Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Tortoise Enclosure

Friends, do you have a space for creating? 
Francis Bacon's studio
When I was first starting to work professionally as an artist, I tried painting from my apartment. 
Picasso's studio
There were a million reasons why this seemed practical, but eventually I decided that I needed a space solely devoted to my work. 
Jackson Pollack's studio
I have friends who adore their studios and home offices, but I find it absolutely crucial to have a little creative hideaway that is completely disconnected from my home life in order to make art. 
Nara Yoshitomo's studio
So I was excited to find this clip of John Cleese discussing "the tortoise enclosure" where the creative mind can poke its head out and make sure everything is safe:
I'm curious: Do you need head space to be creative (professionally or otherwise)? Do you have a studio space, have you carved out a corner of your home, or do you just need to get in the right frame of mind?
Here is a photo of my studio. You can see more via this Apartment Therapy post.


  1. I just watched that video yesterday! So fascinating.

  2. No way! Isn't he fantastic?! I love hearing artists talk about what it takes for them to create. It forces me to think about the people behind the art.

  3. First, I could listen to him all day. Second, I am really fascinated with personal physical space, because I have so very little of it right now. I continue to fool myself into thinking I can convert this apartment into a studio and back again with little effort. That fallacy is probably the reason I produce so little.

  4. I wish I had a space of my own. I think everyone needs a corner. I see all the members of my family even the littlest looking for a little nook to be alone and creative and thoughtful. My tortoise space would be a room on a second floor made all of windows on one side and bookshelves enclosing a fire place on the other. It would preferably overlook water, but I'd settle for green. Imperative: a massive womb of a chair for reading, good light and an uncluttered desk for writing. Not as essential but none the less helpful, I'd love a well stocked bar, fortified locks, and a porch to step onto every so often so I could perhaps sand down one of those old canoes like they do in Folger's commercials. But seriously, if anyone's ever seen an House Hunter on HGTV, those ladies are serious about their must have scrap-booking room. I never realized they were just yearning for their tortoise space.


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