Hi, five people who read my blog. :) You are my favorite five people.
This is a call for applications that I just released to the public today. It’s for a new venture that I’m undertaking, that I feel trepidatiously (spelled it right on the first try) excited about. I really hope it goes somewhere. But it very well may not. We’ll see…
Well, hello everybody!
I’m Carla Baudrons, the founder and general manager of Art Office– a virtual co-working program I’m developing in collaboration with Public Space One– and we’re looking for beta testers!
I designed Art Office specifically for artists like me. I’m the type who innately lacks, but deeply desires discipline, structure, and camaraderie in my creative practice. My goal with Art Office is to facilitate a system of support and accountability in which artists are motivated to invest in their own work, using the model of a typical office space. The original concept was brick-and-mortar, complete with cubicles, a conference room, water cooler, etc. But since most of us are sheltering-in-place these days, this version will be completely remote.
Soo I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found myself deep in the camp of “workaholism” when it comes to working for other people, but– for whatever reason– I find it incredibly difficult to motivate myself to do my own art. I thought I was fundamentally flawed for a long time, but then I came to the realization that– get ready for it– I think we’re actually designed to work together!
Unfortunately, as an artist (and a reclusive one at that), it’s hard to find opportunities to work with others outside of collaboration (not my jam). So I’ve come up with a workaround: Peer Pressure. That’s right. Proximity is the thing. You don’t have to work with others to be influenced by them. I believe that peer pressure without judgement (proselytizing, bullying, condemnation) is one of the best things for cultivating motivation, second only perhaps, to that rare beast, Spontaneous Inspiration (where does it come from? Where does it go?).
If this sounds a little radical, just think about it: when we’re stuck at home for weeks, not interacting with anyone, we’re likely to stop caring as much about things like personal hygiene, grooming, carbs, and– yes– pants. But when we come face-to-face with another human being again, suddenly we become very aware of our appearance! Am I right or am I right? The same is absolutely true for creative productivity. Isolated, it’s hard to care; together, we want to be our best.
Anyway, my point with all this jibber-jabber is that my concept for Art Office is coming from a sincere desire, not just to be a more productive artist, but also to be more involved in my community, and a better person overall.
Here’s how it’ll work: Our beta group of artists will work remotely for the month of May, at the end of which we’ll present the results of our labor on Public Space One’s gallery webpage. Throughout the month, the public can track our progress on social media by following the hashtag #ps1artoffice.
All member artists will be required to attend weekly Google Video Hangout Meetings Mondays at 10AM and Fridays at 4PM to present goals, milestones, and accomplishments, as well as to celebrate birthdays and holidays. Wednesdays from 12-2PM, we’ll open our home studios to the public via Hangouts, where we can choose to work muted (allowing spectators a glimpse into our personal Art Office), or interact with visitors directly.
Everyone will log daily activities and submit weekly time cards for reimbursement in the form of company coupons, which may be exchanged for discounted cubicle rent in the future manifestation of a brick and mortar version of Art Office. Members will also take mandatory Office Calisthenics breaks every day. Because, as I like to say, “Limber fingers obey better and hurt less.”
Wrapping it up (thanks for sticking around!), here at Art Office, we believe that balance is the key to life. The creative and the analytical sides of our brain need each other to produce original work and share it effectively. The heart of our mission is to help local artists realize their full creative potential by making them work next to each other. The word “art” comes from a very old root word meaning, “to fit together,” and the word “office” comes from a word that means, “doing work.” Here at Art Office, that’s our aim. To Make Art Work.