Unfortunately, I forgot to put in a time-off request for the holiday today and had to work. Fortunately, I got some rare and treasured time alone in my studio at work.
This studio is a living, breathing space. It is a little messy most of the time no matter how much time I spend trying to organize it. I try to remember my motto ” a clean studio is one where nothing happens” whenever I walk in and survey the disarray. It is a rather small space but the soaring windows give it an expansive feel. There are two carts loaded down with flat work stored below and table weaving looms resting above. A large selection of art books anchors another table and under the table are bins filled with fabric, magazines and recycled items. The cabinets burst with paints, pastels, craypas, beads, collage materials and paper. A rolling rack holds six drawers filled with yarn. Because I work at a psychiatric hospital, all the “sharps” have to be locked up. These all live in a padlocked cabinet that threatens to explode every time I open it because of all the bins and toolboxes stacked inside.
I keep thinking that some day this space will be truly organized and completely functional. But you know what, it already is. I have certainly never heard a group member complain about it. They come in and gather their materials and sit right down and start working. They are perfectly content with the space. This satisfies me. My dream for this space is that it can serve as a sanctuary to our clients. So much of hospital life is about loss of choice. I want the art studio to be all about choice. I want it to be a place of comfort, of rest, of peace of mind-a place where you can unhook from your troubles for just a little bit.
So never mind the mess, this studio is about being a warm and welcoming place to come to. The clients don’t care about how I decide to organize the paints. They care about how they feel in this space. And isn’t that really the most important thing?