Previously I wrote about my home studio areas, where the majority of art making takes place. Sometimes there’s just no being creative at home- which brings me to the various places I go with the laptop or ipad to create.
I teach classes at a few art centers around the Phoenix Metro but the one that clearly screams “fancy art studio” is Mesa Arts Center. Big studio spaces, all the amenities like industrial sinks, huge kilns, pretty courtyards, speakers in the ceiling, spotlights, it’s heaven if you are a non-digital artist. Digital art can be carried anywhere however, and I find a big difference in my creativity if I’m in a space that is meant to be a creative space rather than a multipurpose area like an office space, coffee shop or rec room.
My other primary creative space out of the house is Tumbleweed Rec Center, which I’ve taught classes at for 5 years. Tumbleweed is close to my house, has a large gym space, free coffee and daycare for my kids. Those other amenities make it useful but not quite as creative. The work that I primarily get done there is more of “submissions, bulk photo editing, answering emails” variety. Since there are inevitably other people present I have to be wary of doing postwork on R rated images, or having music outside of headphones.
If I need to stay superfocused with zero distractions, I venture to Gangplank in Chandler, a community work space for designers/ creatives/ web developers/ inventors and home of the $1 Red Bull vending machine. Since everyone is there to work I don’t have any ambitions to mess around on the internet. It actually feels like the opposite of Mesa Arts Center, in that the office space is pretty unattractive and uninspiring but it’s all business. Except for the Makerbot where people are making toys.
It’s a bit odd to have to play mind games with oneself- trick yourself into being productive- but if you’re a freelance creator, it’s a necessary evil to keep oneself fresh creatively and satisfy the need to be social.