Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Studio Space

Just read a beautifully written post by Lynn Krawcyk, also known as Fibra Artysta.  In it, she describes what it is about her studio (a room in her house, similar to mine) that renders the space sacred.  I think we all forget about acknowledging the importance of certain things and activities in our lives, and taking the time to think about allowing ourselves to separate from the mundane, the chatter, the everyday tumbly-pumbly, roly-poly, pell-mell THINGS that always seem to consume us and keep us from contemplation.

I know I've forgotten about it, and I can always feel the pull to draw away from all the THINGS (and people) in order to focus solely on creating.  There is nothing like that feeling of time being suspended while "in the zone."  It sounds cliche, I know, but it is real.

Back when I was in college, it was a lot easier to allow myself to fall into that NeverLand - the Fine Arts buildings on campus were usually left unlocked and were regularly patrolled by campus security, so an ever-changing group of us art students would meet in a particular classroom to work on projects until the wee hours of the morning, uninterrupted by phone calls, door bells, chatter, outside demands.  Other groups were there in other classrooms, so there was always opportunity to wander through the fine art buildings and visit with other artists and view works in progress.  Sometimes these visits would provoke conversations, or afford a glimpse into another artist's inspiration or methodology that would often result in another "aha!" moment that would spark another creative idea and prompt a return run down the hall to implement it before it dissipated.  I truly miss those type of sessions and interaction with other creative people.  I longingly make up for it now by reading creative/artistic/crafty blogs, magazines and books, and have accumulated an embarrassingly large collection of them - they often compete for space with the fabrics & supplies in my tiny craft room.  All of these things have spilled over into other rooms of the house; my cutting table (with various projects in mid-production) is in the nearby living room, half-finished knitting projects live in the family room, ready for a bit of work while watching TV or a movie, and dozens more books & magazines are piled up in my bedroom.  Reading crafting & sewing books right before I go to sleep is probably the dumbest thing I do - it often leaves me unable to sleep for all the ideas tumbling through my head.

After reading her post, I'm feeling better about all of this (except for the spilling-over part, anyway).  I need to continue to think of my studio room, my materials, and my using them as sacred - not in a religious sense, just as having a respected place in my mind & in my heart, and entering that room with "letting go" as a mantra.

Wonder how long that will last, considering my studio has only an open doorway (no door) directly across from the front door, two large windows that look outside toward my next-door neighbor's living room, and a large cutout window in the remaining wall that opens to my own living room and a view out the bay window.  Too many chances for the outside world to creep in, I think.

As far as a crafty post goes, most of my day was spent in headache-land, though I did manage to work for a few hours on a crochet project with my son's girlfriend.  Amazingly enough, the Sewing Assistant left us alone, and was happy to simply sun himself in the bay window while we were working.  We finished the crocheting part; now all she has to do is stuff the pieces & sew them together.  We'll photograph the finished project and I'll post it a bit later.  Since my son doesn't read my blog, I can tell you what it is:  the two of them love Japanese animation, and adore the movie "My Neighbor Totoro".  So she found a pattern to crochet my son a Totoro of his very own, and it was an ambitious first project for her to tackle (that's where my help came in).  I hope she feels good enough about it to want to try something else - I've helped her sew a costume, and she seems thrilled by having a finished, handmade article in her hands.  I know it makes me feel good to be able to pass on my knowledge of these traditional crafts, even when they are used in unconventional ways, and to be present to see someone else have that "aha" moment.

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