Face Making

Artist Gwenn Seemel’s bilingual blog about art, portraiture, free culture, and feminism.

The home studio / L’atelier à la maison

2011 . 08 . 08 - Comments / Commentaires (8)

I love working from home, even if it means that the work I do is viewed as work that’s done in the home.

J’aime travailler à la maison, même si cela veut dire que le travail que je fais est considéré comme du travail qui est fait à la maison.

- Unpacking priorities
- The studio visit
- Recently, I was scoffed at.

- Security in freelancing / La sûreté de travailler pour soi-même
- Art in everyday life / L’art dans la vie quotidienne
- Dream studio / L’atelier de mes rêves

CATEGORIES: - English - Français - TOP POSTS - Feminism - Practice - Video -

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(8) Comments / Commentaires: The home studio / L’atelier à la maison

-- David -- 2011 . 08 . 08 --

My favorite part of that video is the last 3 seconds!

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-- PIDDIU Mélissia -- 2011 . 08 . 08 --

Voici la réponse à ta vidéo : http://melissiasart.blogspot.com/2011/08/un-atelier-pas-encore.html

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-- Leah Wilson -- 2011 . 08 . 08 --

I too have my studio in my home now and love it. Although I have not experienced the prejudice about having a home studio that you expressed, I have had what I think are analogous experiences.

I went to school in San Francisco. After graduation, I rented a studio in a very desirable building that was filled with many fantastic artists. I was really excited to move in and start working. But soon I began to go less and less frequently and when I did go, the art that I made wasn’t very good.

It wasn’t a place where I ever enjoyed being. It worked well for many artists, but it didn’t work for me. I decided not only to move out of that studio, but to move out of the city to a very small town in the mountains. The response from my friends to this decision was pretty negative. I was told that if I did that I would be shooting my art career in the foot. I moved anyway, but I was very insecure about how I would be viewed as an artist because of it.

What I have learned is that having a studio at home has some advantages and some disadvantages. Same goes for having a studio outside the home. Living in a major city makes some things about being an artist much easier, but other things are harder.

Moving out of the city probably wouldn’t have worked for my friends who reacted so negatively. But living outside of it works well for me… As does having a studio at my home (I could write an ode to the home studio). I now live in Eugene - not exactly an art mecca - and work in my home studio every day. I make more work than I ever did in a studio outside my home. And I make better work because I live in a place where I can walk out my door to a beautiful hiking trail in the woods which does wonders for my creative process.

In the end, all that matters is that your studio is in a place that works for YOU - a studio that is where you want be and where you have the space to get as much of the best work you can make done. Anything negative that you get from someone else about where you happen to have your studio is basically just them telling you that your set up wouldn’t work well for them. But that matters not at all to your own art making.

It’s obvious that you love your new home and studio. Because of that your situation will provide you with the space you need, physically and mentally, to make great art. And that’s all that matters.

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-- Gwenn -- 2011 . 08 . 11 --

@ Leah:  So true that every artist will find their best working environment and that every artist’s ideal will be different.

I loved my last studio too, but it was tiny.  I think it’s safe to say I love this studio a lot more!  I’m certain that all the extra working space will translate to a lot of extra headspace that will be beneficial both to my art and my life!

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-- James -- 2011 . 08 . 11 --

The distinction between public and private realms as it regards work (and I use “private” to mean inside the home) is certainly an interesting one. Virginia Held talks about the realm of the home being neglected as less important in the realm of ethics as well (in her book Feminist Morality), and explores how the work that is traditionally done in the home can in many ways be more important than work traditionally done outside it. Very interesting book, though I suspect you wouldn’t have too much to learn from it - the dichotomy-busting she does seems to be second nature to you.

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-- Gwenn -- 2011 . 08 . 15 --

Thanks James!  It sounds interesting: I’ll definitely check it out!

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-- Kelly in AK -- 2012 . 06 . 01 --

I just read your post about thinking outside the box then watched this video about a home studio. Interesting juxtaposition in my wee brain.

My home is my studio… one room is all about bead and fabric storage with 2 tables for beadwork.  I usually end up out here in the living room where there are 2 large windows and the computer (I stay seated longer if there’s a video holding some of my attention).  In another almost room that’s sort of an alcove, I paint and do other messier (don’t get that on the beads!) stuff.  Every so often fabric and messy collide in the kitchen with dye. 

I love having my home in my studio because I don’t have to commute and I don’t have to say “I’m off to the studio to be an artist”... I can just make art when ever I want.

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-- Gwenn -- 2012 . 06 . 04 --

@Kelly: I know that for some people saying “I’m off to the studio to be an artist” is an important part of their identity, and I would never want to take that away from them.  Still, I can’t help but feel that it’s not the most practical or sustainable behavior…

And it’s so true, the way you describe your studio moving throughout your home.  I may have one main painting area but the art-making ends up infiltrating every corner of my place!

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