ARTISTS' STUDIO SPACE or KITCHEN TABLE? A truthful view from 25+yrs experience

From the series of 'Top Tips to Myself.... 20 Years Ago...'  - the Artist's handbook I wish that I'd had all that time ago when I started out.  Enjoy.


In reality, the answer is both.

I speak from my own experience dear reader and it goes something like this.

1994 Art School to Kitchen Table, into Studio Space, then another Studio Space, then a proper Gallery, back to the Kitchen Table, then another Kitchen Table, then another Kitchen Table (3 houses) Studio Space,  1 more Kitchen Table, then one more studio space which is where I've been now for just over two years.  22 years of being a practising artist condensed into work spaces.

So why all the hopping about?  Because life takes over and our work has to go with it, bending and evolving, even when it feels like we are in the least creative space imaginable (both in mind and in reality).

Life changes and unless you hit the floor running with a business that is a: making money from the get-go or b: employing staff, we artists need to make our work wherever and whenever we can, by fitting it in around our lives, a bit like sand filling a bucket around bricks.

This is possible.  This is very possible, it's just a question of not expecting the earth to move with every piece of work you make.  Yes, if we were all supported to make our works 24hrs a day, eat, sleep and dream our work I'm sure it would be easier to make life-changing paintings/drawings/sculptures to show in lovely galleries worldwide, for the rest of us, it's important that our work does two things  2:  pay us some income and b:  make us feel that our hard work and toil is worth something.

Some of my best works have been made on my kitchen table.  In fact so much so that one of my collections of paintings was called 'Table Top'.  These paintings were from my sketchbook of drawings that recorded everything that happened to be on our family/kitchen table each time I fed the babies (now 8 & 11 yrs)    There is an article here, written by Carol Lewis for the Guardian, for which I was interviewed about my being a practising artist and what it was like working from the kitchen table.  Enjoy.

My advice about work stations is to keep semi-fluid about them.  They come and they go, it just so happens now that I'm in a beautiful space, the best I've ever been in.  I know that my heart would sink at the thought of having to go back to my kitchen table again, clearing my work away twice a day for mealtimes, but you know what?  I know that it's a workable solution that's always there.

 'Tea on the Table'  2004

'Tea on the Table'  2004

 Tea with Sarah 2005

Tea with Sarah 2005