Every now and again when it comes to my artist life I wander off course (ok maybe “I wander off course often”) and need to look at a map to find myself again. I am at that point right now - looking over my metaphorical map of where I have been as an artist, where I want to go and where I actually am. Right now I seem to be in a swamp, but fear not, I am finding my way back to my path. You see I veered off my course when I put too much of myself in a project that was spending all my money and sucking my creative well dry. All my energy and resources were being used to keep the project alive. The big problem was - it was not my dream - I was settling for something I really didn’t want - I was good at it - just not passionate about it. Now that I have pointed my self back to my true north I am making sure I have all the supplies I need to continue my journey and keep my compass pointed North. The supplies I’m referring to are things like an inspiring creative space, a website, goals, an artistic direction I am passionate about, a way to keep in touch with people who care about what the hell I’m doing, etc.
The first order of business is my inspirational creative space. I live in Colorado and Ohio - bouncing back and forth. In both states I live outside of major cities, Denver, Colorado and Cincinnati, Ohio. This is a little ironic because I love the city - big cities. For me, I know I thrive creatively when I am in a city so I have a studio space in Cincinnati, Ohio in a historic area called Over-the-Rihne.
Historically, Over-the Rhine was the port-of-entry for immigrants, most of them German, in the 1830’s and 40’s. The Miami and Erie Canal separated the area from Cincinnati’s downtown area, in order to reach downtown people had to cross the canal bridges and they likened this to the bridges of the Rhine river in Germany, thus “Over-the Rhine”.
Now OTR is in the midst of a creative, entrepreneurial revitalization. The historic neighborhood is full of preserved Italianate architecture that makes you sigh. Many of the store fronts are being opened up by creatives making it a hub for innovation. You can find Made in Ohio gifts, clothes and food. Some of my favorite places in OTR are Coffee Emporium, a great place to hang out, get some pastries, joe and even lunch. I also shop at MiCA 12/V - they support local makers! If you ever get a chance Taste of Belgium Bistro is a must for their Waffle and Chicken. My favorite Cincinnati art store, Suder’s Art Store is also in this eclectic neighborhood. It is small but somehow it has everything you need.
What do you need to have your inspirational creative space? My city studio gives me an escape from my out of the city living arrangements. A vibrant city location is one thing I know I need for an easy path to flow. I currently have a smallish space but will moving in May to my new, larger, more creative space. It is a short move from the 5th floor to the 4th floor of The Pendleton Art Center. I will call studio 411 my new creative home.
I hope you visit my blog over the next several weeks and see how I set up my dream inspirational creative space. I would love for you to share your inspiring creative spaces with me!