devi: (mirror eyes)
[personal profile] devi

Hello! I am in London!

We arrived last Saturday after the most nightmarish move I've ever had, part of a horrible few weeks in which we flaked out on some people quite badly (sorry, [ profile] vodka_fairy and Jess; sorry, Dan's mum, who ended up having to pack a load of my life detritus for me while I went off in the moving van). I honestly have no idea how Dan is still sane, never mind out job-hunting and looking sharp in his suit; and I've had a good few moments when I just wanted to hide under the furniture hugging my knees and rocking back and forth until it all went away, somehow. But it doesn't go away, and we did all the things, and we got here.

Since then we've been staying at the staggeringly generous [ profile] rainsinger and Z's place. Dan's been registering with every job agency in sight. We are still house-hunting - well, room-hunting, really. We've been swinging wildly between exhilaration and terror, though luckily enough we seem to be on opposite cycles, so the other can usually talk the terrified one down. We've mostly been staying in and trying not to spend much.

But: strangely enough, I seem to have got myself half a studio space to work in, near Deptford Creek. I'm not quite sure how this happened. Most affordable studio spaces have endless waiting lists, but somehow here I am.

Working from home all summer has been doing my head in. My brain is slow and sticky when it comes to context-switching and I need a commute, however short, to make the transition properly. I ended up with home mode and work mode bleeding into each other, meaning I was never doing either one wholeheartedly. I've always wanted a little workspace away from home and assumed I could never afford one. It turns out that when I researched it before, I was looking at office space, which is punch-in-the-guts expensive if you're a freelancer - but there are schemes where you can get art space for much less. This, however, means I have to present myself as a Proper Artist. I feel like a total impostor, but my stuff is all over the walls and I have to admit seeing a whole wall of it at once is quite encouraging. Look, here's a bit of it:

And as if I wasn't already on the verge of a hysterical giggling fit all the time, I've landed right in the middle of one of their biggest events of the year. They're having Open Studios this weekend - like Artweeks, for the Oxford people - a part of the Deptford X art festival where all the studios in the complex are open to the public. You can get all the details at the link, but there's a private view from 6pm this Friday, and the studios are open from 12 to 6 on Saturday and Sunday. (The flyer above is wrong about that - it sounds like they're open from 6pm every day, which is LIES.)

London folk: please come! There will be cheap drinks! What I've seen of the other tenants' stuff is very cool! You can see a small part of my Collective Consciousness installation from last year, which I've put back together and hung from the rafters! It's five minutes' walk from Greenwich station.

Oh, London. Underneath it all I'm really happy to be back.

Date: 2010-09-22 05:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
yay studio! i'm currently trying to wangle some space as i'm suffering from the same work-home bleed thing, and also i get LONELY up here all by myself. cross your fingers for me. and enjoy london!

Date: 2010-09-22 08:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, I will, on both counts. Where are you at the moment? Your last post sounds eerily familiar...

Date: 2010-09-22 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
i am a terrible poster, but that's an established fact, so we won't dwell. i've been kinda meaning to do an entry for a while now but i never know what to write!

i'm in bristol, making stuff & pottering about. trying to figure out if having a studio space will make me work more thus equalling more money and paying for itself? as my friend said, it'll at least motivate me to earn more since i'm paying out more!

Date: 2010-09-23 09:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think I'll make more stuff now I'm here, if only because I can actually get to all my equipment and don't have to do an epic tidy just to clear the space to set my easel up. But I've never found being skint to be very motivating - if anything, worrying about money kills my creativity off. Hm.

What stuff are you making? Still doing photography?

Date: 2010-09-23 11:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
photography, collage, websites, badges a bit of graphic design, and a new job doing marketing for the photo lab & gallery i work in. a little bit of everything really!

my problem is mostly focus, when i'm at home i've the freedom to do whatever i want, which can [and often does] involve reading books, watching films, tidying my room, napping. none of which are conducive to actually making any art or money! plus i get a bit stir crazy. i feel like being in a working environment with other people around would be a healthier place to be. we'll see what happens with the space i'm investigating, i should find out in the next few days.
(deleted comment)

Date: 2010-09-22 08:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You could, when you come over!

Date: 2010-09-22 05:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hooray! I am in New York this weekend, though, or I'd totally come and gawk.

Date: 2010-09-22 08:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm sure there'll be plenty such things to visit/play hipster bingo at :)

When are you back? There should be pints.

Date: 2010-09-22 08:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm back on Monday, and I'm free for the forseeable I think, so yes, pints, definitely.

Date: 2010-09-23 09:35 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-09-22 11:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Good stuff! Which area are you room-hunting in? The Open Studios thing sounds fun, but there's various events related to Al and Kate's wedding happening this weekend.

