Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Deep Shame...

I know I said I wouldn't post pictures of my mess, but I'm going to be absolutely brutal with myself. Above is a compilation of images from my studio. Keep in mind that this is AFTER almost a year of organizing and sorting. It feels like Sisyphus' boulder or the many-headed hydra. It's true that there are some parts of the studio that are shaping up (not shown), but this is the yoke on my back... this is the canon ball around my ankle.

It's my goal to break the chain and have a clean, organized place to create.


Andrew Thornton said...

So, "Sisyphus' boulder" sounds a little melodramatic. Plus all this talk about chains and canon balls. BUT seriously, I would accomplish so much more were things organized and more accessible.

Also, I've loved and hoarded some things for too long. I need to let them go to others who will love them and USE them.

I have a lot of beautiful things that I can't remember where I got them from or who made them... which breaks my heart a little bit. I want all the things to go to good homes.

SummersStudio said...

You are not alone, I am not alone. This is exactly what my studio looks like at the moment. I am sorting this very afternoon. It does take way too long to do simple things when I spend time searching through the rubble for a tool or a bead. One little piece at a time and a break is going to be my approach. Good luck with the sorting!

Cynthia Thornton said...

Azalea and I were just watching hoarders and I got 'inspired' to clean my room. My studio is still pretty good from the last time we worked on it. But I have big piles of clothes that still don't fit, that kinda depress me, so I'm working this weekend on sorting through it. It feel s so liberating to have a beautiful space to relax in. Its hard to teach, if I'm not a good example, so I'm goingt o change that.

LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

Andrew, I'm supporting you all the way. Yes, I did pack up the entire studio to relocate, and ditched a lot of things I didn't want to move. But now the unpacking is going very slowly, as I have to decide in the new environment where things will live.

One thing that helped me during packing - I went to the dollar store and bought a ton of the clear plastic shoeboxes with lids. I started putting things together based on what they did, or colors, or how I wanted to use them, into separate clear plastic boxes.

That seemed to help me get more organized and decide whether I really needed to hang onto something or not.

And I had a cardboard box on one side, things that I was going to give away, donate or trash went in there. I could leave them in that location until I decided for sure, and they didn't confuse me. I hope this helps! A little at a time, a little every day, maybe?

Create With Joy said...

Way to go Andrew! I feel your pain. For those of us who love to create and love to collect - well - let's just say your photos are not an unfamiliar site to many of your readers! :-)

Earlier this year I signed up to participate in Where Bloggers Create II and it was the ONLY way I was able to make any tangible progress in my studio after 7 years of trying to get my place in order!

If you'd like encouragement and support on your desk - no matter what it's condition - please join us at What's On Your Workspace Wednesday (the links and info are on my site!) It isn't my meme, and it isn't about organization - but it's tons of fun and you'll meet a lot of great artsy folk in the process who would love to see the transformation of your studio!

Have a great week!


Mosaic Magpie said...

Any of us that create have seen messes worse than this. The only shame would be for you to stop creating. Don't get so cleaned up, you don't want to mess it up.
I believe a little mess is good for the soul.

John Dearden said...

Some areas of my studio looked exactly like yours. I had to start with setting piles of like stuff: beads, wire, tools, good papers, etc. I even had a pile of "to donate" items.

Then, by working on each pile at a time, it made it easier to get things where they belonged. Each step still took a while to do.

My secret was playing a book on tape or some music. It would keep my mind occupied so it was not able to tell me "this job will take for ever" or other such lies.

A last idea. For those items that have meaning but you know you really do not need or want anymore, my wife would give the item a kiss and then donate it. It seems to work.

Jamar said...

Andrew, It's not that bad. Messy cool stuff, not dirt!
When my daughter was small she wrote a poem for a class I still have framed. Part of it had to list things that scared you and one of her's was CLEAN ROOMS. It has been proven that some very intelligent folks are more creative with stuff around them. Give yourself a break ....remember the amount of time you had to move everything,(it does effect the way things are packed for moving and unpacking when you only have a certain amount of packing time), and then look at all you have accomplished this just have one little room left on your TO DO list....
I must say that I see my own habits in those can see like things with like things...poured out on the hunt.....
it does seem that lots of us are cleaning out the bounty these days. I'm cleaning out some areas that look alot like you studio photos.....
it's going to be fun to see your after photos.
Can't wait to shop with you!!!!

Andrew Thornton said...

I'm having to retrain myself. One thing I learned was that I can never complete a project straight through and to even try is like pulling teeth. To get the most out of my time, I've got to set up stations that I can wander around and work on things a little at a time. Kind of like the way a bee pollinates flowers to make honey.

I've also had to train myself to clean up after I'm done. It's so tempting, especially while blogging, to finish a project and then go run and get the camera and take pictures and then... inevitably, forget the mess. If I can get myself to clean as I go, then things won't pile up into daunting stacks.

One of the best techniques for me to organize with, is to put everything into smaller boxes and then go through each one of those boxes bead by bead. It's slow. It's tedious, but I find that I can focus on the small box long enough not to have my attention wander and then I can move on to something else. It looks a LOT worse before it gets better.

The preparation for the SALE is making my brain hurt. But it's happening and I should get the first batch of items posted around 1 AM this morning or so. (I have to take a break for True Blood and to remember to eat.)

Andrew Thornton said...

I can't concentrate in an empty environment. My thoughts begin to wander. I have to have music playing. It's kind of like a soundtrack that I measure my own personal rhythms to. Often times I'll listen to a song or album hundreds or even thousands of times and not know a single lyric. It's kind of like I put myself into a trance.

