Wednesday, January 10, 2018

moving studio

The idea of giving up my Oakland studio to move everything to Vallejo has been a difficult decision for me. For one, my studio rent is incredibly cheap, way below market. My landlords have essentially been subsidizing my business for many years. So giving up my beautiful, high-ceilinged, light-filled inexpensive space seems really stupid. Part of me wanted to keep it just to have it, even if I wasn't using it every day. But... I've been here for 20 years, and I believe that sometimes you have to give up great things if you want to make room for different great things in your life. So, I'm giving up my space, which will be taken over by my close friend, Sara Paloma.

Sketch from the downtown Vallejo streetscape project, 2012
I'm still working at my studio in Oakland since I could not handle moving house and studio at the same time. Gotta phase it out. And the commute, which basically starts at about 60 minutes a day and can easily triple that depending on traffic, is utter hell. Hell! I realize now that keeping the studio was never really in play, because there is no way I'm dealing with a commute. At this moment, the plan is to move my studio into our downstairs area, where I have about 300 square feet to work with, a major downsizing for me. I've also been looking at commercial storefronts in the "Old Town" of Vallejo, which is very cute. The City obviously put some planning and money into this area and I would be thrilled to have a studio there. There are not a lot of shops or activity going now, but it will soon and I would love to be a part of that, just like I was in Oakland.

I hesitate jumping into a commercial space. I was really looking forward to not paying rent for a while. This last year my business has been very slow while I crashed and burned after my mother's death, and I would like to have as little financial pressure on me as possible while I try to get my little boat righted again. Buuuuuuut... I also want to be a part of this new Vallejo life, and meet people, and hustle, and spending all day at my house does not seem like the way to do that. If you are hustling and only your cat sees you, are you really hustling?

Your hustle puts me to sleep.

I'm not above asking the universe for some help or insight, so I asked, very nicely, "Please tell me what to do!" The only thing I got was that it doesn't matter whether or not I get a new studio or work in my own house, the only thing that matters is that I go where I can create and make myself happy, and I can do that in either place. Not exactly the definite answer I was hoping for, but it's a start.

By the way, I will be having a major moving sale Feb 10, both online and in person at the studio in Oakland. If you want to be notified of the sale, sign up here.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Whitney! I think we met at Tampa, I can't remember for sure? At any rate, I have been following and admiring your beautiful work. I had to write now because we are moving our studio too, after 20+years! First in my house, then next door in our neighbor's large walk out basement. Super cheap rent... Our business has grown, and we are definitely in a groove in our current space, but it's time to move out. The neighbors want all of their house back, and we really need more space and are ready for a change. We are moving into town as well, small town, but there will be all the same opportunities and then a bunch of new ones! A retail space! OMG! It's scary and exciting and it's got us motivated to do cool new stuff! So I guess I'm just saying I'm feeling ya. Big changes ahead, and I wish you all the luck and happiness and motivation. I hope you can embrace your new home and continue to grow creatively. Can't wait to see what you make, I'll be watching from the East Coast! All the best, Cameron Bach Quirk-n-Bach Pottery