This is one of the saddest pictures ever posted on this blog. And yet, it is better than the picture I could have posted yesterday.
A little backstory for you - I live in a beautiful home, uber modern and full of natural light and airy spaces. Except my studio, which is tucked away from the rest of the living space, near a utility sink and with separate entrance for collectors and students. It is dark and feels crowded compared with the rest of the house. I've worked with it for one year to test it thoroughly, but now it is time for a make-over!
The first step was to get some natural light in this space. Every other room in the house has a magnificent skylight nearby. But I didn't want the heat a skylight can bring. So a little research later and a Solatube is on order. (check out Solatubes here.) A cool gizmo that floods the room with light but not heat, and still qualifies for an energy tax credit. Natural light? Check.
Step two was to realize I needed help with organization. What? Yes, I am naturally organized. But I am too close to this mess. I am in it all day and can't see solutions clearly. So I called in an expert. Danielle, of GetNEAT in Charlotte, NC, just happens to be a professional organizer and solution provider who occasionally travels to south Florida. (Check out Danielle and GetNEAT here.) She asked me for a video of my space, because she didn't believe I needed help. Ha ha! She was in for a surprise. My art making and art selling and art shipping and art showing supplies had migrated to four spaces in the house. Clearly, I needed her help.
Yesterday was our first phone consultation. Within 90 minutes of chatting, she suggested several solutions I never imagined but were exactly perfect for my needs. Of course, she gently suggested a purge might be in order. Argh. Artists parting with art supplies is never an easy thing! Like tearing baby kittens away from a four-year-old with a firm grip. But I knew she was right, so I got to work.
Three hours and five huge bags later, I could see the floor in my studio! I found so many things I thought were lost, and discovered so much ephemera that no longer spoke to me - out it went. Now I could say there was no way I had time for this with all that's going on now, but in truth I feel more energized, more organized and more likely to finish my projects now that there is a plan in place.
The next phase will happen in two weeks, with a site visit from Danielle and some blueprints for storage and shelving. The big renovation won't take place until after Ireland, once the Solatube is in place and 30 paintings in 30 days is done. But having a clear vision of what this space will be is a huge relief! I cannot wait to see what this future magical space will inspire...
Jen Walls and her imaJENation