For years I’ve toyed with the idea of a name for my studio. The the list of ideas was long, but the need was never urgent. I’d even thought about adopting a pseudonym to use for “the artistic me” and using that in my studio name. But the perfect name came to me recently as I prepared an art quilt for an upcoming exhibition. The name, while perfect, has been a long time in the making . . . much like my life as an artist. Here’s the full scoop:
Several years ago I had lunch with my colleague Billie, who remarked that I had an enviable life because I made a little time for a hobby or two on the side. “A hobby???” I exclaimed. “I’m overwhelmed — I’ll bet I have 50 hobbies and no time to do any of them.” Given that challenge, I sat down that evening and began listing all my hobbies and interests. I got to about 46 before resorting to a modest amount of creative license to complete the challenge. My “50 hobbies” became an inside joke among friends at my day job.
These “whims,” as my husband calls them, have ebbed and flowed over the years; some are abandoned relatively quickly, others linger, and abandoned interests sometimes return, but all serve as threads in my mixed media artistic life. Gardening and cooking certainly blend well with my love of wine; but the real synergy is in my visual arts history. In cleaning my studio recently I came across an essay from a writing class in graduate school, which gives further detail about this meandering path to my current artistic life.
With that background, and with advance apologies to the yoga studio with a similar name, I’ll use Studio 50 as my informal studio name as I venture to new levels in my life as an artist. Of course not all 50 interests will work themselves into my artwork, but they do shape who I am. The symbolism of beginning to take my artwork more seriously as I approach 50 only reaffirms the appropriateness of this choice.
When did you first begin to call yourself an artist? I’d love to hear your comments!