For my first entry in my Notes from the Studio series, I wanted to talk about something near and dear to my heart: play space.
When I visit many people in their studio or work space, they have it set up with a single easel, table or other work space. Sometimes there is some other organizational space, but rarely is there a disorganizational space.
In a space like that I immediately feel confined, constrained to work and focus in a very linear fashion. It is good to have a space like that, where you can be very clear and focused, a place to work like a professional. However, that is only one part of the artistic process, or indeed, life in general. We also need a place to play, to be spontaneous, to investigate and try things. A place where we are not professional, where we can follow our whims and see what happens.
Often times when I talk to an artist who is stuck, I look around their studio and look for a play space. Where can they go to think? Where can they try new ideas and see what might work, look for different ways of approaching a problem?
My current play space is very simple. Just a wall where I have taped brown paper. I can then tape up anything I want to play with and work from there.
There are better setups for play spaces, and I will write more about that later.