Date: 2010-09-23 09:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
South-east, ideally on the East London Line or one of the train lines to New Cross. (At first I wrote 'on one of the trains'. Yeah, I'll just live on a train like someone from Neverwhere.)

Give Al and Kate my congratulations!

Date: 2010-09-23 10:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Will do, best of luck with the hunting.

They've recently extended the East London line to just round the corner from us (and even closer from next year) if you fancy coming over for board games some time.

Date: 2010-09-23 10:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wooo! Ive got a work do then a party afterwards so can't come along unfortunately, but I would like to pop in and have a nose about at some point!

Date: 2010-09-23 10:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You're very welcome to!

Date: 2010-09-23 10:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's just round the corner from me! (Ok, a couple of corners and along a road... but...) I'd love to pop round sometime soon! I'm not actually sure if I can come tomorrow - how long do you think you will be going on for? If not then, then we should sort out a time soon!

(Despite having lived in the area for WAY TOO FVCKING LONG I've never been to any Deptford X! things, because I am, well, a bit useless really... :))

Date: 2010-09-23 10:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*waves out the window*

I think the private view thing will probably go on quite late. But yes, if not tomorrow, come round some time soon...

Date: 2010-09-23 10:47 am (UTC)
juliet: (Default)
From: [personal profile] juliet
Bother, cannot make Friday. Are you going to be around on the Sat/Sun?

Date: 2010-09-23 10:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes indeed. If only to keep an eye on my stuff/show willingness to help out.

Date: 2010-09-23 11:44 am (UTC)
juliet: (Default)
From: [personal profile] juliet
cool, will come visit on Saturday, then!

Date: 2010-09-23 10:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
oh hey, i have no massively important plans for tomorrow (yes, PUB counts as a plan ;)) also, woo swanky gallery with cheap drinks. might be able to tie-in a visit to this new boozer by tower bridge that seems interesting (it's a bar, and a poncey one at that, but with zawesome beer) which isn't that far off...

Date: 2010-09-23 10:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
o hai! Would be cool to see you.

Date: 2010-09-23 01:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

I'm sorry the rest has been so tough but - I'm sorry - STUDIO! *small overwhelmed noises of squee*

So, like, how are you balancing your worktiem between paid freelance commissions and art? Are you getting any art commissions? Or are you earning enough freelancing to pay for some unpaid art time producing pieces for sale on top of the comics and stuff?

(...STUDIO! <3)

Date: 2010-09-23 02:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yep, that's approximately how I feel too :)

Hmm, work is a crazy patchwork right now. I have the usual editing/layout stuff which is the main source of money, a couple of (not very big) art commissions, ongoing furniture-painting for the eco-paint people (which would be a huge part-rant, part-squee, friends-locked post in its own right), and various things I'm doing just in the hope someone will buy them at some stage. (This is a nice mixture of stuff, for a change. I don't expect it to be like that for long.)

I'm doing it all in the studio. A lot of studio cooperatives actually require you to promise you're not going to do any non-art work in them, but I asked the woman in charge if it'd be okay and she said "We all do these things to get by." I think they're not too bothered how I use the space so long as it is visibly an active artist's studio rather than a beige office.

Which means I'm required to produce artwork on a regular basis, no matter how busy I am with other stuff, and I quite like that - having an external force to push me into it when I start to feel I can't justify the time.

Woah, long comment, thinking out loud. I *wish* we'd had this last year!

Date: 2010-09-23 02:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh noes, presenting yourself as a proper artist - whatever will you do?!

(I mean, you *are* a 'proper artist' for heaven's sake - it's in your words, your actions and your blood! :)

Date: 2010-09-23 02:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Heh, thank you. I just keep expecting some imagined Art School Mafia to show up, pierce me with a withering gaze and banish me to the outer darkness. In my head they look like Vulva the performance artist from Spaced.

Date: 2010-09-23 04:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm thinking of coming on Saturday afternoon --- how much time would I need to see the whole gallery?

Date: 2010-09-23 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Great! Hmm, there's quite a few studios but you may not find them all interesting - say an hour tops?

Date: 2010-09-23 06:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ta --- I'll probably turn up at about 5 o'clock.

Date: 2010-09-24 07:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
All sounds really promising - I hope you find somewhere really good to live!
Hopefully the cash should have come through to Dan by now? Let me know if not…

Date: 2010-09-24 09:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've got yours - Dan hasn't checked yet, but he'll let you know. Thanks again for taking them off our hands!

Date: 2010-09-24 08:28 am (UTC)
glittertigger: (Default)
From: [personal profile] glittertigger
The studio looks great.

Date: 2010-09-24 03:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Welcome to London! I will drop by on Saturday. When will you be there?

Date: 2010-10-04 12:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Goodness: London! Stuff changing again. You and Dan are in my thoughts, I'm sure it'll work out for yis. I'll probably be over to London a few times next year for *can't talk about that just yet* so I'd like to see you both then x

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