Life has obviously changed since Veda came into my life. Specifically my artistic life has changed significantly, as I wrote about here already. And I've been sort of wallowing in that for quite some time... not knowing exactly how to handle this being a full-time mama and full-time artist simultaneously. And at times questioning whether or not it was possible (for me... I know that some moms seem to not miss a beat somehow). The other day I was out on my daily walk with Veda and I felt this sudden rush of adrenaline flow through me. And this loud inner voice come through and clearly say: "Penelope. You are NOT going to roll over and die creatively right now. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and start making it work. Start with your studio. Bring play back into it."
And like lightning it occurred to me that I need to make Veda part of my creative life... instead of viewing them as opposing forces. And that I could share the studio with her by making it into an art studio slash play room. So that I could work when I needed to while she played. Especially as she gets older and starts to crawl and walk and entertain herself with toys and her own imagination (which I can already see happening). And hey, playing in the studio is going to be great for my work too!
And then I smacked myself in the forehead... because -- How obvious! Why had this not occurred to me before?
So when I got back from the walk I immediately started making plans to change my studio around. Right now I have giant desks in there filling up most of the space. Desks I'd bought for my old large studio in South Carolina. And they just don't work in the new small studio (I work in the basement of the new house). And the walls are beige. (Yawn.) And there is mucho clutter and no real rhyme or reason to any of it. Art supplies are strewn everywhere, books overflow the shelves and all flat surfaces, and there is no good lighting except for right over my workspace. And of course, no place for Veda to play. (She sometimes sits in her walker while I answer emails, but that doesn't entertain her for long.)
So my new plans include:
- pairing down desks. So I only use one and only keep out supplies that I use daily.
- painting the walls a fun color.
- getting/making curtains. (I have boring roman shades slapped up right now from when we first moved in and I needed something up pronto.)
- painting a giant chalkboard on the wall for her. (Like she has in her room. She doesn't use it now of course, but she will soon enough!)
- getting more bookshelves for extra storage. Lower shelves for toys and baby books and soft things. And high shelves for art supplies and mama books.
- soft rugs.
- a movie nook. (There is a small cubby that would be perfect for movies on rainy days... I'm thinking lots of floor pillows and blankets.)
- short tables for her to do her own drawings.
I'm trying to use what I already have. So I'm using one existing desk, putting a rug down that was in storage, using pillows from other rooms (need to do some sewing so they all match), using existing bookshelves (and buying 2 more probably), using an old coffee table for her drawing table, and finding unused lighting in the storage room.
I'm excited about these changes. Adding play. Creating a space for art and mama and baby and fun. I think it's a step in the right direction. Is that my creativity rearing its sleepy head? We'll see if it works...
(I'll try to post some before and after photos if I can.)