Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Cleaning

I recently completed a project I have been wanting to tackle for about 8 years. I painted my office.

My office space is separate from my studio space. My office is in my home and it is where I perform everything I do that requires my computer including printing the images that I eventually hand-color. A large percentage of my work gets done at home since I have declared my studio space a "no tech zone". My studio is where I do all of my hand-coloring as well as teach workshops and show my work. Not having a computer there eliminates many distractions.

Painting my office gave me a good chance to clean out and organize my work space. What it also gave me was about a weeks worth of anxiety as my dedicated space was turned upside down.

I am not one of those artists that seem to thrive in chaos. As a matter of fact, I am quite the opposite. I need my space to be free of clutter and dust bunnies before I can really accomplish anything.

This almost obsessive trait may be one of the reasons I had trouble declaring myself an "artist". I am too clean to be an "artist". I am too organized to really be an "artist".

There are so many myths surrounding the "artistic lifestyle" including the one about artists creating while oblivious to the mess that surrounds them. Granted, most of these artists had someone to clean up after them, but the myth has prevailed.

So while I still sometimes worry about being too anal to deserve the title "artist", the truth is my passion lies in creating images that soothe and inspire and how would I be able to do that in a space that makes me feel anxious and out of sorts? I don't think I would be able to. I believe my desire to create images that are calming is a direct result of my compulsive "tendencies".

All I know is that when I finally got my office back together I was filled with satisfaction and delight every time I walked in the room. While it doesn't sound very romantic, if vacuuming and dusting are what's needed to get my creative juices flowing, then that's what I will do.

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