Tuesday, April 21, 2009

a morning at yellow pencil studio









there is a joy in being able to work alone as an artist without having to worry about nosy cubicle neighbors, office politics, and fixed hours. but once in a while it's nice to bounce an idea off another human or to feel creative energy flowing from another source. my friend christy, who works full time in editorial/children's illustration and letterpress design, was intrigued by the concept of a 'jelly', or coworking, in which creatives/freelancers gather in a common environment (usually someone's home or in a coffee shop) to work independently on their own projects and offer resources and assistance to each other such as proofreading and brainstorming. the idea is to create an atmosphere of camaraderie and creativity without having to worry about the woes of a traditional office.

so this morning christy opened the doors of yellow pencil studio for heather, robin, amanda, estelle, and me to work together while working separately. she set up the network for those who brought laptops, and had delicious munchies and french press coffee waiting for us. there was much buzz about the exciting launch of estelle's new marketing company, the local art auction last weekend, and lots of other art and creativity-related topics while we worked on our own projects. as much as i enjoy working alone, i got something different out of this experience that was equally as satisfying - absorbing the energy of others as they did something they enjoyed. it refilled my create-o-meter and for one time in my life i can say i adored all of my co-workers.

have any of you gathered with other artists/creatives in an environment like this? if you have, i'd love to hear about it.

33 comments:

steve said...

Yes, what an excellent and wonderful thing to have Aimee! When I would take Masters art classes after work, to keep my job basically, I truly looked forward to being in the presence of my fellow art teachers, who, for several hours a week, were also artists. We had a blast talking, creating, eating, etc. I actually signed up for some "meetup" groups but due to distance and time restrictions, it didn't work out for me. The one group someone tried to start here in Leesburg fizzled, for whatever reason. It's a rare but cherished occasion when I can get together with my friends, who are artists, who are usually busy with "life". If my job situation wasn't so secure (and I discussed this with my fiancee, who agrees), we'd up and move to a far more artsy (and less expensive) town. Who knows, maybe I'm not trying hard enough - it seems all the action is in more urban areas, which is fine to visit, but I'd rather not live there. Anyhow, inspiring post!

Hillcrest Cottage said...

I'm new to your blog. I love it and love the energy that flows from your life. Thanks for sharing!
I agree with you about being inspired by others. You have inspired me.It's not the same as really being together but it's better than nothing at all!
My husband works out of our home. We both do creative things. We bounce ideas off of one another which makes us more creative. We have regular 'think tank' sessions.

Shell said...

I love the beautiful pictures. The idea of coworking is a great concept. Like a structured jam session for artists.

alissa said...

kind of reminds me of studio in school...and yet didnt look that cheery :)

heather smith jones said...

you and your camera are sneaky. ;)

Christy said...

I'll second Heather's comment. Loved having you all here!

●• Tiny Red said...

wow, excellent idea!
yay for christy :) i love that chair, gorgeous!

Bella Sinclair said...

Oh my goodness, Christy's and Heather's comments had me rolling on the floor. You are a photo ninja!

This is such a wonderful idea! Creative sisterhood. :) You know, even cockroaches run faster when they know they're being watched by other cockroaches. I'm not calling you a cockroach. No, no, no, no, no! I'm just sayin', sometimes it's easier to do the things you love when you have other people around you. Especially people who share that creative fire. I'd so love to be immersed in jelly!

And that ARMCHAIR! Holy crud, I was going ga-ga because I thought it was real. And then I realized it was a pincushion! How cool is that!

cindy : quaint said...

the photos have so much energy. it sounds like a wonderful day with a wonderful group of ladies. you are so lucky. hope you do it again.

jess gonacha said...

wow, how fun! i wish i had a bunch of creative and artistic friends around me. you are a lucky lady! how inspiring. ;)

Cestandrea said...

Hi Aimee, merci de partager ces photos et ces pensées:)
I can so relate to this, and always find myself reloaded (do you say so or does that sound loaded?:) with energy when being with other creative people after long stretches of solitary work...
I wish I could have been there too, just love all the things on the pictures...Unfortunately I have not enough time/space to do this often, as I have a part-time job but love to attend workshops, which is not the same....but also very good for a creative exchange and path forward,
thanks for the inspiration,
love
Andrea

please sir said...

