Pivotal Event #5 “A place to make a mess.”
I had outgrown painting in my bedroom. I was now dragging my supplies up to our flat-top roof when the weather was dry or out to the garage when it was raining. I knew that being serious about painting meant that I would have to find some space that could be dedicated to it. I needed a space where I could focus on painting without being interrupted, where I could store materials, and where I could hang paintings as I worked on them. In other words, I needed a studio.
One day I met my mom for lunch on Granville Island and we saw a notice posted next to a payphone (remember those!): “Art studio for rent. $150.00/month” I stood and stared at that notice, doing some mental calculations. If I was very careful with my money I could probably afford some canvases and supplies and manage to pay for a few months of studio rent before I would need to find a job.
Was I financially ready to go all-in on being an artist? “Not really.” Did I think it would work out? “Probably not.” Did I think I was being selfish by wanting to paint full-time instead of doing something more responsible? “Yes, definitely.” And yet, as I stared at the notice, I felt I had no choice but to give myself over to being an artist for as long as I could make it last. I couldn’t give up on it until I had actually tried.
“This is the hardest part of becoming an artist,” I told myself. “Once you fully commit to it, everything will suddenly become much easier.” And so, I made the call, wrote out some post-dated cheques, and hauled my supplies to the third floor of 901 Main. My first studio. Nothing could stop me now!
Top photo My first studio – just a few square feet where I could splash, splatter, and ponder. Fun fact: the table in the photo is the one I still use today. If you’ve been to my current studio you have seen it many, many layers of paint later.