“I like to make things. I always have, ever since I was a kid”
Being an artist generally requires lots of imagination! You may have to nurture it along at times, but the thing is… you have to be able to look at things, and imagine what they could be… or what they could represent in the right setting.
Sometimes that hyper-active imagination can bleed into other areas of your life. If I need something, I will decide if I can make it before I consider buying it. If there is a need, I am trying to create a solution. I feel like I can learn to do almost anything if I do my homework, and accept the inevitable setbacks along the way. It’s how I learned to paint after all, so why not in all things?
When we moved to Colorado, I had a basement for the first time in my life, albeit unfinished. It was like getting a thousand square feet of room for free! I envisioned an awesome studio with room for everything! I set out to work with someone to get it finished. I bought all of the materials and was eager to learn and help. The guy came on the first day to start building and explained that because of the soil in Colorado we had to “float” the walls, suspended from above. This was quite different from California, where you build a wall laying down on the ground, and then stand it up. He built one wall in the area that was to be my office. I was cutting the studs as he was building, so I didn’t have a chance to work on the framing.
The next morning I went down and looked at the work. It was AWFUL! The studs were not even perpendicular to the floor. Each one leaned a little more off-kilter as they moved down the wall. How could you possibly hang the drywall if the studs weren’t perpendicular to the floor… or even parallel to each other? Worse yet, when I put a level on the studs, the top of the wall was also leaning forward. I ripped everything down and decided I was going to do it myself.
I learned about floating the walls, and the rest was easy. Just nail everything straight! Use a level! It was good, hard work, and I enjoyed every minute of it. It is important to know when to defer to professionals, especially when issues of safety arise, but otherwise you can learn to do anything if you set your mind to it. Know your limitations and get help when needed. In the end it came out just how I wanted it.
This was a big lesson learned, and it has served me well since. You have to learn to push the limits in order to grow. So it is with many things, including art. I will follow up this article with a myriad of things I have built to help me along the way in the studio. Hopefully I can inspire you to do it yourself!
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