My little big messy studio

It’s a beautiful (though cold) sunny day. I’ve been working on a few projects and thought it might be fun to snap a pano pic of my little work space–the office/studio where I spend most all of my time. It’s pretty cramped in this 10 x 12 room, but packed full of color and scraps of things in varying degrees of progress. I have a big window which can be a blessing and a curse (depending on the time of day and the season). No air conditioning, so some summer days can be brutal. And when we put down new bamboo flooring shortly after buying the house about 12 years ago, we accidentally covered up the heat vent in the room. Floored right over it! Yep. So during the winter, I use a small space heater to take the chill off.

I usually use the desk (to the right of my chair in the photo) when I am illustrating, coloring, or working on the computer, but there is also a long table in front of the chair where I do my painting, embroidery, and other types of messier work that needs space to spread out.  The chair? It’s pretty nice. Black leather, ergonomic and all that but you can’t tell because it is currently heaped with several sweaters, my butterfly blanket and ‘Little Bird’ pillow.

Sometimes, when the printer under my desk malfunctions, I have to sit on the floor to pull it out onto my lap to unjam the paper. My dogs find it amusing but I don’t.


There are days the clutter gets to me and I spend a few hours putting all the pieces back into cases, boxes, folders and drawers. I dust and vacuum, wash the windows, throw away candy-wrappers and dried up tea bags. It looks nice. But for the most part, my reality is stacked to the ceiling with piles on every flat surface that will hold something. Because I am busy.

Once in a while I run across photos of pristine studio spaces on Pinterest and Instagram. They are wondrously large and clean spaces with sparse yet expensive modern furniture and accessories, perfectly painted walls, and perhaps a luxurious white fur rug on the perfectly shined hardwood floor. And a French bulldog sitting on the rug. Next to the white couch with trendy matching pillows placed just so.

I am not knocking those pretty spaces, but really. Where’s the work? Where’s all their shit? The messy stuff that’s needed to actually create something? I think I feel envious of those spaces, for a second maybe. But they are not real.