It was a lovely Friday morning when we popped over to April Camlin's studio. We snacked on some amazing muffins & got the full scoop on April's work, inspirations, and goals. It was so lovely being around a fellow textile artist who has actually broken out & is doing it full time! We look forward to seeing what else April has in store.
1. How long have you been in this current space and how has your arts practice affected it?
I moved my practice into this space at the end of the summer of 2015. Having a separate space to spread out and focus on my work has made my life so much better. I live just two blocks away, so it’s incredibly convenient. I have a tendency to overwork myself, so having a separate space really helps me establish boundaries of self-care. My home space is for relaxing (and working on small mobile projects because I can’t help myself) and my studio is where I go to work. It’s also wonderful to have enough space to own a loom and all the other tools I use to make my work. Additionally, it’s very easy for me to get lost in my work and isolate myself. Working in a shared space alongside other highly motivated artists helps get me out of that stagnant solo zone.
2. What do you require logistically to create a usable space?
I suppose good lighting (still working on that here) and enough room to not feel stifled. I need to be able to put on headphones and go into my own world but it's also nice to have the option of interacting with studio mates. I remember one of my former studio spaces was just the landing of a stairwell of a house where I lived, I only had room for a small table with a sewing machine on it. So I guess I’m flexible and can work wherever I need to, although I enjoy having a little more space these days.
3. What are some of the reasons why you have a space dedicated to your making practice?
Mostly for the reasons I said above. I need to leave the house and go outside and walk to my studio to feel like a sane and functioning human being. It’s also really helpful when I want to meet with other artists, curators, or collectors. It feels more professional to have a dedicated space, it would feel strange for me to bring strangers into my home to talk about my work. I can also have the freedom to work on a larger scale than I could in my apartment. There’s also something about the idea of living constantly inside of a work in progress that stresses me out. I need the breathing room to let ideas ruminate in an environment that is not connected to my free time. When I was in school, I had to work so many jobs, and also wanted to maintain my music project, so I had no free time whatsoever and now that I am working in my studio full-time I really luxuriate in having a separate free-time life. It’s the first time in many years and I think focusing more on self-care strengthens my work.
4. What kind of sacred space(s) do you have in your studio – is it an altar, a meditation space, a nice moment of repose?
Hmm, I really think the whole space is sacred to me. It feels very much like “my place”, a place that is just mine to go and do my work. I suppose I feel the most meditative when I’m at the loom, the polyrhythmic rocking motions that fluidly take over my body feel so grounding. Right now I’m not doing a lot of weaving in my arts practice, but I try to do at least one weaving project a month because it just makes me feel so good.
5. What was the greatest feat that you overcame in this space?
Building the walls! It took all summer, was a fairly large expense, and during that time I wasn’t able to make any work. It was so frustrating to be pouring endless amounts of time into construction when all I wanted to do was make work! There is still so much left to do here but as soon as it was “good enough” I couldn’t wait any longer and moved everything in.
6. What are you excited about in the future (this could directly correlate to the space, i.e. remodeling, to an awesome project you are about to begin/complete).
I’m feeling really good about being able to work full time as an artist and freelancer. It’s the first time since I was 15 that I didn’t have a “real” job and I feel incredibly grateful to be able to work for myself. It’s so empowering to be 100% in charge of my day. I’m just looking forward to more of that. I’m going to be the fiber studio tech at the Haystack open studio residency this summer and that’s another thing I’m really looking forward to. And I have a show this fall at Phoebe Project that I am incredibly psyched about. Lots to look forward too! Oh, and maybe getting around to building some shelving eventually…
With love & light & beauty,
Ashton & Claire
Posted on Waning Gibbous