This week we take a sneak peek at my studio. The studio is this magical place for both the artist and anyone looking in at the artist. It reflects how they work, what they love, and what they aspire to do and create. For me a tidy organised study is the only way to go - I try to clean it up at the end of each day before I head home but while I'm there it's a total bomb site.
For years I thought that spending time creating work was like filling a sketchbook; if you were a real artist you worked hard from 9-5, got a tonne of work done and then knocked off for a G&T with your other artist buddies talking about philosophical things and all the rad projects you're working on.
I soon realised that this was rarely the case. Those dream studio days do happen but they are few and far between.
I have many plans to organise my days. Plans so that I'll work really hard on big projects, writing work, commissions, planning lessons (all the brain work) in the morning, and then go and visit libraries and museums in the afternoon, reading and learning about new things. Or watching films or sitting in the sun and drawing people and plants and buildings I see.
Of course these plans are admirable but have not yet come to fruition. Paid work comes first and I don't want to 'put off' finishing Oh Brother but I've been finding it so hard to sit down and write it. Often when I do, I get emotional, remembering the stories. Or I start worrying about whether what I'm writing will be good enough; will this actually help anyone? I know these are thoughts I must dispel from my mind if I am to get anywhere with the next two parts and hey, some days are diamonds and I get quite a bit done.
And I do worry about my work ethic. Am I creating enough work? Am I creating quality work? Am I focused enough? Am I posting enough online? I worry that maybe I just don't have what it takes to work in a studio full-time. Maybe I can't hack the ebb and flow of the creative process and I won't be able to push through those slump periods. The line between work and play is blurred when you are creating because you can't tell your brain to stop thinking about your project (at least I can't).
Having a separate space to work does help. Walking somewhere and sitting down to work. Going home and now you can relax. Although I find it hard to not do something. I feel guilty if I don't just finish off that drawing or send that email but also my body is telling me to relax. All work and no play makes Gina a dull cartoonist. I should listen to my body more.
I'm constantly questioning my abilities to create the art I want to create, which hopefully will translate into improving and honing my skills rather than turning me off from creating my work all together. I want to create work I'm happy with but I also never want to stop learning and getting better.
Stay Excellent Pals,