Thursday, September 18, 2014

Seth Apter's "Studio Table" Challenge

My dear friend,
Today is the day...


Today is the day I share the reality of my creative studio space, not that I haven't already shared peeks of my creative space before, but Seth Apter is hosting a great challenge for artists to share the reality of the 'studio table' and the reality of creative chaos so we can begin to banish the 'shame' of not having the 'dream space' that one sees posted in Pinterest boards, Houzz ideabooks and craft magazines!

I am so glad that Seth put out this call to share what our creative studio tables look like when one is in the midst of creative chaos and it is long overdue. The idea that one can create without making a chaotic mess, is highly unrealistic, yet this myth is quite pervasive and I am happy to help Seth bust this myth!

I am hoping that this might also help me come to terms with the reality of HOW I work and maybe it will be the start of figuring out how to design around that to make a truly FUNCTIONAL studio space for me, because I am tired of being so frustrated and unhappy at my lack of a 'dream space' that I see happening everywhere else, just NOT in my home...

Let's Start at the VERY Beginning...
To begin with, my old creative space began in the spare room of my old apartment, which I quickly outgrew when I began to take on more than just sewing as a creative pastime...



Images from my old sewing room...which moved into the dining room when collage and book arts became my main mode of creative expression:

The reality of 'creative chaos'!


Fast Forward to TODAY...
I moved at the end of last year and tried to forge a new creative space, but it was filled with all the boxes of creative supplies and decor, which was hard to get through...


The new studio space and studio closet, packed to the brim...

...so I began to start using the dining table to work from:

This is just half of the dining table, not the whole story...

...so let me share an overview of the dining table I work on most of the time - clutter is the name of the game, it seems!

But this could not be a permanent solution to my problem, so I began to slowly unpack more of my supplies, such as my creative books, which I found a (temporary!) home for...but at least they were organized!


While this unpacking began to help, I soon came to the realization that I had used my entire home as a creative space, and trying to cram all that into one small room was going to be a Sisyphean task...despite this, I still attempted to make a work table happen...

The studio space before setting up the "Studio Table"...

The day I set up my "Studio Table" - it's a CLEAR table, devoid of clutter, but that didn't last long...

So let me reveal what my "Studio Table" looks like today...



"STUDIO TABLE"
Baring all to share what a creative studio table really looks like when in the midst of creating - in this case, trying to create a 'dream studio'...

My "studio table" today - loaded with supplies to be stored and organized somehow...

An overview of the "studio table"...

...One end of the table with embroidery threads waiting for a new home, fabrics to be put away or sewn up, boxes to be used for storage of who-knows-what, and a plaster cast of my face for making paper-mache masks - one day!

The other end of the "studio table" of ribbon spools, wire baskets of lace and ribbons, piles of paper for book making, yet very little storage to put it all =(


That is my "studio table" as it stands today...

You can easily see why I have constant frustration and unhappiness at NOT having a pretty and organized studio space, let alone an organized studio table!

And I can see that having more than one creative interest could be at issue, since there are supplies for each interest, which can quickly get out of hand. However, I also know the supplies I have for rubber stamping and knitting are pretty small when I see how many stamps and how much yarn my fellow practitioners collect.

Truly, their collections put me to shame!

But having more than one creative interest IS a challenge, no doubt about that...

And I don't yet know how I can approach this challenge just yet. All I can do for now is to take stock of my supplies and discard that which no longer serves me, which is something I've been doing for quite awhile now.

It just hasn't felt as if I've made much progress...

At least I have shared the reality of my "studio table" and I hope that by sharing the reality of my studio table it will help to dispel the myth of the "perfect creative space" so we can begin to embrace the studio tables we now have, instead of having shame around them...

...and maybe THEN I will be able to let go of my personal shame at not having that "perfect creative space" which might make space for the great studio space I'm MEANT to have in my life...

Here's hoping!

***   ***   ***

Many thanks to Seth Apter for his bravery in 'baring all' with this challenge, as well as the participants of this challenge! It's not too late to join in - just visit this post for details, and visit today's post to see the list of participants and peek at real world artist studio tables!

