I pictured finally getting to jump into all the ambitious ideas I've had over the years and really produce as an artist. So far... nah. I have done about the same as I would have done at home, but, and this is important, with more quilts!
This is boy child's design (as inspired by a non-traditional quilt he spotted on the Internet). I started this on the first day I worked in the studio. It's now ready to have the border hand stitched in the back but here it is in starting the 'making a quilt sandwich' phase:
There is no way I would of been able to leave out the quilting supplies while working on other projects when at home. As mentioned (whined about) many times, I have six hundred and forty four feet of home here and there is hardly enough room to swing a broadsword, never mind working on a multi-piece quilting project. If you have children like mine, you know how relevant it is to understand how much room it takes to swing any variety of weaponry.
In addition, while working on the boy's quilt, I actually made another one as well:
The quilt reads "Hello I'm good for nothing Will you love me just the same", which is a little bite of the lyrics from the Dresden Doll's "The Perfect Fit". I love that song. I love this quilt! And I love this child:
It's our new couch blanket and everybody loves it, especially the cats.
My studio has allowed me to do these quilts along with some of my more usual work, but, they really aren't the purpose of having the studio. As my husband reminds me, I have overhead now. Producing the art so I can sell the art has been a little low on my priority list.
I love this guy, but he is the only doll I've made in the past three months:
He is a were-bear and I actually never want to give him up, so that brings my doll productivity down to, round-about, zero.
That is exactly opposite of the plan.
Okay, but, the studio has allowed me to start learning a brand new skill. A little anthropomorphic taxidermy to expand my horizons and indulge an interest. Here is Rat King, one of several rodents I have been learned all about the taxidermy with:
Girl child has also been down to the studio to taxidermy a mouse along with a couple friends of mine. New skills for all of us, and even commercially successful for me so far. I've sold a couple of rodent pieces. That would be a check mark in favor the studio.
I have committed to keeping the studio until midsummer to give it a fair trial and see if it's worth all the bother. So far I give it a grade of fifty percent worth-it-ness. I do like having an emotional separation between the creative work and this home where the childs and distractions are, though I end up doing quite a bit in the house still. Mostly the quilting and hand sewing bits that I can do while talking to the childs or when we are all listening to a podcast. If I tried sitting alone in my studio while hand stitching a quilt border, I'd probably go bananas.
I have a situation right now where I've cleared out a couple projects and can begin something new. I'm talking to myself about what is a good idea as far as taking care of some of that overhead, but, well, honestly, another quilt idea seems to have wiggled in and is proving difficult to ignore. It is, with a bit of foreshadowing here, worming its way into my headspace. I know there is no way I could tackle this idea at all at home, but, far away in my private studio space, just maybe...