The house I lived in for eleven years is in the process of being renovated. Everything is being torn out and replaced – walls, floors, furniture, fixtures. It is getting a complete overhaul, and once it is complete, I will begin a slow return to this house, bit by bit, easing myself back into sharing space with the Manfingy and his daughter (mine have all moved out) and the dogs.
These renovations are long overdue and I’m very grateful that it’s happening. The dining room that once served as my home studio, dining room, dog room, etc. is now completely self-contained – walls, a door – and no longer attached to the living room by way of an open archway. It has edges, which means that when I move back in and start to work in that space, I will never have to worry about whether or not someone else wants to watch t.v. or have friends over or do their own thing in the formerly adjoining space. I can work at will without having to accommodate my schedule to someone else’s schedule.
This is massively important to me. I need my work life to have edges so that I can slip into and out of it. I need to open the door to ‘work’ and then close it again behind me when I want to enter ‘not work’.
I suck at this. The way I live right now, four living spaces are contained within one small room. My bedroom is in the east corner. My ‘office’ is in the south corner. My temple/canvas space is in the west corner, and my living room is in the north corner. My filming studio is along one wall of the tiny cabin kitchen. There is no truly delineated space for *anything*. The edges are fuzzy. The boundaries are unclear.
What this means is that if I’m in my ‘bedroom’ corner and I hear a ping from my ‘office’ corner, it is very difficult to ignore. If I’m in my temple corner, same thing. This means I’m always struggling to turn work off. I’m constantly battling with ‘work’ edge and ‘life’ edge. When am I ‘off’? When am I at ‘rest’?
Lately, never. Even when I was away at a festival, I was answering emails and administrating my NING network, processing sales, doing social media, ping ping ping ping yes no there here let me fix that for you…
Which is a really good problem to have if you’re an entrepreneur, and I am honestly NOT whining, but I am saying I need edges.
I need hours of operation.
I need dedicated space to work.
I need to detach myself from work related outcomes for a few hours a day so I can remember my *own* edges.
That’s what I’m working on right now.
Since I do art for a living, that brings up an interesting dilemma. How much of the art I do is ‘work’. When I’m noodling in front of Netflix on a new spread that isn’t for a class, that isn’t really working. Unless I’m stopping every ten minutes to take a progress shot so I can blog it or share it on Instagram. Then that *is* working, right? Even when I share for the pleasure of sharing, there is also the whole ‘sharing is marketing’ aspect of sharing that I can’t get away from no matter what my intentions.
So, what. Stop sharing?
Not going to happen.
But what if I snapped the progress shots and *didn’t* immediately share. What if I shot them and then shared them *later* in a more organized way on my blog instead of sending them out into the world immediately? Then I could probably more easily find the edge between this is my playtime and this is work time.
Yup. Working on it.
Speaking of working on things, I’ve been playing catch up with a couple of the classes that I’m taking, and here is a gallery of resulting spreads + some spreads that were inspired by the lessons without being derivative of them:
You can click on them to enlarge if you’d like a better look.
These paintings were all created in the first 20 days of August. I was working very hard on remembering my edges – making time for my own practice, foregoing creation for the purpose of leveraging it for work. I was *playing*. I was learning and growing, but mostly, I was *playing*.
Sweet surrender to the practice I preach. Make art. Do it daily. Do it from a place of curiosity about what is happening within you.
In Other News
These classes are open for registration. It would be grand to see you in either of them. <3