In the past year I have had three different art studios. I went from my studio being just time I carved out for my practice no matter where I was physically to sharing a 30 by 30 foot studio with my partner (and fellow artist) to sharing another studio with my partner and yet another artist.
Space is very important, whether you are a mother of three, a heavy metal guitarist, or a reclusive math teacher. All human beings value it because all of us need it.
This need has been the subject matter of many creative works from A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf to Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maira Rilke. We value it because it is in this time of solitude (which is easier to manifest with a designated space) that we recharge our imagination, our joy, our creative spark, our life energy, our love.
So how do you give yourself this space even if it’s just time in the day? And if you are blessed enough to have a physical space, how do you set the parameters of using it and/or sharing it?
The answer to the first is very simple — you decide!
Most of us have forgotten what a decision really is, so lets dust off the Oxford dictionary. To decide means “to make a final choice or judgment as to bring to a definitive end”. Meaning there is no other option. There is no “I can’t,” “I’m tired,” “I’m busy,” “I don’t have the time.” When one truly decides the time is scheduled in, you make the energy, you make the space. Just as you would feed a hungry child, you feed your spirit because when you are full and give to yourself first you have more than enough to share with others.
The first step in making a decision is not only stating it, but acting on it. Meaning get up and take some action immediately. Set the alarm, tell your partner, and write it in your schedule. You don’t have to know what you are going to do with your alone time. You will figure that out during your alone time. Just give yourself the gift. You deserve it.
Now for all you who are blessed with an art studio, study, garage, attic, etc…
First, as stated above make a decision to carve out some time to spend in your space. If you don’t have to share, then go crazy and do as you please, but if you do share your space make sure everyone is in agreement about the amount of space each person gets and the rules of usage. It is very important that your needs are communicated so that your time and space are being respected and vice versa. Alone time can be hard to find when sharing, so make sure to find the time and/or ask for it. Set up a personal routine and community guidelines from the beginning so everyone is on the same page. And remember things change, so check in with one another to make sure everyone is happy and comfortable. This will keep your space positive and productive.
What are you going to do with your solitude this week? Are you giving yourself space and time to be alone at least once a day, once a week?