A few months ago I desperately wanted to get into my studio. I had been in my funk for awhile, but on this particular day I just HAD to create something. Anything. Just give me a brush or pencil and I’d be good.
But one of my kids woke up sick and just needed mom. Creating went to the back burner as I snuggled and watched movies with my boy while he still is young enough to want his mom.
After a couple movies, he asked me what I had planned on doing if he hadn’t been home. I mentioned painting or drawing, and he looked up at me with those big gray eyes of his and said:
The last time I updated you guys on my office/studio, we were working on the foundation. I’d love to tell you that once the foundation was fixed, it was smooth sailing and we were able to finish the space quickly and easily. Oh how I wish that was the case!
We did finish the foundation, and the basement stayed dry…until we got a lot of rain in a very short amount of time and my office FLOODED. Like 2 inches of rain. It’s not much in the grand scheme of flooded basements, but 2 inches is super annoying when you’re trying to remodel and finish a basement.
Thankfully it was a somewhat easy fix as it was just 10 feet of plugged drainage tile that my husband and boys dug up and replaced. Once it was fixed, the basement has stayed dry. Our electrician was able to come and rewire the office, we got drywall up, taped, mudded, primed and painted and I went back to work on the first day of school!
Just to recap, here are some before pictures:
It is working out SO WELL. I was super nervous about combining the office and studio space into one room (they had been separate spaces at the old house), but honestly, I feel like productivity is up because I can reach everything and don’t have to go back and forth between areas anymore.
I still have some things to in the space. I feel like I’m always organizing and getting rid of things! I am going to hang up some pegboard for paintings to dry on, and the hutch piece (it’s actually a twin sized headboard!) on my desk is going away. I’ll be replacing it with a wall shelf for my knick knacks to sit on and getting an additional monitor; all the monitors will mount to the wall or two will mount and one will sit on the desk. I also need a heater downstairs because it’s so cold during the winter, but once the rest of the basement is finished that will happen. We’ll probably do baseboard trim at that time, too.
What do you think of the office and studio space now?
This past weekend I participated in the Brockport Arts Festival! It was my third year being a vendor at this show.
I didn’t know how to mentally prepare for the festival this year, partly because I haven’t really worked on my art business lately, but mostly because I was so uncertain about how it was going to go because this show was going to be so different: I wasn’t bringing my jewelry, which is hands down my top seller. Instead, I was bringing only originals and prints. I’ve only ever sold a few prints at any festival, even the two day ones. I was taking a big risk, and with this being one of the more expensive shows that I do, I was really nervous that it was going to be a big flop.
Little did I know how unprepared for the weekend I actually was…
When we moved into our house 7 1/2 months ago, we knew that we were going to have to do a lot of demolition to the basement in order for me to have my office down there. I have to be honest, it’s been really hard waiting for all of the work to be finished. After taking almost a year off for the entire moving process, I’m more than ready to get back to work, especially as the current situation is a little challenging:
My thoughts behind that is two-fold: first, I’ve wanted to draw the Hogwarts castle for a really, really long time. And second, this drawing has been on my shelf as a commission for a YEAR.
Now I HATE making anyone wait for anything, especially an entire year. But this one was delayed for a lot of reasons: finding the right reference image and then having it sent to me the day before my phone decided to lose EVERYTHING on it, not being able to find the perfect reference image again, me selling and buying a house, and then still not being able to find the right image again. But, it was found and I had the drawing in hand ready for delivery less than a week later.
I know I’ve said this a lot, but man, it feels like the challenge just started, yet somehow it feels like it went on forever.
I was so tempted to surprise you all and do one more week of the challenge to do some of the top requested drawings that are left, but my family is home on vacation this week and as our youngest has a birthday this week as well, that had to be my priority. I promise to get to that list soon though!
On to the recap!
What I learned:
The biggest thing I learned was that taking almost a year off from working is not good for me mentally. Every time I saw the boxes for my studio and office still in the sunroom waiting to be unpacked or my future office/studio still in shambles, I’d get more frustrated, anxious and agitated. Every day that I got to do a drawing, I felt all of that melting away. Yes, my boxes are still there and the office is no where near finished, but I had my joy back.
This blog post is extremely overdue. However, it’s Easter weekend, so I thought it might be appropriate to finally post now!
The Wrong Direction is the 3rd installment of the children’s book series The Adventures of Boathouse Mouse, and I have the honor and privilege of illustrating them. This book came out in April 2017, almost a year ago!!!!
While I was illustrating this book, I had some fun with it and included Easter Eggs, just like I did with The Cat and the River Thames. If you’re unfamiliar with Easter Eggs, they’re fun little details included in movies, whether it be hidden details or references to other movies (Disney and Pixar are well known for these!). One thing I’m trying to add in each book now is a cameo of the person I’m dedicating it to. I didn’t do it for Book 1, and Book 2 was my parents.
Book 3 was originally going to be dedicated to my daughter. I was going to go in age order for the kiddos, but once I read the book, there was one scene that changed my mind:
I have to be honest, when I finally sat down to work on the drawing this morning, I almost started to cry. Part of it is just exhaustion from all of the work that goes into each day’s drawing, but a lot of it is I’m going to miss it so much! Thankfully I have a great project lined up to keep me busy 😉
But here he is, the final drawing of the challenge and last piece to the Hogwarts House Mascot series: