I was just sitting here today, watching a little Project Runway, drowning the sorrows and stress of life in an alternating deep vat of buttered noodles and cinnamon rolls, and wondering on the fantastically self-involved theme of artists who share their workspace with readers (but really, when is a blog not already rather self-involved, right?). And I thought to myself, hey, I want people to wonder at the OZ that is my workspace and recognize my superior organized wizardry. It’s really quite magical. Most artist spaces are the size of a one car garage with stainless steel shop racks housing four hundred containers of beads and materials, quite possibly an entire army of elves, and the mewling sounds of animals dying beneath the piles of abandoned projects. Most artists might even consider that organized! Ha!
My work space is more a cushioned chair and a four-drawer dresser that acts as a glorified storage chest containing my few tools, pliers, hammer, scissors, a few sewing goodies, some findings and beads. Not very exciting is it?
In my kitchen, I have reserved a single cabinet for spill-over, containing mostly items too large to contain collectively in a small box, such as my business cards, a few on-hand packaging materials, finished product, Liver of Sulfur and corresponding necessities, my Dremel, and, because I’m a master of organized mayhem, the whole of my extensive (ahem) array of artistic goodies, with the exclusion of my art books.And, well, that’s it. I don’t have a secret stash of materials hidden away in the dark corner of my closet where obsessions and addictions fester, and all sense of peace goes to die. I have a tool box, and a cabinet. And really, I can’t imagine I’d ever need more. I order bulk supplies once a year, and unless required by the emergency of a custom order, never visit the local artistic watering hole (ie. JoAnn’s) unless upon threat of death or dismemberment.Are you impressed yet? Don’t be.
My home is a 1000 sq ft, two-bedroom condominium that I share with my husband, children and dogs, and space is a luxury in which I’ve never allowed myself to revel. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is room for more. But I much prefer order and the serenity of sparsity to the claustrophobic chaos of clutter (notice that awesome alliteration? I’m totally a poet.) My dresser is neatly packed at the end of each night, and tucked against a wall in my living room. A room, I might add, which is otherwise fabulous! I love Roman shades and candles. Ahem. Plus, I’m poor. So that tends to put a damper on all that shopping nonsense.
But really, the point I’m trying to make here (yes, there was a point) is that you don’t have to burden your pocketbook, your personal space, or your sense of order to indulge in an artistic activity. The cliche of the disheveled and disarrayed artist is just about on it’s last leg, and I’ll be the one to kick that leg right out from under it. I have a few boxes of beads and rarely make the same thing twice, so beautiful and satisfying things can and do rise up from more than this misguided and misaligned sense of artistic disorder. Now, that’s not to imply artists are sloppy for show or disorganized as a means of expressing their level of creativity, but that I personally find it horrifying. Really. My Obsessive Compulsive Disorder spasms in the presence of clutter. And, for those few who feel my pain, I’m here to let you know there is another way. You don’t need to be a slave to your artistry. My wizardry will set you free.