We picked up the key for Maggie’s new studio last week.
Although Maggie has been using the front room in our house as a studio since we moved here 5 years ago, it’s not always been easy for her.
The big problem, of course, is that it’s in the building we also live in, and this means there are a 1,001 distractions and demands on her time that are difficult to avoid. Additionally, it’s been too easy to use the room to temporarily store things, which then end up permanently taking up space.
Then, 2 years ago, I had to give up my study so my son could get his own bedroom – see Homeless – which culminated in me taking over a corner of Maggie’s studio with my desk and laptop. Not only did this result in less room for Maggie, but it meant that neither of us had a real space we could call our own.
So when WASPS (Workshop and Artists' Studio Provision Scotland) - put out feelers a couple of years ago about obtaining a pair of buildings in Kirkcudbright (the next town along from where we live, about 9 miles down the road) to do up as artists’ studios, Maggie registered her interest.
A few weeks ago the building work was completed and we went down to look round the 15 studios of various sizes to see if any were suitable, and Maggie fell in love with one room in particular.
It’s a little bit larger than the studio at home, and it has 2 large south-facing Georgian windows letting in plenty of light.
Additionally, it means Maggie will now be in a building with several other artists. One of the things many self-employed creative people bemoan is the overwhelming sense of isolation that can occur. But here, there’s a real chance for contact with like-minded people and friendships to develop.
So Maggie and I have already started moving in boxes and tables, and assembling shelving units. And at the weekend we took the kids down to see it.
Although the extra rental costs mean we’re going to have to tighten our belts more than ever, another benefit of all this is I now get the front room at home entirely for myself, which means I can set it up as a photographic studio.
Watch this space...
If you'd like to read Maggie's feelings on her new studio, pop over to her blog and read A Studio of my Own