(2006 - my first "studio" was my dining room table in our OR apt)
So, I took a leap. A big BIG leap.
Since starting this creative biz, I've always worked from home. Except for a brief stint when I shared a studio with a friend in CA, my studio has always been either in a spare bedroom, the basement, or even on the dining room table (as you will see in these photos!). My office area, if not in the same room with all the paints, has always been on my lap (with my laptop), at a cafe with wifi, or in a closet.
(2007 studio - spare bedroom in our apt in CA)
Before having baby True, this all worked out perfectly for me. Since having True, I've been seriously struggling on the working from home front. Work hours are way too flexible, work/life boundaries are blurred, and I find I can't get anything done with a super sweet and cute baby boy running around the house. For the first year of True's life I resisted the idea of leaving him - I preferred to stay at home and piece together work hours while he was napping, sleeping, or during chunks of time that John had him. This was the only way I could see it and it was the only way I wanted it to be. And I'm just incredibly grateful that I was here, in this house, full time, with True for his first year of life - even if it meant I couldn't give my work a ton of attention.
(2008 studio/office in spare bedroom of our Seattle house, eventually became just the office)
But now that it's been 15 months into this routine, I can see and feel how exhausted I am over having blurred boundaries between work and home life, which means I'm either always with True or I'm somewhat frantically squeezing in an hour or two of work. I can see now how all of that squeezing in of work isn't quality time (or quality work). And I can see how all that time with True is no longer the best quality either as I'm often worried about how I'll squeeze in a hour for work here or there when I'm with him. My goal for True's first year of life was to simply maintain my business - no big changes, no big projects - so that I could simply focus on becoming a new mama and being in that space with him as a baby. But now I'm finally feeling ready to let myself break away a bit - to find a happy medium between home life and work life. And to give my work life (my creative life - the stuff that makes me come alive) a place of its own where I can go from simply maintaining it to innovating (my word for the year!) it.
(2009 studio in our dining room of Seattle house)
And so, the dreaming began. The dream? A large studio space (MUCH larger than a bedroom or dining room!) that would allow me to move my entire growing business out of the house - my office, my files, my computer, my books/printers/faxes, my inventory, my studio, paints, canvases, ALL of it. The space would be what I've always envisioned: a loft or large space inside a historic building. There would be exposed brick, huge ceilings, windows, and cafes and inspiration all around it. It would have tons of room for my office, an employee (or two) office, studio space, creative space for True, an area to stretch, sit back and relax either alone or with friends - a beautiful gathering space. It would be a place that would inspire me to get up, put on a cute outfit and head out to work a few days a week. A place where True could come spend creative hours with me, where I could savor and focus and hold meetings and open houses and lounge and work and host workshops and on and on.
(current studio space in our home)
One of my superpowers is the combination of intuition and zero hesitation. When something feels right, I move, and I move quickly. And that's what happened. Within a day or two of feeling the intuition of needing this kind of move, I found the perfect place.
(home of my new studio/office!)
It's gorgeous. In the heart of Portland's Pearl District inside a restored building that houses many independent businesses. Wood floors, exposed wooden beams, exposed brick walls, high ceilings, the works. I'm going for it - expensive rent and all. It feels like an important investment, one that will welcome in abundance in all ways (creatively, financially). Already, I feel more energized about my work, about what I want to continue doing, about my mission/vision, and so much more. I feel alive, so excited, and just ready for the opportunity to create a gorgeous workspace. Also really ready to create reasonable work hours that will continue to allow for ample time with family. Home will become home again: a place to relax, and be with family vs a place that held a lot of pressure to work and be mom.
(fresh canvas - I have many ideas for this space...it's over 600 square feet)
I am so excited. I move into the place in three weeks. OMG. O. M. G.