I haven’t had a dedicated studio space since I graduated college 3 years ago. And it’s killing me.
For a while there, I had an extra large bedroom space in my apartment before Chuck and I got married, and I had everything spread out there within about an 8′ x 11′ space. It was managable, but oh so NOT a studio. Since this past January, I’ve taken over about a third of the living area and most of the dining area in our current apartment with boxes and books and paper and glue and paint and canvases and mostly just my “stuff and junk and crap.” My family has been so awesome about having to live around the chaos. They patiently help me clear off the dining room table and all the floor space around it (where the chairs are supposed to go) every single night in order for us to eat supper. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive husband and daughter.
Every once in a while when I ask Guacamolly to clean her room because it’s so messy you can barely see the floor, she comes back with, “But I’m an artist just like you, Mommy!” My heart fills with pride and embarrassment all at the same time. Will I ever have a dedicated studio space with room for all my mess (that won’t interrupt our family meal times) again? Sigh…
And then I stop and think about how lucky I have it. I’m able to work on my art as my (fledgling) career from my home in the first place. Chuck works all week, sometimes from the office, sometimes from home, to pay the rent and bills and buy the gas and groceries. He not only supports me following my dream of making and selling art, he WANTS me to follow my dream. So it may not be the perfect set-up (i.e. a dedicated studio), but at least I’ve got it set up at all, know what I mean?
I do make a little money here and there. I pay at least one bill every other month or so, and I can usually pay for my own gas, and sometimes even groceries! And every time I make even $5, Chuck and Guacamolly get so excited and proud of me.
In short, artists, embrace whatever mess you may have turned your surroundings into. I’ve learned that following your dreams can get messy and moving forward in your life is not usually a neat and clean experience. Keep fighting through what you have at the moment and working towards your goal (of your own studio eventually!) and it’ll pay off in the end.