Please describe a typical day, being as specific as possible. For example: what time do you get up? when do you come to the studio? Do you have specific clothing you change into? Do you listen to music, radio, TV when you work? If so what, and does it affect your work?
I don’t know that I have a typical studio day; a lot of it depends on my class schedule. This semester I get most of my work in the studio done on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturday mornings. My Tuesdays and Thursdays are so busy that I’m usually too tired to get any real studio work accomplished.
In order for me to have a really good studio day I usually start with a list of things that I would like to get done for the day, the night before. That way I know what I HAVE to do and what I want to do. I like to sleep in but in order to have a successful studio day - I can’t sleep past 10:00 am. So I usually get up about 9:30, hang out with my dogs, get dressed, and head to the studio (hopefully) by 10:30ish. My closet is separated by cardboard boxes of things that are “studio approved” clothes and otherwise. And many non-studio clothes are making their way into the “studio” boxes. I’m really messy. I have a printmaking apron that I’ve had since undergrad that I love to wear when I’m painting or doing messy work. Most of the work recently, has been smaller and cleaner. Temperature is important to me though, so I dress in layers b/c I never know what the Reynolds Building will feel like.
I love to work when the Reynolds Building is empty and Fridays and Saturdays are good for that. I always listen to music when I’m working. It just depends on what for the day and mood. Sometimes I like to listen to music that I’m not familiar with so I don’t get distracted by the words. Other days I like to jam and sing and dance along. Listening to music affects my mood and therefore, affects my work. Its just necessary for me. My favorite Pandora stations are: Mumford & Sons, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Goo Goo Dolls, and 30 Seconds to Mars. I also use the Songza app on my phone, which is really cool b/c it doesn’t have commercials like Pandora. My favorite Songza playlist is “female indie songwriters”.
I do take breaks often. Breaks usually include walking around the building, snacking on candy or going to get coffee, or visiting other people in their studios. Breaking my concentration every so often from my work allows my brain to relax. When I’m really into a piece I set a timer for an hour and half, and switch to work on something else. The most beneficial aspect of taking breaks (other than sugar rushes or caffeine fixes) is walking back into the room and seeing the work. Stepping back from the work allows me to see everything differently. Leaving the room for about 15 minutes and coming back gives me fresh eyes; that way I know whats working and what needs work. It also gives me the chance to switch to something else. I work in my sketchbook on some breaks too. I like to doodle, journal, and write about my materials in the studio. Reflection time is good for the work. I like to work at night when I have a deadline approaching. There’s something about working in the studio til 3 am that makes me feel good- accomplished and committed.
I also take 'in progress' shots of my work OFTEN during studio time. It gives me something to look at on non-studio days. It also provides me as a reference when I’m journaling about the work in my sketch book. Since I often work with my materials when they are wet, photos allow me re-visit the work after its dry.
Right now, I think I have a pretty equal balance of studio time and non-studio time. Last semester I was stuck in a rut and wasted a lot of studio time. I have a much better handle on it now. I’m thankfully that I can’t work in the studio every day, everyday would just be too much I think. I like for my time and person to be broken up between space and activity. I do hope when I have a professional studio that it NEAR my home but not attached. I like the physical distance.
Anyways, next week we’ll be looking at: What kind of paints do you use? How long have you had your painting table, and how did you decide to set it up? DUE: FEB 21ST
Check out Brandon's response to this question and our newest member of BLOG WATCHERS, Joe Molinaro
I am a contemporary artist focused on the intersection of art and science in Lexington, KY.