Thursday, January 04, 2007

Visual Thinker Studio Setups

Jes and I have been doing some cleaning and organization around the house lately. I'm painting a lot more so, we're trying to create good functional space for that. We are also trying to plan ahead for some space for her to do some small-scale wood work, since she has a slick dremel-style tool and engraving gun on their way. Mind you, our space is peculiar to say the least, so I think eventually we will be implementing some real indiviualistic solutions to workspace issues.

Anyway all this had me cruising the internet, looking for examples of how other folks have setup their studios.

This is a subject that has always fascinated me. I love visiting other painters', photographers' work spaces. Recently, when visiting Jes's parents, I had the pleasure of walking through her father's shop a few times. David builds racecar engines, and performs other feats of engineering and machining wizardry that are far beyond my meager mechanical skills to comprehend. But I could appreciate the functionality of his workspace. I could see how a mechanical mind could easily move a project from visualization to completion, by flowing it through the various workstations he has set up for the different processes in the workflow.

So while David's engine shop (which is such a misleading term, his shop is so clean and organized, it is more akin to a library than a stereotypical garage) was engaging to me, if somewhat foreign, stepping into another artist's studio is like stepping inside their head.

There are no classes in art school on how to set up a workspace. Some instructors might throw a few hints your way, but these are usually on very specific issues, such as where to place an easel or a mirror, or how to organize colors on your palette. In general, studio setup is a very idiosyncratic and individualized endeavor. Which is why I find it so intriguing.

I also think it is interesting that so many people in the blogosphere spend so much time thinking and talking about Getting-To-Done strategies, and the right way to keep notes (be it hipster-PDA, moleskin, or smartphone), but I don't see alot about creating and organizing workspaces. Maybe I'm just looking hard enough, I kinda get sick of all the office supply websites that come up in those searches.

On-My-Desk is a really cool blog, if like me, you are interested in how people organize their workspace. Each post on the blog is by a different artist, describing their studio setup. And of course there are lots of pictures. One thing that surprised me, though perhaps it shouldn't have, was the ubiquity of computer workstations next to the easels. This just kind of cements my attitude that media is really being transcended. The lines between painting, photography, and digital imaging are pretty much gone, if you want to be a purist about it. Photography, rather than killing painting, as was long predicted and assumed, has rather been assimilated by it, via digital techniques.

But that is of course, another rant...

Ummm....Flatfiles.... Yummy!

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