February 16, 2006



Definition: A malady peculiar to the creative arts where the practitioner becomes so enamoured and wrapt up in their creations and studio that the world outside becomes more distant and less appealing by degrees. Worst case scenarios might involve living in the studio for all practical purposes, working excessive hours and a in many cases a pronounced fear of venturing outside the studio into the real world.

Okay... let me be the first to admit... I got it. Anyone else? Time to fess up... I know you're out there and not watching olympic ice curling, though that too has it's fascination.

I recently watched the DVD 'My Architect' about the famed architect Louis Kahn. Apparently studio-itis is a frequent malady of architects too. Louis Kahn had a really bad case. Missing holidays, reluctant to ever go home, calling his associates up at 3am, even having children with numerous unwed female studio mates.
Eventually he even scratched his address off his passport... no one knows why. But my guess would be that his only address was his office.

Studio-itis.... got to be careful you don't catch it. But wait... what the heck else is there to do all day long when you don't have a real office to go to? I say studio-itis is a good thing.

I understand Norman Rockwell even worked on Christmas day.


tlc illustration said...

I had to force myself NOT to work Christmas day this year... My relationship with my studio is filled with irony. When under (especially tight) deadline, I wish to be free to be elsewhere - even cleaning the house. When deadlines do not loom, I can't get enough of it. The dirty house be damned! Go figure.

John Nez said...

I think we're lucky indeed... we have something to wake up for every day, something to keep us occupied. And working away on a project is a harmless diversion compared to some of the other alternatives out there.

It's so sad to see people who get lost in life and burdened with just the bad things and none of the good things. So that's why I think it's a gift to be able to find refuge in any kind of creativity. It's sad that channel seems to get blocked for so many people. The world would be a happier place if we all could be so easily entranced with making something.


MargaretR said...

I do so agree with you John, if only more people could find the peasure of creating the World would be a much happier place.

My house is also full of dust! Hadn't realised why my DH sneezed so much!

PG said...

I think I may be suffering from this; I'm even reluctant to go out for milk some days, though I think this is more to do with meeting Other People, as I have no problems in going across the fields for a four mile walk...
I love my little space, it's my nest and my refuge. It takes a lot to get me out of it. I was glad to get back to work on Boxing Day, hangover and all!

John Nez said...

I can relate. Though I have to confess... often the high point of my day is the trip to the grocery store, where I get to chit-chat with the checkout lady about whatnot. Sad, I know... but it's true.

People are basically social I think... and slaving away in the studio with leg Irons on for months on end is not a good prescription for a sizzling social life.

I say thank gosh for the interenet where at least there's the ideas of real people to socialize with! It often seems it's actually more rewarding to share ideas with people online than just trading small talk with the neighbors about the weather.

Paige Keiser said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paige Keiser said...

Great post! I can definitely related to this. It's easy to work a good, hard week on a tight deadline, then go out to the corner grocery store and forget how to talk. I also keep fighting my natural inclination to work later and later into the night - I feel terrible on such a schedule, but boy do I get more quality work done. So am I happy or frustrated about the studio consuming me in this way? Hmmm...not sure :-)

Paige Keiser said...

Hi John,

I'm so sorry about the multiple posts that I left here - I'll delete them. I kept getting these weird error messages so I didn't think they were going through. Anyways, I've been a fan of your work for a couple years now so it's great that you are starting a blog. Your sense of design is impeccable, and your characters have a lot of warmth and life. Thanks for the post on my blog.