The State of the Studio


Photos © 2010Curly Girl Design, Inc./Leigh Standley. all rights reserved.

This past week I finished up the artwork for the new line of organic t-shirts we are releasing in January. (go ahead, squeal! they are gonna be so cute!) I dusted off the old India ink and dip pen and had a blast revisiting calligraphy. Pen and ink is a medium I used to illustrate and write with pretty regularly, but it has not made its way into my work in a long while. I love letters and words and the shapes of them. It was fun to take some of my favorite “Curly Girlisms” and bring them to swirly life with this old friend.

This is some of what my studio looks like this morning. I would love to say that this is a huge mess, but if I'm honest, this is pretty tidy for my studio. I, like most, have the running list always going in the back of my head: clean out closet, organize studio, go through files, match up socks, clear out garden, put away hose… and then there is the list that I actually write down of all the things I need to get accomplished in a day or week which I won't begin to stress you out with. The point is that I am in a constant state of lists. Mental, physical, emotional, psychological… you name it.

Don't get me wrong I love lists! I love how they look, I love crossing things off of them…I actually love going back to look at them at a later date, sort of like a diary. But some days I feel like they are the boss of me.

The only place that is free of the clutter of lists and things to do, for me, is my studio. Ironically, it is chalk full of other kinds of clutter. This clutter does not have the same effect on me that 'list clutter' does. I don't feel stressed, or worried about this untidy stuff. I love to look at it, it makes me happy and inspired and yes, I prefer for it to be tidy, but somehow I am more comfortable with letting it live it's own clutter life. Like free-range clutter.

Lacy and I have been tossing around ideas for this month's Habits of Happiness and the idea of non-attachment came up. It got me to thinking about what I am attached to versus what I am attaching myself to. I think they are different. Right now, in this moment, I am attaching myself to my lists. They are defining me.

What I am attached to are my family and friends, Lucy and oddly, all the little crap in my studio that makes me feel clever and creative and fun. So, I am exploring the idea of being 'attached to' what makes me feel whole and happy and how to put that at the top of the lists that I need to make things work. It's a delicate balance and tricky thing to negotiate with yourself at times. But like anything worthwhile, it is a practice.


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