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Friday, 25 October 2013

Keeping It Up!

Leonard Bernstein said

"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time."

This quote has resonated with me since I set myself the challenging, yet not impossible dead-line to launch a business (that means setting up a studio, make lots of stuff, photograph it, get a logo design, business cards, swing tags, a live website etc etc...) in three months. I'm no stranger to the concept of time management having chipped away through six years of study while working full time, but it's a different thing being totally self motivated! The end goal is so much bigger and has a lot more riding on it than any uni assignment. This particular end goal will be an indicator of my potential to one day be living my dream as a full-time textile designer. Motivation indeed. Also, as I mentioned in my last post, I have moved my work into a studio and that in itself is motivation. There's no point having a studio if I don't go and work there...

Reflecting on my full week in the studio, I am relieved to discover that although the work can be physically exhausting and frustrating at times, I did not tire of it. The different processes vary the days and I loved being mostly in my own company, listening to music, lost in thought. I enjoyed the methodical planning of what to do in which order and also the challenge of streamlining the processes to be more time efficient. It was satisfying to pull creativity and organisation together in this intense period of productivity. There's no doubt in my mind I could happily do this forever!

Returning to my day job, on the other hand, has proven to be the challenge. Yes, I know what I said in the last sentence of the first paragraph, but boy, sometimes I just don't feel like it! After a day at work, grocery shopping on the way home, attending to family and real life etc it would be easy to just have a night off. But it's at this point when I remember Mr Bernstein and that I do want to achieve great things (well great for me anyway), I do have a plan and I also have "not quite enough time."
The only way is to just keep it up!

Here are some images of my second batch of scarfs....

Saturday, 5 October 2013

A Home For Tandy has a new home!

Ok this is getting serious now.... No longer can I simply diddle around with my work on weekends and occasional weeknights when I feel like it. Now I have moved into a real life artist studio which I have invested time and money in and now I'm expected to go there and use it! I have surprised myself with feelings of trepidation because this is something I've dreamt of for years. But it is a big step, and it means this thing is for real.
And to make myself feel like a real life artisan in my real life studio, I've done a crazy thing and taken a week off work to dedicate to my practice. This exercise will hopefully achieve a few things:
a) To amass some finished product towards my end of year goal
b) Kick start a routine of regular sessions after I return to my day job
c) Test how productive I can be in the right environment with the right equipment and without distractions, and
d) Test whether I actually like doing this work all day for six consecutive days

All will be revealed in the next post! In the meantime, here are a few images of day one......
Dyeing area

Plant material collected for day-one dye lots
Experiments with prunis leaves

My personal handyman building the largest and heaviest craft table ever!
The table needs to large to accommodate queen size fabric !

It's Time To Go....

I'm fed up and I'm moving out! Well not me, just my work. I'm fed up with taking over the house from the study through the dining room and often the kitchen to get my work done. Fed up with the lack of space, the right size table and having to constantly set up and pack up when the dining table actually needs to be used for dining (and to avoid the inevitable encounters with cats). And I'm fed up with my apparent inability to work without getting distracted by normal household stuff such as washing that needs putting out, the TV which is on right in front of my work space (read dining table) and my family up for a chat or the offer of a coffee break. 

So the time had come to find an alternative workspace. After many years of pining over art magazines and Pinterest images of artist studios, dreaming of having a space of my own, I excitedly began looking for a suitable (and affordable) space. However because there are several processes to my work, and each requires a specific environment (dyeing is wet and messy whereas  quilting needs a large clean dry table), many of the spaces advertised were just not quite right.

This is where the power of visualisation kicked in! If I'd ever doubted that power, here's proof that it exists. Without consciously "putting it out to the universe" I had visualised the space I needed with all the features and equipment including natural light and good ventilation. In fact months ago, I had drawn it in my notebook. And of course I didn't want to pay much for it. Too much to ask?
Well, the short story is that I've secured a space that, with a few additions and adjustments, is perfect for me (and my budget). So this week I packed everything up from various locations around the house and moved into my new studio. It's perfect! Photos to follow......

The piano makes a good craft storage shelf when working at the dining table...

The kitchen, closed for business.