18 comments:

Lin Collette said...

I honestly understand how you feel as I am continually frustrated by how cramped my space is and how much I have (yet it's so much less than I used to have because I tossed a huge amount when I moved to this apartment). Even last night I was moving things around, trying to organize things because I had misplaced stuff I need for a project and haven't found it and so now have reordered it (photos). I definitely understand

Ruth L said...

You know I still envy one small place from you, that little corner for the sewing machine. Mine is keep traveling up and down, that's why they didn't fit in the photos, they were sitting down under. That's it I am cramped as well ;-)

The Creative Beast said...

LIN: thanks for sharing that you too suffer from an (OVER!)abundance of supplies, which I'm sure is why I struggle with my messy work space, in fact, my dear boyfriend bought me a new plate for one of my sewing machines because I couldn't find the original among all the still packed goods from our move!
RUTH: it IS hard to be so cramped isn't it? My sewing machine is out on the dining table, but I know it can't stay there forever, or there will be no nice sit-down dinners for me and my sweetie, and I really do want that in our new shared space together =(

Boo said...

I would be totally at home at your place. I don't do sewing this days so I do have one less giant pile than you do.

visiting from Seth's blog

Jo Murray said...

Wow!...there's lots going on here. Obviously you do lots of fabric stuff....clever you.

Martice Smith II said...

What an amazing space you have! I LOVE sewing, too, and to see how you keep your things stored and displayed is giving me some great ideas! Thanks for sharing your fun studio :D

Kathryn Hansen said...

Yup...you have lots of creative interests and just a small space to store it all...I can defintely see that being a problem for you!! Plus it's hard for us creative...creating is one thing, keeping on top of the organization is another!!! What else can you do besides embrace the chaos and know that almost every artist deals with this issue!!! You are not alone!!!

Felicity said...

the problem of the multiple (and multiplying stashes!) My wall of Ikea storage keeps some of my stuff in check but it's really an illusion of organisation... I have so much fabric and yarn and fleeces stored up in the attic room, not to mention the dilemma of where and how to store the finished works.

Nice to see your space and what wonderful stuff to play with!

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Tracey Fletcher King said...

that is quite the space... and you have so much to play with ... lucky you

Lorri Scott said...

Thanks for sharing and we should talk someday soon!

Corrine at sparkledaysstudio.com said...

Lots of boxes of threads and the like, what a wonderful creative space. I wouldn't begin to know how to organize it all. Fabric and goodies and abundance. xox

Marjie Kemper said...

This was one of my favorite stops so far on Seth's studio table tour... loved all your pics and the honesty in the transitions you're going through. You're right about multiple interests being an issue and I love the term 'fellow practitioners'!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Definitely lots of kindred spirits in this "messy tables" adventure. Thanks for sharing your pictures and thoughts. I'm renting a studio space now, which I love, and I've tried to set up various "stations" for my different interests - that has been great. [Also, black tablecloths over my portable tables hide a bunch of stuff stored underneath! ;0)]

Laney said...

I know what you mean about having more than one creative interest. My room is really small and if I have too much stuff out I feel overcrowded and cramped. I need some space to breathe. LOL. Thanks for showing your space.

Gallery Juana said...

Having diverse creative interests means more supplies and equipment and it's great that you can devote your whole house to your creative loves.

For me, I know I need more shelving or ways to organize my supplies. And at the same time, I believe we gain comfort in seeing our supplies and feeling the possibilities that lie within them.

Thank you for sharing your art space and the challenges you are facing.

Kathryn Dyche Dechairo said...

It can be so hard when you have more than one creative interest. There are some things that I've outgrown but I have a hard time parting with supplies that I spend so much money on at the time. I definitely need to have a sort out though and streamline mine more. Thanks for letting us take a peek, I love how creative you are.

Shells said...

Wow! You have a lot of supplies!!!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I feel your frustration. I have a very small space (8' X 9') and must keep it spotless, or I get overwhelmed, something I sense you are feeling. One of the things I do is set up zones for each of my different interests. I hope you find a way out of your dilemma, or accept it is how you create.

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