I have an art friend that is losing her fly art studio down the street, due to her landlord selling the building. At the same time I have been going through my own struggle trying to figure out if I needed to move my workspace somewhere else or even home the next time my lease renewed in February. I have some expenses coming up in the impending new year, plus health insurance, and because of the declining economy, and the constant rent increase every year, I am getting scared. My landlord has also been threatening to sell the building for a few years as well. Needless to say – I have no stability, and this rent/lease madness always seems to creep up on me around the holidays when we are already stressed out.
I have really been trying to cut my expenses, and stick to a budget.
So this year, I wanted to be mentally prepared and gave myself a self-imposed deadline of October 1st to come to a decision. Keep in mind, this possible move would not actually occur until February or March, but I still wanted to be prepared – because it would be such a big change for me, and A LOT of work: Cleaning, sorting, and purging. I need that much time to prepare, physically, financially, and mentally. When I see a job that is so big I cannot envision the outcome, or big picture, because the process is so labor intensive, at times I become overwhelmed and crippled from doing anything.
For the past year, I had been half-heartedly looking at other spaces, weighing my options, etc – but in reality I had almost come to peace with my moving my studio home. The thought of a full time, retail business space owning me at age 29-something, was daunting. I had gotten to the point where I was exhausted. I took a mental break and quit caring. I remember 6 years ago when I just wanted a cheap space outside of my home to hole up in and diligently work without distraction. I did not even want to be bothered by “people” or think about “customers.” That idea was foreign to me. The whole thing had gotten so much larger than I even imagined – even the rent. I am not complaining (well sort of), I mean I know I need to change with the “times” and fluctuating economy. I needed to open my space up to the public and allow people “in” I also had to make an attempt to be more friendly, approachable, and outgoing. So all in all – letting people “in” has been a good thing and helped me branch out both personally, socially, and as a business person.
Then I heard that Wyanne frantically needed a new place by October 1st. Hey! That was my self-imposed deadline too! So I took it as a sign – and I could almost hear the rusty wheels in my little pea brain turning with new ideas.
Even though I know that change in inevitable, and necessary for positive growth – I am often resistant, perhaps scared. But this time, for the first time in my life I was able to look at a change like this as a positive thing. Not a failure, not a final, closed chapter, loss, etc. But just different. I was able to talk out my thoughts ideas, and possibilities for the future with a few people before doing something so definite and final on my own (like I usually do.) And I feel good about this new partnership. This way, I won’t become one of those artists that rarely leaves the house, has very little social/professional interaction with others, collects pent up mental angst, and never gets out of her pajamas all day. This way, there won’t be a financial strain on either of us, and we are both able to have/maintain a community art presence with the Blue Door Artists. And when the new lease comes around – I guess I will just deal with it then.
And the partnership will be very balanced. Not only is she very talented, and a good business person, she brings certain things, new ideas to the table. She has been professionally painting and supporting her family for quite some time. She is very honest, generous, supportive, and not competitive – and I think we are on the same wave length. She will not only bring such fresh air to my life and studio but to the other Blue Door Artists. I am getting excited!
I have been in the same studio space for 6 years (Oh, my Gosh I just had my studio anniversary, but forgot!). I remember my first art opening up there, and how I barely had enough art I had to take art off the walls at my house just to make the space look filled. My brother helped me open the place, we cleaned, painted, stuccoed the walls, and I even hand painted the floor. And now that I am able to look back, many changes have taken place/space over the years: I have seen other artists come and go (in the other studio suites). We have had some REALLY profitable years, and a few stinkers. Three years ago a few of us “reinvented the space” and decided to call ourselves the Blue Door Artists. We wanted to become an artist destination and become this open studio/retail space. I never really wanted to be a retail space, keep regular hours and open to the public everyday, and have people interrupt my work time, but I realized then that I needed to go with the change, and accommodate my work habits to flow with the economy then too. We attracted a few more artists. Soon we had all the offices/studio suites filled, and had this nice little creative family going. With Wyanne, we will now have 10 artists!! That is really exciting.
I read something today that really resonated with me: In Buddhism, that “attachment is the root of suffering.” This is not just attachment to “things” (material items) but homes/spaces, people/relationships, being right, the status quo, etc. These past two years I have experienced an alchemy of loss: I have lost or let go of many people, relationships, time consuming organizations, projects, many material and toxic “things” and feelings that were cluttering my life. I even lost a pet – and that still very painful. It has been a bittersweet process, but I can see now that all were necessary to give up in order to grow, and allow new, positive things, experiences, opportunities, relationships in my life. I needed to concentrate on myself for awhile. I still have a lot more work to do, but they are inevitable: Purging my studio, the weeds in my garden, and clean organize my garage, closet – but I am on the right track, and I feel positive, alive, talented, and healthy – ready to face a world of inspiration and opportunity.