Studio Tyranny

When I was at art school, my professor told our class about what his wife called “studio tyranny”, or that nagging persistent voice that tells us that, no matter what we are doing, we should be in the studio. Now, I have a strong feeling about the word should. I call it the other S word. However, I do succumb to Studio Tyranny rather a lot. But, dear creative types, what I’ve started to see is that even when we’re not in the studio, we’re working. By just looking around us, we are absorbing the visual clues that will inform us when we make something tangible.


I’ve started to pay attention to the times when I think I’m slacking off (lying on an air mattress in the middle of a lake hardly constitutes ‘work’ in its dictionary definition). I thought of five new paintings while floating on that lake. My friend was wearing a turquoise bikini, and it was impossible not to note the three turquoise dragonflies that landed on her all at once. Sometimes the smallest moments can impact our work. In discounting those moments, we do ourselves and our work a disservice. So, off you go! There will be plenty of studio time when the rain comes.