Until now, studio time has always been fit in around work. I have always wanted to make it my priority but have never actively created a schedule that made it so. Moving 2000 miles to satisfy a gut feeling, it only seems appropriate to finally be making what I love doing my priority.
I have been writing up workshop proposals (and so far have had every submission approved), I have been arranging my weeks so that at least 2 days a week are 9-5 studio work days, and I have been actively engaging with other artists in a variety of ways.
My workshops are geared towards younger students – starting at age 7. I want to keep working with kiddos and be able to introduce them to whole new ways of thinking and creating. One workshop is a beginner’s knitting theme. We will be making our own knitting needles and learning basic knit and purl techniques to make a small summer satchel or bracelet. The other workshop is a 2 session beginner’s shibori class – we will be using natural vegetable dyes to create silk scarf samplers. I want to teach some weaving workshops and have been playing around with building inkle looms and card weaving.
My workspace is about as fancy as a chair set up by the edge of my mattress. I use this space to eat, type, sew, watch movies, sleep, and hang out. All-in-one-in-one. But it does the job for now, especially since I’ve been focusing mostly on quilting and embroidery. Once I have a series finished I’ll post some pictures.
I have been, not entirely on purpose, surrounding myself with people who are also arranging their lives to accommodate their work. Being an artist, it seems, requires a good amount of selfishness, naivety, and bullheadedness when the naivety wears away. To be willing to live like a rat and bust your butt to make rent and enough extra money to buy lumber to make stretcher frames, to put your family through all kinds of stress because they know you are living like a rat with 2 bachelor degrees, a teaching certificate, and 2 semesters of grad school under your belt. To choose to work in the dirt and to ride a bike to make ends meet instead of a Mon-Fri 9-5 job that you sleep through and hate. I need to be friends with people who are choosing to do this too; extra validation in times of self doubt, extra motivation in times of self confidence.
I feel incredibly lucky to be able to even have the option to live this kind of life. I am lucky to live somewhere that I have enough job options to choose from that I can turn down a 9-5 in favor of a whenever-to-whenever. I am lucky to have good doctors that can help me be able to work and be healthy despite being diabetic and having numerous food allergies and nutrition issues. I am lucky to have the opportunity to pursue what I love, to work with people that I love, to be happy and not feel like I am wasting the chances I have been given.