Studio Visit: Having a Studio Practice in the Digital World
As I thought about adding a studio visit series to the blog, I began thinking about what the implications would be for me and the work I want to share. Traditional studio visits can be so helpful—getting feedback on work in progress and having to answer for creative choices to name a few. Sometimes visits inspire a change of course or they can serve as an affirmation that things are on track.
But there is also a time when closing the door and holing up for a few weeks or months is the best thing for the work. Although I am a fan of Instagrammers who hold themselves accountable to a fill-in-the-blank-a-day project by posting daily results to their feeds, it seems like it’s become the only studio practice model for everybody aka the internets. I think this is a shame.
Showing up every day to do the work is necessary, but sometimes the quiet of a space with the door closed is what’s needed to push the work forward in a meaningful way. There is a time for sharing and articulating creative choices and hearing whether or not an idea has been successfully communicated. But there is also a time when I believe doing these things is not helpful.
The quiet that comes from shutting the door can be intimidating. Obviously it can be lonely and there is no positive reinforcement from the outside—or critical feedback, either. But it’s a necessary place to occupy for anyone making something from an interior place rather than what’s on trend. It’s a space that I find hard to negotiate for myself because I am someone who enjoys the community and possibilities of social media.
I think about these things as I start my first painting “project” as a social media user. Well, that’s not true. In 2013, when I was making work for my last show (and when this project actually started before I set it aside), I’d already been on Instagram for about a year. At the time I was even more uncomfortable with negotiating the space and I shared very little from that time in terms of process or final work.
Fast-forward to now and I’m ready to explore how the two can work together; how I can move forward with an idea that is in development and keep the door open just enough without turning the process into a performance and without letting the noise outside influence my intuition about where this needs to go.
If you’ve read this far, I’d love to hear any thoughts you have about what I’ve said, so please feel free to email me!