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A Studio for You

Help 2 Succeed article about artists need a studioArtists of all kinds need space in which to create. Whether you are a painter or potter or musician or writer or dancer, all these activities require space in the physical universe. As an artist matures, the space in which he/she works seems to evolve with his/her art.

Wait a minute. What am I saying? Am I purporting the idea that the artist must have a proper space in order to create? Well, let me take it back. The artist who has to have space and “things” (supplies, costumes, whatever) before he can create will never create much.

I know lots of artists over 50 who have great studios. But they didn’t start with great studios. The urge to create overcame their lack of space and things, and they created anyway and as they kept on creating, they eventually wound up with nice studios.

I had a studio apartment – a tiny one room affair. I had no space to do the sculpture, oil painting and fabric dying that I did in college. So I took up watercolors. Cheap paint, cheap paper, requires very little space and cleans up with water. As I sold those, I progressed to bigger spaces. Now I have a house with a room with 8 windows, which is my art studio. I am still a watercolor painter – wonderful medium – and that pays the bills. The studio is an unbelievable mess, except for this little section where I paint – about the size of the area where I painted in that studio apartment years ago. Oh, yes, I’m going to clean out that studio any day now.

The point is if you have to have (space, studio, art supplies) before you can do (create works of art, music, dance, literature) you are never going to get off the ground. If your desire to write is great enough you will overcome the fact that you do not have a fancy computer and desk. You can write the old fashioned way – pencil and cheap legal pad. They still sell those things in the dollar store.

This applies to any field of the arts. Or to anything in life for that matter. Having to have before you can do will kill creative spirit. Think the other way around – “do” so that you can then “have.”

I know there will be some naysayers out there who feel they can’t do something unless they have “___”. Just get over it. For example, say you are a dancer or troupe of dancers with nowhere to practice. Every city and small town in America has community centers, recreation centers, colleges, and banks, and all these institutions have rooms with big spaces, most of which they will let you use for free. And if you really can’t find such a place, how about the back yard? No back yard? Well, how about practicing on the soccer field when the kids aren’t using it? Perhaps I go to far, but I can’t solve your problem for you – you have to change your mind and decide to create (do) in order to have. Not the other way around.

There are many great musicians, artists, dancers, poets, writers, etc., in the world who never get started. I am amazed at the artists and musicians that graduate from universities every semester. Wonderful players and painters. Very few catch the public’s attention and are able to make a living in their chosen creative field. Even fewer become famous. The difference is not talent. It’s just that some went out there and did it, and some complained about not having a studio, a computer, a pottery kiln or something.

Go out there and do it. Really, truly, nobody is stopping you but yourself.

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