I can’t believe I’ve been showing my art since 2007 and I’ve never shared an art studio tour before. No, actually, I can believe it because all my past art studios have been very uncomfortable and not photogenic. Yeah, I know, we live in an “Instagram highlight reel vs. Reality” world. But before this, I never had an apartment that could even be considered in an Instagram highlight reel. Despite being uncomfortable, I’ve created artwork and shared artwork, not making the ‘uncomfortability’ aspect of my life a feature or defect or even a mere existence in my art… for some “it’s not you, it’s me” reasons:
- I didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for me or let pity have any impact on why someone would buy my art or hire me.
- I didn’t want to parade around “expressing a message” as if my situation was okay, because it’s not okay.
- I didn’t know what “comfortable” was. I had a general idea of how I wanted to improve my situation and worked towards those goals but I had no idea what I was missing. What am I missing now?
Whatever. Today, I’m grateful.
The easel where I paint bigger pieces, 11×14 or larger. Watercolor and ink are very prone to gravity, so sometimes I lay out a towel on the floor and paint there, too. My bookcase and coffee table are for my display planning & sketching, a place for my brushes + paint palettes + brush rinsing water containers, and a place for coffee + books, imagine that.
I love paint swatches so much, that I walk on them. I found this rug on Amazon after searching for one for several days. After I had the rug I adored, I started spending a lot of time on it. And the clear acrylic coffee table was something I imagined I’d like to have someday so that I could keep working from my thinking couch and thinking floor but the view of the rug wouldn’t be blocked. But tables like that are $150 – $250+, and sketchbooks and coffee don’t float for free. Then one day, one of my neighbors made my dream come true when they set out a clear acrylic coffee table outside for anyone to take. I admire my lucky anti-gravity find every day from my thinking couch, which also faces the best and the only window in my apartment.
My desk, where I create sketches and paintings 8×10 and smaller. This desk style is a bit in the style of a of a vintage/antique writing desk. This is where I’ve recorded all my painting time-lapse videos and done a lot of writing. I think my hidden talent is selecting random colors that unintentionally mix and match well together, per my taste. This is what happened when I got everything for my studio slowly, one piece of furniture at a time, and I never once thought “oh, this will go great with the other furniture.” Except for that clear coffee table, because gravity.
I found this mirror at a yard sale for $8 in central Illinois in 2007, when I was first starting to show my artwork. I’ve changed the logo and writing on it over the years, but the mirror has been my business sign since I started doing art fairs. My second hidden talent is selecting furniture that doubles as show equipment.