I think it sounds like a wonderful idea and reminds me of a studio-work environment. It's good to have alone time with your thoughts, but personally I love working with others and generating ideas. Keep us updated!

Estelle said...

Aimee,
You captured the essence and atmosphere of the morning perfectly! What beautiful shots. It made me smile all over again. It was such a delight to work with such talented groovies. And you ARE sneaky! Thanks for sharing with everyone. I hope your readers get inspired to try "jelly-ing" with their friends. It so refreshing. Thanks, Christy, for organizing and hosting!

painted fish studio said...

wow-o-wow, what a great idea. i am very jealous... i have had creative evenings with a friend or 2 and we're all working on separate projects. but to gather during the day would be so different, and so inspiring. if i ever get out of this contract i'd love to try it out.

Amanda said...

You were, of course, super productive at this gig and this photo essay turned out just spectacular! Sorry I didn't get a chance to talk to you more... looking forward to the next one! P.S. I love the Austin pics too, I want to hear more about your trip!

daisy janie : scoutie girl said...

Oh man, this sounds too good to be true! You have some amazingly creative friends - a good match!! Savor every second...

Veja cecilia said...

It looks as a great day! And the strawberries, and the chair... oh! how nice!
I would like tow work like that after school. Now I enjoy sitting in shcool having my frined kristin across me and we each work on our different project (she is more into product design) and there is alos alot of talk about relationships and other stuff:)

Liz said...

What a totally wonderful idea! I have never done that, but am so in love with the idea, and the photos you took... feels so much like studio at art school, (except your food looks way better than what we had in the studio). Thanks so much for sharing the moment and the inspiration!

Ces said...

Ooh what I would give to be part of all these colorful wonderful things. Your blog is just an explosion of COLOR!

No wonder I run so fast sometimes because I see the cockroaches! Oh well, I am trying to interpret Bella's readings about la cocoracha!

ART POWER! and ditto Bella - you are a camera ninja!!! HIYAH!

Megan Coyle said...

wow, what a fantastic idea. I can't wait for the day when I can be an artist full time and then I can explore a set-up like this one :) your photos of the place really make it look like a very colorful and a great office for any creative to get inspired.

Esti said...

I'd love to have an opportunitty like that.

Shani said...

Oh gosh! I'm so jealous!!! What an excellent, excellent idea!!!

L'Atelier said...

oh this sounds wonderful!!!
I always dreamed to have that kind of an enviroment, always dream of having a studio with other artists, where i got my own room, and so do the others but where there is a comunal space... i have done some work like this, but this seemingly in formal setting seems the way to go to reach this dream!
i do meet with other crafters once a months in a lovely little bookshop and knit and crochet with them for the afternoon...never thought of taking it one step further...
thank you for sharing :D

Asja said...

oh, that's so cool! lucky you! i never worked with other artist like that, i bet it would be fun!
and i always love looking at your pictures, you have an amazing ability to capture colors and interesting details!

Bella Sinclair said...

Oh yeahhhh. I get it now. Shani made it clear. The reason it's called "jelly" is because it makes other artists jellooouuuuussss!

Suana said...

Wow, that is a fantastic idea and great inspiration!

daydate said...

Hmmmmmmmm strawberries!!!

aimee said...

thanks for all the feedback! this was fun and productive and we plan to do this again - let me know if any of you try this concept!

great to see new visitors, too - welcome to hillcrest cottage, shell, liz, and daydate :)

Nina Crittenden said...

I had a collaborative studio day with my friend Christina once. We didn't get much work done, but it was great to talk about things and hang out together. Sounds like you had a great time- so fun! I LOVE that tiny armchair!

smoothpebble said...

Love this idea! In my dream world I have a huge warehouse type space and it is an artist cooperative. Of course it would have an internal cafe too - it is dream world after all.
Just discovered Heather on flickr and she said she knew you.

ArtSparker said...

What a lovely idea, and a wonderful recording of the event.

BT said...

What a brilliant idea and such lovely bright and interesting photos. Blue mangos?? Are there really? My other half is just making some mango chutney!

What a super post. I'm sure I'd just love communing with other artists and crafters. It'd be like being back at art class without the teacher!

jennifernew42@mac.com said...

LOVE this idea!!! Can you come over tomorrow? ;) I'll make scones. PRomise!