Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Form, Function and the Obligatory Workspace Post


Rare moment; It doesn't look like it got hit by a bomb.

It's been my experience that first casualty of creativity is order.  I tend toward the disorganized and when I find something that inspires a project I become single minded.  Clutter and chaos are byproducts as tools/ paint/ parts land where they may.  Chasing the idea takes precedence but Muses are fickle things and a missing component at the wrong moment can suddenly derail the whole process.  Much cursing and compulsive rummaging ensues.  When I work on a painting or modelling project the only thing I want to think about is the project at hand.



I read a book more than ten years ago now; How to Paint Realistic Military Figures by Lynn Kessler and Don Winar.  It's a decent reference and there are some pretty helpful hints but the thing that struck me was the suggestion I have a dedicated hobby space.  At the time I had a modest selection of paints, tools and models that would make their way to any flat surface I could find and inevitably end up turfed back into storage after a hobby session.  In addition to damaging tables and carpets this practice really broke up the creative process and contributed to procrastination.

More like a kit layout on your bunk for inspection than "zen" but helpful none the less

Kessler and Winar presented a line drawing of a bench (there was a bench building plan too but the table I had was perfect for the job) that laid out where everything should go.  I set my stuff up as close to the image as possible and found it rather awkward.  Figuring they were right handed I tweaked some items around and still found it a hassle.  What I'm getting at here is that the idea was a good one and the diagram presented a good starting point but the only person who can make your work space work for you is you.

I embrace the Bauhaus maxim, "Form follows function".  Determining the optimized layout for my own hobby space became an organic process:  A matter of trial and error.  I have my own "Go to" tools that are my favorites.  I'm equal parts modeller/ painter so front line stuff from both hobby disciplines are within arms length rather than having one set or the other tucked into a drawer.  Over the years I have altered the layout to suit me as a hobbyist.  My space and I "grew" together.  The satisfaction of having a space "organized" in this manner is how intuitive and effortless projects become.  Finding a particular tool becomes more like recalling a line from a favorite song rather than organizing a library catalogue.

     

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