Moving Your Studio: Emotions and Memories

Episode 261 · August 1st, 2023 · 32 mins 14 secs

About this Episode

In our last episode we talked about some of the practicalities of downsizing, clearing out, or moving your studio, and tips about ways to deal with your artwork, supplies, and other items that you’ve accumulated. But what about the emotional side of this? We’re going to focus today on how it feels to move out of a studio that has been a very important part of your life. You may be on top of the logistics involved in dealing with downsizing, but you are not a robot, mechanically sorting and tossing. Today we’ll talk about the fact that your studio is a very personal place that can evoke a flood of memories and emotions when you need to leave it behind. And we’ll also mention the benefits and positive aspects of going through this process.

A studio is a place to make your work, but it's also much more. It is a sanctuary and refuge, and a place of contemplation where you have spent countless hours working, thinking, and observing your work. Your studio represents your personal history as an artist and all its ups and downs. So it’s no wonder we get attached to our studios as well as fill them with a large buildup of objects and inventory. The physical objects themselves hold memories and feelings that can be overwhelming at times.

Pressure to meet moving deadlines, confronting your habits of hoarding or over-purchasing art supplies, and perhaps regrets over work that was never finished or sold that can all be stressful and bring up difficult emotions. Yet there are also fascinating and rewarding parts of the process when we see connections to older work, or are reminded of art friends, mentors, and experiences as we sort through our stuff. You may feel deep gratitude for your life as an artist when you realize the depth and breadth of your work and life as an artist.

Anyone who is on the other side of major downsizing tends to be pleased and relieved. The process gives you a fresh start and provides a sense of feeling more organized and purposeful. Instead of a jumble of bits of your past, with perhaps only minimal organization, in your new space you will know precisely what you own, where it is, and overall, you will have a good sense of what everything you’ve kept means to you. It's easy to lose sight of these positive aspects of moving while you are in the middle of this often-exhausting process, but they do await you.

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