From the Studio, Thoughts on creating in not so ideal environments

From the Studio: Thoughts on creating in a not so ideal enviorment

I'm aware of a new rhythm in the studio lately, I'm going to positively blame it on the sun that has finally decided to show up during the day instead of the constant cloud covering that has been driving me crazy! You try and paint colors correctly when the light is horrible and you are literally chasing it around your apartment the moment the sun peaks out of the clouds. 

Yes, I know I should invest into some proper lighting during the winter months, but I guess I like the challenge enough to not put "buy lighting" on my to-do list. 

Anyway back to the studio. 

I've had lots of questions whenever I mention my process of creating large (or any size) paintings in our small one bedroom apartment, so I thought I would share some pictures of what that looks like. 

I shared the short time lapse video the other day on instagram which shows what one hour of work looks like as I prep 3 canvas and start painting another one.  (you can view that here). 

But I'll be honest whenever someone asks me "how do you make it work?" I'm not 100% sure how to answer, because I think part of making art is doing it regardless of the perfect environment

(cough cough...  insert me chasing the sunlight) 

Thoughts on creating in not so ideal environment - Kendra Castillo, Abstract Artist
Panoramic view, laying out artwork for a show in a one bedroom apartment. Kendra Castillo

(the above image: Panoramic of me trying to get an idea of a layout for an upcoming art show. Art laid out from our bathroom all the way into our bedroom!) 

Painting in small spaces
Kendra Castillo, Thoughts on creating art in not so ideal enviorments

Anyway. When I started painting in our apartment I wanted to create the perfect environment where everything looked and felt organized and was a "ready to paint" space. But then I shortly realized that I was just making excuses not to create and chase the ideas in my head. I also let these excuses overflow into "what paints should I buy," and "but, where will I store these..." type of questions. Looking back now I kinda want to shake my head at myself, because I've learned to love the little bits of crazy that come from discovering how to create in any environment and within any financial situation.

Because guys, you don't need $50 paints to start creating... you just need the motivation and drive to actually carve out the time to do it. Which if I'm being honest is the hardest part sometimes. 

Kendra Castillo Artwork

(I laughed when I stumbled upon this picture, it 100% isn't perfect and I love it) 

Creating Art in Small Spaces - Kendra Castillo
Kendra Castillo, artist in Bellingham, Washington

So how did I stop making excuses? 

I just started. I started by pushing our couch and coffee table out of the way, I bought some plastic to protect the floor and I made a big mess. 

I store canvas in our bedroom, all over our walls, in my family home and I rejoice when someone purchases something!! I also thrifted and repurposed containers to store my paints so they can be easily put away or pulled out when I need them. 

The biggest hurdle I had to get over was myself.

I now embrace this season where I get to live/work where I create art. I get to have a sink that has paint stains and I get to be creative in how I problem solve and be grateful for this season of learning. There are a lot of creative challenges, but there are also a lot of moments where I sit back and enjoy the simplicity of this season of life. I know how quickly things change.