The In’s and Out’s of an Artist’s Wanderlust

A guest post by Kira Slye

I am in the middle of a cross-country move. It’s not my first. I grew up in New York’s Hudson Valley, and I’ve lived in Buffalo, Syracuse, Boston, Portland, Oregon, Fort Lauderdale, Austin, Texas, and now I’m planning what I hope will be my last major move. A love for travel, meeting new people, experiencing new ways of life, and seeing new landscapes has been with me since I started college. I knew when I drove into Buffalo NY for the first time when I was 17 that it was such an alien place, so different from downstate NY, that I just had to be there for a while.


Each of the cities I’ve lived in has presented it’s own ins and outs. Upstate NY is terrifically snowy and cold and I never wish to experience those extremes again. Boston was busy, Portland was “West Coast” and Austin is culture-shock. Florida was fantastic but super crowded. Cumberland, Maryland is where I’m headed next because it is very close to my sisters and brothers, and I’ve been out galavanting around the country for 15 years. Now that everyone is settling down and building families, I feel the great need to be there, to be at the birthday parties rather than just checking out the Facebook updates.

I have approached all of my moves with a sense of opportunity, optimism, and wonder. This one is no different. I’ve purchased a little fixer-upper of a house for a very good price, and I’m greatly looking forward to having my own sun-filled, south-facing studio right off the foyer, which will allow me to invite students and friends into my world easily.


But the downside of moving…oh the tribulations! My current studio is a mess! I packed my jewelry tools before getting my last tutorial done, so I had to scrap it for a few weeks! I have to put my Etsy shop in vacation mode so I don’t accidentally sell something that is packed goodness knows where. I am itching to leave things out, and fighting with myself because I really desperately need to pack.

After all, I’m moving 1500 miles and everything needs to be secure inside a box. My Honda Civic can only hold so much. Should I pack my clay? Will I have time to make anything while I’m waiting for the rest of my “stuff” to arrive in the moving truck? Am I kidding myself by leaving ANY art supplies out on my desk? Why do I still have my video camera set up when my table looks like that, who am I kidding?


There is so much to do, left to be done. I don’t feel like an artist right now, instead I feel like I’m strangely stuck in some kind of creative limbo, putting my thoughts and ideas on hold while I go through the motions of turning off the electric in one city, and turning it on in another.

I love the idea of moving. I’ve done it so many times that I have no fear, I’ve already put out my feelers into the meetup groups and Etsy street teams in the area so I can hit the ground running. But the process of packing up everything that makes me, ME, is really starting to get on my nerves. I can’t wait to get there. It’s been a long haul in the planning stages, but I just want the boxes to be filled! Here are some photos of what my current disarray looks like. I can’t wait to share my new studio with you soon, I’ve been waiting my whole life to put it together and it’s going to be great!


U2255_COVER.inddKira Slye is the co-author of Polymer Clay Art Jewelry and the co-host of Polymer Clay TV.





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One Response to The In’s and Out’s of an Artist’s Wanderlust

  1. You should pack an artist’s survival backpack. Necessities and bare bones supplies that can get you started on a new project. Having moved a lot I know the No Man’s Land feeling you are experiencing. Or you could buy a new sketchbook and use it as a time of germinating new ideas. Safe travels!