Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Myth of the "Perfect" Studio

Can you imagine actually living in a place like this?  Whenever I see these kinds of spaces the first thing that comes to my mind is that there's no way someone can live like that.  It takes my family all of 1/2 a second to mess up a room, just by walking into it. 

I can't tell you how many times we've walked into a perfectly neat hotel room or rental home and by the time I've gone from one room to the next I turn around to see chaos.  It just follows me wherever I go! 

The reason I'm writing about this is that I look upon the "perfect" quilting studio the way I look at these rooms.  The ones you see in magazines like "Studios" and "Where Women Create" are so artfully done.  Few piles of papers that need to be gone through, no stray threads on the carpet, no scattering of scraps or piles of uncut fabrics, or, well, just anything that makes you think that real art goes on there.

I'm not disparaging these "studios" at all, just like I don't disparage the beautiful models in the magazines.  They are both victims of "retouching" so that what we think is real isn't really real.  It's discouraging that even the models don't look as good in real life as they do in the magazines, just as I'm sure the studios we see don't look as good when they're being used.

I redid my space a couple of months ago and it's working well for me in some ways but not in others.  It is a lot less messy because I have a place to put everything.  The problem is that my memory's not what it used to be and now I can't remember where I put half of my stuff.  And I thought I was well organized!

My husband and son do use the space now, which is great.  We often spend evenings after dinner up here, hanging out and listening to music or chatting and playing with the dog, (who has 2 beds here, one on the floor and one by the window).  So, from a social standpoint it's been a hit. 

However, I'm not sure how well it's working for me creatively.  As I said, I'm having a hard time remembering where I put things.  The worst is that I have a hesitancy to really get going on creative work because I don't want to mess it up. 

How silly is that?  You create a workspace that intimidates you from working......duh!

I bet that most of the artists whose studios you've seen don't keep them looking like they do in the magazines.  There's no way they could and still do any worthwhile work.  I'm not saying we should be like those poor peole on "Hoarders" but at the same time a little mess can't hurt too much, it's the price we pay for being creative people.

So, on this Mother's Day I'm going to spend a little time creating some artful clutter.  I really need to trash this place!

Happy Stitching!

Susan

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