A dark and quiet place

  • Posted on 8th October 2015,
  • written by


I’ve had 7 studio spaces in my life.

1. The floor of my teenage bedroom, half-way in the closet with a shade-less lamp. I would spill paint on the carpet and cut it out with scissors (sorry mom.) I would work after everyone else went to bed, staying up through the wee hours of the morning drawing not very good surrealist pictures and pasting together maybe-pretty-dope-still collages.

2. In the dorm I shared with a girl who didn’t much like living with an art school kid. (Not sorry.) Then, the dorm I shared later that year with a different girl, who didn’t mind so much. The desk that was provided to me was made by prisoners, with stickers on the sides to let you know. I thought that was funny then, but know enough to be troubled by it now.

3. The shared, beautiful, perfect space for the BFA graphic design program at WMU. The light was bright, the tables were big, and when things broke, new things appeared. I spent all day and lots of nights here, with my dearest dearest friends, crying and eating Jimmy Johns and listening to all the best music and also, occasionally, the Beetlejuice soundtrack.



4. The 5×5 ft room off the kitchen in our apartment in Denver, which had a little built in cabinet for dishes or something, but that I used to store my pinecones and jars of buttons. It had three tiny, skinny windows that didn’t open anymore because of years and layers of white paint. I hung things up with clothespins, all around me, and felt high on the potential of all the ideas and all the freshness of a newly developed creative process, ready to be used.



5. The basement garage in my parents’ house. This was one of the best. The walls were white, the floor was forgiving, the garage door opened up to let the sweet light of the midwestern sun in. We built a worktable out of a door and strung lanterns between tractors, bicycles, and coolers.



6. The window side of the bedroom in the apartment on Boylston St. I found the worktable we used in front of a costume shop that was closing its doors after more than a century in business, the latest casualty in the conquest of a neighborhood. I painted it with house paint mixed with shoe dye, which would bleed a little blue whenever it got wet and smelled sweet and fruity in a chemical way.



7. And now, this cabin. This place. There’s a lot to say about it, but for now I’ll leave it at this. It’s a weird and difficult place to work in, it’s dark and after two years I still haven’t figured out how to photograph work against its moody, log walls. But that’s not to say it isn’t a dream. In here I am outside of time, in here I have a workshop, a homemade table, soft incandescent light. In here there is space and it is a strange space, not meant for the job it’s filling, but filling it well.