I am always so interested in looking into different artists' studios. I love to see how messy or neat they are, what colours are on their palettes, or just the nifty ways they do things. Over the past 5 or so years I have been living in Melbourne and within those years I have moved 7 times, all of which were basically a nightmare. Each time I move I have had to plan and problem solve how and where I could set up a space to create. Here are my 'studios' in each:
I first moved to RMIT Village which I highly DO NOT recommend. I had no clue what I was doing when I first moved here, I knew no one and had only visited Melbourne for one night to attend the interview for Art school. But it was a start. I had just begun my Bachelor of Fine Art at RMIT and was working a lot with paper and collage. All I had in this 'room' was a pin board, which was handy for making collages, and a small desk. That cream looking door on the right is actually a wall that slides across dividing the room from my American exchange room mate who had the same set up on her side. You can see by the picture what a 'big' room it was for almost $2000 rent per month... I was only here for a month or so.
The second move was to Uni Lodge on Swanston Street. This was basically in the centre of the city, super noisy and dangerously close to fast food, but! I was a 5 minute walk to RMIT Uni. I had a larger desk, more breathing space, and was close to my university studio where at the time I did most of my work. I was only here for 4 or so months and was very happy when I escaped to a less hectic environment.
Unfortunately in a bid to make space on my computer I may have deleted images from living here, which to be honest were nothing special. So instead here is a drawing I did while living in the apartment.
The third studio location was in St Kilda. It was a tiny apartment but close to the beach and Cantani gardens. It was a really fun place to be, I have lots of great memories and met some lovely people from all over the world while living there. The table I am working at was the dining area but was taken over by me as my 'studio'. Basically one room included the living, dining, and kitchen area and the other room was the bedroom and ensuite. Luckily I was still studying art at this time and did most of my work in the studios there.
My fourth place was in Hawthorn East. It was the first place I'd lived in on the ground floor in Melbourne and it had a backyard! Out the back was what must have been an outside laundry but some dear soul converted it into a studio, perfect for me! The only downside was the occasional giant black cockroaches, spiders, and how in winter it turned into an ice box. It was so charming though, I had a little sink to wash my brushes (which I vandalised with pink rhinestones), super white walls and two cute little windows. When I was in this studio I was in my final year of Art school. It was the first space I had that was completely mine to alter and create within, some very sweet (and sometimes terrifying) memories.
My fifth place was also in Hawthorn East, close by to the last place and it was a house! It was a beautiful original Art Deco style with hanging rails, fireplaces, and decorative mouldings. The only thing was it was always freezing (the fireplaces did not work). I was lucky to have housemates kind enough to allow me to basically have this room to use as my studio. It is one of my favourite, with the two sweet windows letting in lots of natural light with a view of the garden and birds. The paint work was bad enough that I could stick pictures up anywhere. Also, I loved the polished wooden floors, window ledges, and the new found freedom of space! I spent so many hours here, I was sad to pack up and leave it. This was the studio where I felt like I developed a really good work ethic as well as consolidated what I had learned at Art school and applied it to refining and resolving my art practice.
The sixth place was in Maribyrnong where I was renting just a bedroom. This was a temporary move between Christmas and overseas travel, but nonetheless I had to have a space to paint (I had two or three comissions to complete). I was there for maybe a month or more. As you can see in the picture there was a lot of creative thinking behind how I could do this in the small space with limited supplies as my beautiful easel was in storage and I was using what was already in the room. That stool was really not as bad as I thought it would be!
The seventh and for the moment last move was/is to Brunswick West. I absolutely love this area, I have already been to a few vintage markets and enjoy the more alternate lifestyle here in contrast to the more conservative East side. This is the most beautiful apartment I have lived in so far, I have the cutest '50s style door and fresh interior. Here I have my own studio dedicated to painting with storage space! The only downside is the carpet and the fresh paint, which I am not going to risk ruining with blu-tac/taping images to. I am still making it my own, adjusting from the Hawthorn East studio. But here there is a lovely lemon tree just outside the window and I have lots of workspace and a whole built in wardrobe full of art supplies and my overflowing wardrobe. This is my studio today. I have some life painting images drying on the floor and a painting on the easel that I am trying to finish soon but I am accepting the fact it will take longer now that I am working full-time.
I feel very lucky to have always had a space to create in some shape or form. Here is a picture of my dream studio! How amazing to have an arch window! And all those drawers for conserving and organising artwork. A girl can dream...