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© 2017 until forever by Melanie April Art

Studio Memoirs

Updated: Nov 21, 2019


My Studio as it is today

I will never forget the day I found my studio.

It was a fluke - I had opened and closed a little vintage shop the year before and was still reeling from the mental aftermath of it - I had no idea where my life was going - I only knew that I was an artist. I needed to create - I needed to share my creations and I wanted to inspire and teach others.

It was a Sunday, November 15th, 2015 to be exact. In my search to figure out my life, I was going through old photographs and stumbled upon some pictures of my little shop. I was heartsick. I began to miss it terribly! Mind you, ever since the day I closed that shop, I had been glad of it - being a shop owner was NOT my cup of tea! But I missed the creative nature of it - arranging things, creating vignettes with furniture and treasures and displaying my talent... THAT'S what I missed.

(a few pictures of my shop. click to enlarge...)

And people. I missed people. I am an introvert by nature - but I love to share with like minds, I love talking and get excited about creative pursuits and shared ideas... and I love teaching. I had even invited groups to my house for art classes, but I knew there was something more out there for me.

So on a "fluke" - I looked on Craigslist.

And there it was. Three miles from my house. A reasonable price. I texted the owner immediately and jumped in my car to do a drive by of the address.

I peaked through the windows and saw the biggest mess I've ever seen. Ever. There were computers from the 80's, fax machines, printers, desks, shelves and junk - junk everywhere. Not only that - you could smell this horrible smell even with the doors shut. It was awful.

So, of course I rented it on the spot. I saw potential. Taking the discarded and making it something special is my jam. I got the key on December 1st, 2015

I wasn't scared, I knew I could do it. I didn't have a lot of money, only a lot of heart. And a willingness to get dirty, and throw in some of the good ol' elbow grease. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you are inspired, and when you know you can't fail...

First we had to clear out all the junk. I took TWO car loads of old computers, fax machines and printers to the recycle. We took untold bags of trash and junk out.

There was old terrible, moldy industrial carpet that had to be ripped up. My arms got a really good work out that day.

I won't even show you the pictures of the bathroom.

Scary.

Oh yes, and there was the matter of a 3000 pound safe that had to be moved. Thankfully, the prior tenant, who didn't mind letting me get rid of all his other stuff came to get this baby. There must've been something important in there!

All the work and coffee paid off and in TWO WEEKS it was move in ready. It was an unbelievable transformation.

The week before Christmas, I had my first open house. It was a huge success.

January 6th, I had my first class. It was a HUGE success.

Life has a funny way of giving you what you need if you just listen for the signs. Even though my little shop didn't work out for me - in more ways than one - I had built a good network of people and customers that were interested in what I was doing and were supporters of me and my art. I had an email list of about 100 people. I can't begin to tell you how these people have transformed my life. I am SO grateful for them. They've come to classes, bought my artwork and given me the courage to grow in my teaching skills and art. They told others and helped me grow my little art studio in the community.

My studio arrangement has changed a few times over the last year and a half - when I am processing something or feeling anxious - I rearrange. My husband is happy I'm not rearranging the house anymore!

There is something very special about having your own space. Every single day - when I walk in I say, out loud, 'Hello little studio! I am so thankful you're here!' - and every night when I leave, I say goodnight and thank it again. I often look back through photos of classes and say thank you to each student that's ever attended. I am grateful.

This space and the people that have come in and out of the door have given me a new set of wings - I can't wait to see where they'll take me...

More pictures of the studio and all it's different arrangements, smiling faces and wonderful vibes. Click to enlarge...

XO,

Melanie

#studio

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