Recently I had a little rant over on my personal blog at The Voodoo Cafe about, well, about a variety of things, but one thing was about studios. While I ADORE looking into other people’s studios (and, if we’re being honest, into their houses and closets and pretty much everything but their medicine cabinets because, frankly, those aren’t very interesting to me), I get so disappointed with “signature spaces” that are perfect in every way and are filled with tens of thousands of dollars of furniture and equipment and “vintage finds from our last trip to Europe” but that don’t have a scrap of paper or pile of fabric or splotch of gesso to be seen anywhere.
It turns out I’m not the only one who longs for real, honest, hard-working studios, and our Flickr group, The Everyday Studio, is full of photographs of real, everyday studios. So I’m going to start showing some of them here from time to time–if people are interested and the studios’ owners are willing to share info, as Michelle so generously has, then we can do this more often.
I contacted Michelle and asked if I could show photos and if she’d tell us a little more about her space, and she was fabulous to work with, sending notes and more photos that just delight my snoopy little soul~~
Q: Where is your studio?
A: My studio is upstairs in one of the spare bedrooms. We live in a Cape Cod that was built in 1941 in northern Maine.
Q: How did you choose this space–what about it made it seem right for you?
A: I had a choice between 2 bedrooms upstairs to use as my studio & I chose the one I’m in because of the lighting. The other room was too dark, although it is bigger than the one I chose. I’m still debating on what color to paint the walls, but whatever I choose it will be bright & cheerful.
Q: Have you had other studios? If so, what was the best?
A: I have had 2 other studios. I love this studio although I do wish it was one big room instead of being L shaped. I liked my studio when I lived in Nevada. It was in one of the smaller bedrooms in the townhouse I lived in & the window was huge. I like a lot of light in my workspace.
Q: Approximately what size is it? Is this a good size for what you do? Do you have enough room?
A: It is L shaped & it’s 13.5 x 13.5. It is a good size to a point but I would prefer 1 large room with a lot of windows & different work stations/tables for the different types of art & crafts that I create. I would like to have all of my beads & jewelry making supplies in one area, my collage supplies in another & a table where I could do assemblage & altered art & have all the tools I need right there at my fingertips.
Q: What do you create in your studio?
A: I create mixed media collage art, greeting cards, altered art, assemblage art, jewelry design & I design greeting cards for 2 companies here in the US & in London. I have many artistic interests & I like to work with different mediums. It all depends on my mood that day.
Q: Do you have a computer in the studio? A television?
A: I have a computer & a television in my studio. I rarely turn the TV on when I’m working but I like to listen to the satellite radio sometimes. I prefer to work in silence most of the time. I’m going to be moving the computer & printer into the other spare bedroom eventually & use that as my office. Having the computer in the same room is convienent but I find it is a distraction from what I need to be doing.
Q: Are there Studio Rules (i.e., no eating/drinking, no cats on the tables, no loud music?)
A: I don’t really have any rules other than I don’t like my things moved. I call it organized chaos but it’s my chaos & I know where everything is.
Q: What do you like best about this space?
A: We live in Amish country & I like to open the window & listen to the horse & buggies passing our house while I’m working. It find it to be very peaceful. I also like the parquet flooring which makes sweeping up little pieces of paper & other crafty bits a lot easier than trying to vacuum them up. It is a great room with fantastic energy flow & it’s my favorite room in our house.
Q: What’s your one favorite thing in your studio?
A: The 100 year old wooden shelving unit that I use to store my scrapbook paper. It’s very unique.
Q: Anything else you’d like to tell us?
A: I’m very thankful to have a studio/space where I can work & display all of my funky things I love like my Brady Bunch clock & the rest of my eclectic mix of décor. When the kids were still at home (they are grown up & on their own now) I used to have a cramped corner of the living room or my bedroom that I would use as my work space. Having my own studio is a blessing & I love it.
Thanks to Michelle for sharing her fabulous studio with us!
To see more of Michelle’s work, visit her blog. To see more photos of Michelle’s space, along with hundreds of other studio photos, check out The Everyday Studio on Flickr. We’d love to have photos of your space, too–it’s open to everyone.
Ricë also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.
MORE RESOURCES FOR MIXED MEDIA ARTISTS