Friday, May 10, 2013
I have a nice little studio I set up in the only private room in my house: the basement. Only, it's not one of those nice refurbished basements with carpeting, a flat screen tv and a bar ready for guests. It's a cement floored, cement walled, pipes and wires hanging from the open ceilinged place for storage with a random toilet in the corner typical of a 1930's midwestern house. It's dry, I'll give it that, but for the many times we've tried to pretty it up with carpet scraps and castaway furniture it is still a cement storage space. It is through this ambient entry that I have my studio set up. My office is at least a room with a door, so I can close off the rest of the cold industry, but it is also walled with cement including the ceiling. When I moved in, I painted the walls and put down Flor tiles to soften it up. I filled it with remnants of my nicer desks and shelving from my retail store so it's not in itself a design atrocity. It's just sometimes relentlessly cold and no amount of cheery paint will take away the feeling that I'm in a design dungeon. Or that I'm trapped in a design box and the hamster wheel of habits (email, facebook, pinterest, work, email, facebook, pinterest, work) is enough to make me vibrate with pent up anxiety.
That is how I felt yesterday. And don't get me wrong, I had some fun things to work on. I created a clever rehearsal dinner invitation, I finished up signage for a big gala, I designed some point of sale pieces for my husband's gelato company. I was productive and should have been perfectly content working away in my little studio. But I just wasn't. I was stir crazy. I was feeling like I should be working through the craziness even though every fiber of my body wanted to bolt from my office and do something, anything, but work. Should I play hookey and go shopping? Should I sit outside and sketch until I feel more sane? Should I tie myself to the chair and make a blog post? Pull the photos from my memory disk in my computer? Finish the photo books I started? Take the dog to the dog park?
I realized that I just needed to finish something. And preferably something easy and mindless and cheap and that didn't require my creative working mind or pleasing a client. So I bolted out of the office and into the beautiful 75 degree sunny day. I went to the post office to ship some graduation announcements to a client and stopped by the hardware store to pick up a can of white spray paint. Then I set the metal patio bench I'd bought at Goodwill in the grass and sprayed it white. No drop cloth, no preparation to slow me down, I just did it. Then I spread out a picnic blanket, flopped myself on it and stared at the clouds with my dog at my side. And I did feel better.