Putting things in their place.

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I recently have helped my friend, Valentine Adams get some things done around his place so he could get back to making his artwork, which is metal sculpture. We are collaborating on some new work for a show this August, so we’ve been spending time talking about our ideas and trying to decide which ones will make the cut. Here’s more about the show: “Cross-Pollination”

I can tell he’s a bit overwhelmed and we had a discussion about that. I won’t go into detail of all the unfortunate things that he’s dealt with, but he’s been trying to be creative and productive all while dealing with a chaotic mess of interruptions.

The normal chaos we all encounter isn’t as extreme as what my friend Val is dealing with, but I think most of create our own chaos. We get caught up in all the projects we are working and forget to keep our spaces in order. We rarely finish one project before starting to next, just so we can stay on schedule. What we don’t realize (at least some of us) is that not taking a little breather between those projects, to get things back in order, causes us delays in the next task at hand.

For me, my studio seems to get smaller and smaller after working on a few paintings non stop. I accumulate piles of magazines and boxes of cut magazine paper. I have boxes of panels waiting for beeswax to be applied, and several panels with wax on them. All these things get out of their place because I’m trying to do too much.

After a while these things become monsters and I feel stressful going into the studio because I know it’s a mess. When it’s a mess I can’t find things very easily. I feel confined. I loose that since of excitement of making art.

I’ve learned that when I feel myself dreading my studio work, it’s probably time to do a little cleaning and organizing. I’ll take a day, or two, and focus on getting things in their place, I’ll remove those things that don’t belong, and then I can get back to doing what I love.

My time helping Val has helped me realize some of the things I’ve learned over the years as an artist. We tend to be so excited to do what we love, that we forget to set boundaries. We don’t want to say no to any opportunity. Taking on every opportunity that comes along isn’t healthy. Saying yes to every person that ask for something isn’t either. That’s not just for artists. We all need to set those boundaries.

I was struggling with what to write this week then I realized I had plenty to write because I have such great conversations with my friends. By discussing our daily struggles and wins we are learning from each other. So this week I’m going to tidy up my studio and get back to enjoying my time creating.

That’s all for this week. I hope you are enjoying my random writings. I love getting feedback, so please let me know your thoughts on the things I share. Oh, and make sure to follow my InstaGram and YouTube channel. Those are my most active outlets for content. Have a great week! RLP

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