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From Chaos to Calm: Building a New Kind of Studio

12 Jun 2022 5:48 PM | Nicole The Creativity Coach (Administrator)

It took me many months to move out of The ARTbar.  A bigger project than even starting it!  And the most challenging organizational task I’ve ever undertaken.  And aside from encouragement (and occasional brawn) from my husband and kids, it was mostly a solitary project.  

How much stuff did I actually have in that space???  Well as you know, artists hate to throw anything away!  I wish I actually had a picture of how it looked on a normal day in the back area (storage racks filled the back, where most people couldn't see it all).  

Above is a picture of just the START of the mess as I began with pulling things out from the back and sorting them into piles:  keep, donate, sell, throw away.  I tried using that famous process of holding each item and seeing if I felt joy.  Lol!  I can’t really say that DIDN’T work because basically it did come down to discerning joy in a way:  a lot of praying, and simply following my heart to see if I felt God leading me in a certain direction. (Like most things in life when you just can’t seem to figure it out.). “Where do I see myself using this supply?  Do I like it for my business or maybe even just for myself?” 

Of course, there was also a space issue to consider.  The studio space in my garage was considerably smaller!    I kept 3 of the bars (arranged in a U-shape) and many of the storage and display racks, and miraculously somehow fit a lot of them in.

Once the bones were in, it didn’t take me long to fill it all in!  Then came ALL the supplies.   Fortunately for me, I have a knack of fitting things into spaces!  My family says it’s an acquired skill from playing a lot of Tetris in my younger days.  (However the gift came to me, I am undisputedly the only one allowed to pack the car for vacations.)

When it was finally all organized (or mostly organized) and all tucked into my new space, I looked around and realized that it looked almost as jam packed as before, basically just like a mini ARTbar, picked up and moved to a garage! (Old habits die hard, I guess.) 

Even though the process was somewhat bittersweet, I am happy about having my supplies nearby.  My new home studio allows me to be more present with my family, and to share it all with them too.  And I anticipate that it will still take me many more months to finish finding places for things.

So you’d think I would run right into the space everyday, excited to create!  Yeah, well no.  It took awhile for me to go into my new studio at all.  Surprisingly, for a long time after moving all my beloved art supplies, I just simply ignored them all.   It was quite frankly a little overwhelming.  It reminded me of when I had brought my 1st baby into The ARTbar, thinking she would nap away while I helped customers.  Well, she cried so much there that I felt sure she hated the place!  I later realized that it was just too overstimulating for her with all the things to look at.  Yeah, I finally understood how she was feeling.  After combing through the overwhelming amounts of books, and ribbons, and paints (and oh so much more!), I had no desire to use them.  I pictured the art processes and projects in my mind, and even knew WHY I had laboriously packed them up and moved them, but the passion behind it all had disappeared!  This confused and scared me the most!  I even wondered if I had wasted years of my life for nothing!  Should I consider a career change? 

I think I was emotionally overwhelmed even more than physically, seeing decades of my life-decisions being packed up.  There was so much to sort through in so little time.  Hardest of all was the constant decision-making of what to keep and what to give away, each item being not only a physical object but an emotional memory.  This would have been hard enough to do in a closet, but definitely harder in a place created from the dream center of my heart.  It helped that through the whole process, I could feel God leading items into just the right hands!  (Thank you to all of you that participated in the auction last year, as well as my friends at various nonprofits that gratefully accepted my donations!)

So now you can see why drawing Scribble Prayers (from my previous blog post) has been my first step back to recovery from this whole transition.  If you have something you need to work out or heal from, try drawing one with in a quiet place or with some soothing music.  Time alone with God is never a waste of time!  And neither is following your heart and dreams!  See the previous blog post here.

Want to draw a Scribble Prayer with me?  See the event list here to sign up.  We'll grab a coffee or juice and scribble away!  A caring listener and a drawing partner might be just what you need to get a new perspective.  

And remember one of my favorite quotes:

Meandering is just part of the creative process!  Just remember to stay in touch with your Creator through the journey, and He will always lead you home!

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