Tea with the Muse
Tea with the Muse
8 Options for finding your Studio - The Muse has requested your attention!

8 Options for finding your Studio - The Muse has requested your attention!

Especially for those who think they don't have room + my newly reclaimed studio

The STUDIO (for those who don’t think they have room)

Let’s start with what every studio needs. Every studio needs a work table, a place for an altar, a place for supplies, a journal and a teapot at the very least. Usually the Muse also wants a plant. Oh and a hammer and nails. Hand-paint your hammer so everybody knows it is YOURS. My mother Caron was also never without a tape measure. My studio must-have is sandpaper.

I also like a painting rug for where I stand. An easel is awesome but a few nails on the walls works just fine and you can have multiple canvases up at once. For all of these solutions, if you use oil or acrylic you will want painter’s drop cloth from the hardware store to protect the innocent surfaces of your home. If you live with others, this will be important for ongoing relationship.

Once the artist moves in for good, things can get a little challenging, because your priorities have literally changed. Maybe even your values, and how you like to inhabit spaces changes. In other words, pristine white couches are now an endangered species.

YOU DO have options for having a studio and it is needed if one is to choose a creative life, that is oh so romantic. Sue Hoya Sellars used to say, Being an artist is so romantic. So let’s get to it. I want to tell you that the physical-ness of a studio is rad cuz you work there, but it is more than that. Even when you aren’t in your studio physically – YOU KNOW IT IS THERE and IT WORKS YOU. I hang out in my ‘studio in my mind’ all the time.

1. Guest Room: Clear the guest room that is often empty, and make your guests sleep on the couch. They will understand when they see what is happening in there, if they are lucky enough for you to show them. The bed is fine to leave, add lots of pillows and take naps there. Muses love beds. But the dresser is now a surface for painting to perch and journals to be spread out as if it is an altar. The nightstand is an altar. Sorry if you have a white rug. If you plan to live there a long time you might just choose to let the rug be a painting rug. What have you got to lose? (people who don’t paint hate this idea, but painters are so relieved)

2. Dining Room: The dining room, how often do you eat there really, put a drop cloth over the table and voila – it’s a work table. All creatives need work tables if they are serious. Move most of the chairs out to the garage or the street. You need room to MOVE all the way around the table and at times you may find yourself needing to lay right on the table. You might need to put up a curtain if you don’t have doors on it. A shower rod is a quick fix without needing to drill for a rod – honestly you could have this going today if you want!

3. Bathroom: The bathroom, especially if you have two, is often so under-used unless there are two people and you both have do go number two at exactly the same moment. Poor lonely bathroom, use the shower stall as a place for a small desk or a stack of paintings. The water is right there and the toilet works just fine for a table. Plug in a teapot instead of hair drier and it is all ready for you.

4. Laundry Room: The laundry room is often the last resort because there is too much coming and going. But the tops of the machines make a fine work table. It smells good in there and there is often a window. But clean clothes and paint are magnetized towards one another.

5. Bedroom: If you are single, your bedroom can work and that way you are surrounded by your creativity. Do not do this if you are in a committed relationship. Your part-time lover will think it is sexy at first, but then they will want more room for themselves. Be careful here, and don’t compromise your creative space. You can always have sex on the couch or the dining room table.

6. Garage: Finally the garage. Now I will be honest about this. Lots of people pick this one and start parking their car outside. Big move. But unless it has access to air, unless you can move smelly things out, unless you can regulate the temperature, unless you can really make it feel good to you – you won’t go in there. You know what I am talking about. If you add a fancy rug you can get paint on, a disco ball and a stereo and a nice big chair it COULD work. But if you try this option and the Muse doesn’t want to go there, then you MUST find another solution.

7. Pavilion of Plein Air: If it is warm enough where you are, there is always outside. Sue Hoya Sellars got an Easy-UP and called it a painting pavilion. She added chimes that rang when the wind blew. Begin to think of all of your outside spaces as additional rooms, even if it is just a deck or an entry way. Take over. The Muses have requested it.

8. Imaginal Dream Studio: But the most important studio is the imaginal one, the place you set up in your consciousness for the Muse to play. You can think of this like a chosen department of your inter-consciousness where your Dream Studio is. Build it out, see the windows and the plants and all the space. See the view and the giant chair big enough for two. Set it all up and then hang out there.­­­

Sue used to also treat her journal as her studio. She would go to Denny’s get a cuppa coffee and sit all day – she called it her studio. So really you have no excuse.

Whatever you do put a sign on the door: The MUSE is in. To anyone who might be passing by, this is a CLEAR SIGN not to disturb. Except the cat or the pup. They always want to be where the action is. Oh, and one more thing, a painting bathrobe. You need a robe that you can grab in the wee morning or the middle of the night and get right to the studio without thinking or talking yourself out of it.

Finally and perhaps most important. Each time you create set up for the next time. Whether that is a jar of water or a blank page with a pen perched. Do not give yourself the CHOICE not to go. Do not want to feel like it, just get in there. The MUSE is always waiting. Tap tap tap…. Hear that? That’s the end of her paintbrush, which is a magic wand…anticipating your arrival.

Excerpted from my upcoming book, Rodeo of the Soul, Cosmic Cowgirl Poetry & Painting Prose

Shiloh Sophia

I haven’t had a functional ‘studio’ of my own for over 2.5 years. Those of you who have been at MUSEA know that there is a film studio, which is very different than your personal paintings studio. I know I am spoiled, I have a whole room and places to sit and a fire place. Don’t be jelly, go make your studio today! Here is one of the first peeks at it….this studio was created for painting by the previous stewards. I used to have this studio years ago and I have to say, I am so relieved to have it back.


Tea with the Muse
Tea with the Muse
Encouraging stories, images, poetry, inquiries and dares from the Muse at Intentional Creativity®