In conjunction with our current exhibition – Christie Blizard’s “When I was 16 I Saw the White Buffalo” – we presented an artist panel on the changing context of “Living/Working Space”. Being an artist who works from home, I found the discussion between Blizard, Robin Germany and Judy Rushin extremely insightful, helpful and inspiring. Here are a few gems:
-One’s “studio” is not just about the actual space. Studio also involves TIME. Christie mentioned the time it takes her to drive from Lubbock to Austin – those 5 hours in the car are incredibly fertile studio time. Judy agrees, saying some days she stays in bed all morning, sometimes half asleep, sometimes on her computer or in her notebook, but enjoying the solitude and nurturing of the bed.
-Artists are innovative by nature, and they can make a studio out of anything. Be that one’s bathroom, moving into an abandoned school or renovating an old storefront to create a live/work space.
-When life’s demands, such as starting a family as both Robin and Judy have done, put pressure on your studio space, it’s about integration rather than separation. You can try to fight the infringement of your space and time and be miserable all the time; or you can decide to integrate these two elements of your life by sharing your art with your family and creating a space that has at least some elements to share.
-One’s art and art practice can, and does, morph and change as your life situation changes, and that is not a negative thing. Robin talked about how she used to photograph still lifes that she created, but having a family forced her to give up some of the control and that has actually loosened up her work and taken her to new places.
-Sometimes those hours “wasted” in “procrastination” – such as cleaning or watching TV rather than creating art – are not time poorly spent. That could be a part of one’s process, the time when you empty out your brain so more creative thoughts can be sparked.
Whether you find these insights helpful or not, you should hop over to the Phoenix Trades Depot, an up and coming new gallery space in East Austin, to see the group exhibition “Building Home”. Here a group of 20 Austin artists address the concept of “home” through furniture design and other media.