My "big" studio

This is where I learned to print. It’s my happy place, my home away from home. I call it my “big” studio (my “little” studio is in my apartment) not just because it is, indeed, big, but because it has all the equipment that I can only dream about, that I won’t be able to own until I’m a “big” printmaker.

It’s where I first met working artists, and also artists with regular jobs who (like me at the time) needed some kind of creative output. It’s where I was first encouraged to take my time in order to master the craft. It’s where I come when I have a print problem I can’t solve, and where others help me troubleshoot. It’s where I’ve been inspired to dream big, print big, make big mistakes – and have fun.

And because the combination of chaos and control is central to the creative process, it’s an organized, but messy space. Squeegees hang just so, screens are neatly arranged, but the scratch paper is always in disarray and every workspace is covered in dried ink.

People work here. Whenever I see photos of artists’ studios – light, airy, neat – I laugh. It’s obvious to me that they cleaned up for company and that as soon as the photographer and writer leave, there will be open jars of ink or paint, pieces of paper covered with ten different shades of green (all applied with a fingertip), and at least three half-full cups of cold coffee covering every available surface. A studio is meant to look – and be – worked in.

 The best thing about my “big” studio is that it’s open to anyone for a mere $15 per session. It’s such a small price to pay for a place to think big.
Interested in learning about printmaking? Check out the Mission Cultural Center’s class schedule here.

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