At the moment, it is very difficult to find time to do anything else besides work, prepare for the next day going to work and looking after the kids – and I’m not even the one looking after them all day! But when I do get a few precious moments at lunch to browse the net or head out to a book store I love finding new things. My latest discovery of how to chew up 15 minutes without blinking is by visiting ‘from the desk of’. The premise is simple :
“You turn your camera on your workspace. Please, don’t stage it. Don’t clean it (a messy desk doesn’t make a messy mind). Don’t make it something you or your work is not. Keep it real. This is a collaborative snapshot of what makes us uniquely us. To an extent, our space reflects what kind of work we produce. Add as much or little to the project as you want. Just participate”.
I’ve tried to have a desk in our last flat and also in our current flat, but within a month of creating and installing a desk and shelving space in our spare room, it had to be ripped out to make become a place to hang and store our clothes. This was because the other bedroom had become our daughter’s. Now I don’t want you to think I resent her for this, quite the opposite – it has worked out really well, which is why even though I don’t have my own work space to show you, I wanted to share hers, which she absolutely loves and which allows her to give free reign to her imagination. If I ever get to have a workspace half as cool as hers – I’ll be a very happy man – in the meantime I’m very happy sharing hers.
Here’s a hypothetical interview with her. At 2½ years old, she’s definitely vocal, but still wouldn’t be able to formulate a structured sentence beyond a few words, so I’ve answered on her behalf:
How do you work? I work at my desk doing whatever takes my fancy really. This could be drawing with crayons or pencils one minute and then moving on to shading out stencils of farm animals and houses; one of my favourite activities at the moment is cutting out tissue paper and magazines and gluing them down on paper. I also have a chalkboard literally two feet away from my desk which means I can freely draw and not worry about the results. If I don’t like them – I can rub them out! I also have a great floor space which allows me to spread out some plastic sheeting and paint using yellow, green, blue and red. I’d like to paint with pink – but my dad hasn’t got me any white paint to mix with the red yet, so… I like to draw from the moment I wake up, until about breakfast time; then intermittently throughout the day in-between playing and doing other fun stuff, and finally, I always like to finish my day by drawing with crayons.
View? The view out the Velux window is of our roof terrace, but I’m too short to see out there, so I only get to do that when my mum or dad lift me up. Apart from that, most of my work goes straight from my desk and up on my wall – so I am surrounded by my pictures and then also have an alphabet and numbered frieze around the top of the walls. Out my smaller window I can see all the way down our road which is lovely when it is very sunny – or snowy.
Coordinates, please? Brixton, London
Clean and tidy? Um, no. The only time it is clean and tidy is just before bed when I do a general clear up. Otherwise my style is the scattergun approach – spread the creativity as far and wide as possible so it makes it into every corner of the room. My drawings can be a bit like that too – but not always…
How many hours a day? As many as I can, definitely no fewer than 5 hours per day, and that’s even if I go to Nursery! Apart from my desk, all my favourite books are on the other side of the room – and I can spend a lot of time reading these and I have music in the corner which I can easily turn on now I know how – although I haven’t worked out how to use the remote yet. When this happens, I’ll be able to control the music from my desk – I’m working on that!
Sitting? Standing? Both, depending on whether I am at my desk, running around, drawing on my chalkboard or crouching over a painting on the floor.
Coffee cups? Is that tea? No tea or coffee for me, I pretty much just stick to water. My parents do offer me fruit juices, but I’m pretty happy with tap water. I do like a good chocolate digestive or hob nob though whilst I’m drawing. That is definitely my weakness.
Minimalist? Um, nah! If there is a space free, it should be covered – with my drawings!
Scattered? Creatively sprawled? YES!
Feel like you need to tidy up–maybe you shouldn’t. I don’t feel like tidying up, but I do every evening just before bed – so I can walk from my desk to bed unimpeded. I also do like a run around the room before bed to burn the last of the days energy. Plus, if I call out for my mum or dad in the night, I don’t want them breaking their necks over anything in the dark.