Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Room of One's Own

A few days after moving to Basalt, CO I happened to walk past a sign in the window of a small business complex just off the town center. It said "Office space for rent - one or two rooms, call Mike..." Mike, turns out, is a cabinet designer who's lived in Basalt for 35 years and happened to be downsizing just a bit. The perks of sub-letting from a cabinet guy is the room is full of gorgeous wood - floor runners, a huge wall-mounted desk, beautiful shutters, and the thing that sold me on the place, the door. That and the 5 minute walk along the river that is now my daily commute.

Within a week, I was moving in and I have to say, I have never had so much space exclusively my own! 170 sq ft is not even that much as far as studio space goes, but just sitting in a corner of the room and looking at all the empty space even after all my equipment was set up felt like my mind was about to expand out of my head and attempt to fill at the little corners of creativity. Virginia Woolf had an insight which I am beginning to understand on a new level.

I've worked from home for years, wherever home might happen to be (Tahoe, Spain, New Zealand - there have been a lot). The comfort of staying in my pajamas until 3pm and the convenience of taking a break to hang up the laundry shouldn't be discounted, BUT getting up, getting dressed and locking the front door behind me has a whole new set of benefits.

  • Since I'm paying for the space, I'm motivated to be efficient and make good use of it. It is also an investment in myself and my work. I believe I can make work worthy of the money I spend to create it. And I believe that there are clients and investors out there that will recognize the value of that work and help me (eventually) turn a profit.

  • I'm surrounded by other people working. Well, only two other people, but having a working 'energy' present instead of fighting with the home 'energy' of cooking, cleaning, relaxing, sleeping shows up in my productivity.

  • Home is now home and ideally when I'm there, I can drop that ever-present nagging in the back of my mind that I should always being doing one more thing. It's something many of us self-employed people struggle with. I expect it will be an adjustment to not think of something I need to do after dinner and jumping up and doing it. But I am looking forward to spending more time with my wonderful husband, reading books, watching movies, sharing our home with friends, knowing that my studio awaits me in the morning.
So, expect great things from the new creative bubble!


High Sierra Flyfisherman said...

Looks quite nice.
I could see the twinkle in your eye when we were walking around that artist's studio in Monterey.
The seed has now taken root.

Laura van Duren said...

Merry Christmas Corrie! I was delighted to find your blog and Christmas greetings.Congrats on the new studio space! I can definately relate to having the conflict of having my studio at my house. It is a constant battle to leave the work in my studio alone for the night! Wishing you both a peace filled holiday.

Corrie Francis Parks said...

Merry Christmas to you too, Laura! I must say, you have built a fabulous creative workspace in your garage over the years and the history you have there comes out in your work. I'm looking forward to building up some creative history in my new place.