And not to worry... I'll never have a "clean room" in the traditional sense. There's always something some where.

Andrew Thornton said...

Oh and there's still plenty left to do after the studio!!! Our closet. I need to go through my clothes and pick out things I won't wear anymore and are not seasonally appropriate and shift things around. Right now... it looks a little like the studio pictures!!!! EEK!!!

The kitchen is in good order and so is the living room... except for the mess I've created with the SALE. But I'm going to try and get that organized as well! That way I can just grab and go.

Carol B said...

Know you know why so many people are cleaning their studios. Mine gets to that state about every summer!

Faye ~ My Muse Mutters said...

Isn't it fascinating how every creative soul has their own twist on successful studio sweep/cleaning?

For me it's starting at one point in the room and working my way around unflinchingly. No back and forth allowed for me or I'm doomed to endless dithering :-) Seeing progress inch by inch as I finish each small portion (top to bottom) keeps me motivated. Knowing anything I don't 'deal with or decide upon' (and set in the not yet touched areas) will get to look mighty familiar real quick lol. So that's another facet of the motivation for me :-)

But I can't create in total order. Uber-orderly makes me nervous! I know it's time for clean sweep when I reach the point of having to search for every single thing I need (be it on my studio glass benches, jewelry bench or computer office area). Having to stop and search over and over (and over!) is (for me) equally dampening to creativity. I guess I need quasi-chaos, lol

I'm not even going to admit to the condition of my closet, lol Oh the insanity! As they say on Clean House "one hot mess" roflmao...

We'll all make progress together Andrew - bit by bit (or bead by bead)?! (as for the MY clothes closet, maybe NEXT year for that)!


Anonymous said...

I know what it's like to move and re-adapt your life and studio. I still have untouched boxes and rooms all over my house.It's all a mess! But my kitchen is clean and organized and my life line. And I have my studio up and running.I think what helped me there was purging my stash before I moved...Kate's sales inspired me. The rest will come together in it's own time as it's meant to be. And that's my advice to you...take a deep breath as it will all come together in time.

Joann Loos said...

I agree with people who said they can't create in a completely clean room. A slightly messy room is like a hug. It envelopes me gently. Too much mess and I get overwhelmed, but not enough and I get antsy.

I share an apt with my BF, who also runs a business from home. I moved in after he had lived here 9 years or so by himself, so we had to sort of shoehorn my stuff in. It's almost like living on a boat. We have to keep things somewhat organized otherwise there is no room.

Don't feel bad about where your are in your organization. Just decide what you'd like to do , and do it.


Cindy Caraway said...

I feel your shame, baby! My studio (aka. walk-in closet) gets an overhaul every 3-4 months because it just gets unwieldy. Confession time: I actually enjoy the organizational process so I think it might be a self-fulfilling, vicious cycle :)

Joana said...

Wow. That was brave! It's great to see I'm not alone. Although I believe your stash is so much bigger than mine.
You should see my "workspace" a.k.a. Sofa. I don't invite people to come home anymore because I feel ashamed of the mess :)
But I also have found that I can't create in a perfectly organised room.
Every two or three months I feel the need to organise my stuff, just to remind me what I have available and to simply rejoice with the beauty of the beads I have. I take them out of the ziploc baggies, clean them and put them back. Then they go into their proper box. The feeling of having done A great task is the best!
Usually, it takes around two or three days to have the mess back :)
You have my support with this cleaning up! I'm sure you will feel much better once it's done!

Mary Lynne said...

Thanks, Andrew. Not only do I feel better about my occasional lack of organization, but seeing your photos makes me think I should stop nagging my husband who is the King of Clutter! Maybe this is just something we creative types have to contend with. After all, don't they say that an empty desk is the sign of an empty mind??? Or something like that...

Anyway I hope we all inspire each other to get organized and clear out some of the things we have been hoarding. Now if I can just do something about my procrastination problem. Well, I'll think about that one tomorrow.

Rebecca said...

This sounds bad but I laughed when I looked closely at the pictures. Not out of mockery but because I can identify with the situation. My parents hoard everything and so do I. When I moved from Texas to Montana, I sold and gave away so many items. It was hard. Now, I am upset with myself because I want all my stuff back such as the old Royal Dansk tin filled with vintage buttons and notions. That old cookie tin was something I could always dig through and find treasures since I was a child. It’s ok though. I’m always buying and finding more trinkets to wade through. I love to dig through something and find an item I completely forgot about. They’re little hidden gifts.

Andrew Thornton said...

Going through everything has actually been really inspiring. Part of the reason why it's taking so long is that I've kept my sketchbook on hand and have been jotting things down as they come to me. Maybe I should clean more often. I've filled a dozen pages so far with a ton of ideas!!!

Spirited Earth said...

i feel your pain..
saw this photo and thought
HEY! how'd he get a photo of my studio?
you just happens..
there are so many other things that require ones time that sorting out the studio mess is not a priority until you can't get in there to work..then out comes the shovel.
you are soo brave to take this photo and post it..perhaps you will give courage and inspiration to the rest of us messy creators.

plcahill said...

Hi Andrew: It's been awhile since I've looked at your blog. I hope you take some after pictures of your studio. I do pretty good with my studio, but there are a couple of areas that drive me crazy -- my drafting table, which is my work surface for everything but beadmaking, and another table, which is for photography and other household repair project type stuff. I have this idea for putting drawer slider thingies along the sides of the drafting table and installing large pieces of wood on the slides so that I can have multi-layers of projects in the works. But that's a big project and so far no go, but I think layers somehow would help me out a lot! Best of luck and show some "afters". -- Patti