Thursday, January 4, 2018

A Tiny Bit of Tidy

This week has been all about "tidying up" the home office, which was really supposed to be my husband's room-of-his-own, (mind you, i do have a studio space where I work, collect, gather, and have spread out many, many, many of my collections and books and papers), but, as it's been said about me (perhaps by my husband, RK- ahem!), 'give that girl a surface and she'll cover it!' and it's true. Therefore, the desk that was meant for him (that he actually wanted to get rid of because he doesn't use) is mostly covered in MY STUFF.

I LOVE paper: quotes i've written down or a story from the newspaper, every postcard ever sent to me, a magazine image that sparks joy, something i found on the ground that looked interesting, a business card, a fortune cookie fortune, a review of something i wanted to see but never did but might get to some day...I also love books and magazines and agendas and they, too, all live on this desk in the home office. These paper bits also live in numerous notebooks I've kept and pasted into over the years and this paper, in the form of scraps and books and magazines and collages and notes, cover much of my studio, as well. If I had another room with desks and tabletops and shelves and filing drawers and flat files...well, I'd cover and fill those too.

I don't WANT to throw any of it away, but I know it's necessary to sometimes "tidy-up" as they say...
I maintain these random bits and pieces are the basis for the artwork I create. These things are the basis for my very creativity itself! And organizing, too deeply, can be a crushing blow to what may come next.

Years ago, RK suggested I sort through my thousand's of vintage photographs and organize them in some way that worked for me, without either of us fully realizing that the mere fact of organizing my old photos would never work for me. The entire joy of these photos, both owning and using them, is in the complete randomness that I come across them. I often flit through some of the same photos over and over and remember where I bought them or just marvel at the fact that I have no idea where I got them from, but they seem so familiar to me still. It turns out, I am almost never looking for something in particular. I have an idea, I recall I may have something similar to what I'm thinking about, but it is in the sifting through the piles, the files and the photos that I come up with something I didn't even know I wanted. The joy is in the lack of organization! I quickly realized this in the "sorted vintage photos" incident (we can laugh about it now). I didn't feel like looking through the category of "men" or "two men" or "women" or "babies" or "farm animals" --it took the fun and the creativity right out of it! Eventually I got rid of the dividing/organization cards and tossed the whole lot back into one big drawer. Which is now an even bigger drawer, getting bigger all the time.

I don't know why I thought I was the only one that felt this way. Reading Austin Kleon's blog entries from the past year, I realize now, it's quite a common way of conducting oneself.



As for tidying up the home-office this week, it's been a downright revelation! I've found notebooks I'd forgotten about, sketches of work I plan on actually making this year, and articles that sparked a flurry of emails last night.

I can't wait to 'tidy up' the studio next week!