Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Studio of One's Own . . .

Or What Happens When You Come Down with 'Commission-itis' . . .

It was not one of my best days in the studio. No client and a client I unwittingly stood up. Still, when I left for the day and looked back, I saw the space was mine once again. My work table was cleared of all the materials which covered it since the middle of August – materials I had put there to work with my client Jim.

I closed the door and smiled.  Tomorrow will be a better day.

As of last Thursday, our collaboration moved from one on one in the studio to checking in once a week via phone or email.  Jim called me last Wednesday to say he wouldn’t be coming to our regular meeting the next day as he had a doctor’s appointment. He was going in to schedule another minor surgery sometime this week to repair a malfunctioning wire, which is inserted in his back to alleviate pain.

It was obvious, at least to me, his studio visits had come to an end.

We spoke about the next steps, the images I needed for him to send me to complete the 3rd section of the triptych; the pictures of my preliminary sketches which I would send him for his perusal; and the type of artists’ wood panels I plan to use.  I promised to email all the information and call him to let him know I’ve emailed.  He doesn’t check his email all that often I found out.

I sent the email Friday.  I called yesterday. No reply yet. 

Now, knowing Jim’s as I do, his MO so to speak, I won’t worry or take this personally.  I’m prepared to get on with the project, hoping to have it completed before the first of the year. 

OK - so I have to admit it (although not news – see August’s post ‘The Shades Are Up Here in the Cyberstudio’): No matter what the project, it helps to have the studio all to myself to do the work.

In the mean time, I think I’ve come down with a serious case of  ‘commission-itis’.  After working non-stop on ceramic and now 2D commissions since June, (for which, I am totally grateful, don’t get me wrong) I think unconsciously, I must be yearning for a B. Altman Art fix – ideas, images, forms, content, all pumped up from my own creative well. Even though my husband sometimes mocks my attempt to ‘multitask’ at home, I can’t seem to do this in the studio. I have to work one project at a time. Jim’s piece first. Next, the lovely little two-dimensional piece I’ll be doing for a friend, using her and her husband’s dear grandmothers’ photos. This will take me into 2010 for sure.

So in my ‘commission-itis’ frame of mind yesterday, I completely forgot I had made an appointment to meet a possible client at the studio.  He wanted a ceramic artist to create a base for his tabletop fountain.  I only remembered this after I arrived at the studio over an hour and a half late. I was briefly mortified. Then, somehow relieved. I realized I really didn’t want to do this project. Still, feeling fairly guilty, I called and apologized, left the message that I was in the studio and told him he could come by. But to be honest, I was secretly glad that he hadn’t by the time I closed the door to leave - when I looked back and smiled . . .

once again, knowing the blessing of having a studio of one’s own.

1 comment:

Leah Virsik said...

Hi Bobbie, I get it! The way I've approached commissions or design work is totally different than the way I approach my art. Although, I imagine they could be approached more similarly. I admire your candor. It's very easy to relate to your experience. I'm realizing how precious my time is and how much of it I want to use for creating. I'm becoming more and more unwilling to give it away.

Here's hoping for better days in your studio.