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Studio Serendipity: Relocation & Inspiration




Have you ever had a dream come true so suddenly and unexpectedly that you are stuck in a perpetual state of disbelief? A couple weeks ago, I found myself in an Uber crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, holding my easel and latest painting across my lap, and watching the Statue of Liberty fall into the distance. My dream of finally finding my ideal studio in NYC had just come true in one beautiful, serendipitous moment. I had been searching for a studio within my budget range in the city that also included windows (surprisingly difficult to find) and within an hour of my apartment. One day while mindlessly scrolling craigslist posts, I was brought to a listing site I had never seen before and decided to inquire about one space that seemed too good to be true. As soon as I walked into the studio, I knew it was right. I offered to pay the first month's rent on the spot. Tldr; the “too good to be true” space is now my studio, in the heart of Dumbo, right under the Manhattan Bridge, with rooftop access and shared by other incredible creatives. And yes, it has giant windows.



The transition from my home studio to an actual working studio has been both challenging and wonderful. I had to pack up and dismantle my home studio, disrupting my workflow. It took me a few days in the new studio to find my flow again, and I still haven’t laid out my paints in a way that works for me. But I’m being patient with the setup, and the benefits strongly outweigh the difficulty in creating a new space.

 

Here are some incredible ways in which the new space has affected my painting practice:

1.       My commute to the studio is 1 hour each way by train, so when I go to the studio, I absolutely need to paint. I have very concrete goals of what I need to accomplish each day, and am forced to minimize distractions. There’s a reason that they call it “artwork;” it is work to create a painting. The studio has formalized the creative process for me and taken my practice to the next level.

2.       The days I don’t get to the studio, I allocate time for admin work. I used to feel very overwhelmed with my to-do list, feeling torn between administrative tasks (like writing a newsletter or blog post!) and painting. Now there is clear separation, and I have found my anxiety levels decrease.

3.       Though I moved all my oil painting supplies into the studio, I kept all my watercolor and gouache paints and sketchbooks at home. This has allowed me more time to play and paint for myself. Before I had my own studio, I didn’t feel like I had the luxury of time to play or explore with paint. I felt that I always had to be working on a painting for someone or something. Now, I get some of that creative time back for myself on the days I don’t go to the studio.

4.       I am in Brooklyn again! I lived in Brooklyn for 3 years before moving to Manhattan to be with my partner, and I have struggled over the past few years to feel at home in Manhattan. As soon as I moved my paintings, supplies, and desk to Brooklyn, I felt like I was home again. It has brought me closer to myself as I am now and a version of myself I lost when I moved neighborhoods, and I feel creatively inspired and lit up to be in an environment that feels “right.”

 

I can’t wait to show you what paintings come from the new space! On April 13th and 14th, I will be participating in Dumbo Open Studios. If you are in NYC, please stop by 68 Jay St. to say hello and see some of my newest artworks in person!




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