This post is for all of you creative people who have considered renting a space to incubate your creative life but have had a hard time rationalizing paying for it.
About a year ago, several girl friends and I decided to rent a studio space which I like to affectionately call the BabeCave. Located on the top floor of a very old warehouse building in Seattle’s old Ballard, our lofty funky space sits up above Market Avenue, with great light on the north wall, the Puget Sound directly to our west, the ship canal to the south, and downtown Ballard to the east.
This space is old, dusty, funky and cheap…….We lucked out to find it. We had scoured Craigslist and local listings, put calls out on facebook, toured shitty overpriced spaces all over town before we found the BabeCave, which was finally found as a result of one of us driving past it, seeing a for rent sign, and calling the number on the sign. We snagged our spot, moved right in.
I had years of reservations about renting a studio and committing to using it. As a mother and partner, it was hard to think about being away from home more than I already was due to my job. As someone trying to build a small business, I had a really hard time committing the extra money to studio rent for something that would require sheer creative play time without any direct profit. It seemed totally irrational and irresponsible. But with the right girlfriends to share the space with and help me get over my fears, we went for it.
We moved in plants, desks, shelves, racks of vintage clothes, sewing machines, fabrics, metalworking gear, couches, lights, hair stuff, you name it. Everything we would need to create. We decorate it how we wanted it, we made a beautiful mess of it together with our interests and hobbies and esthetics.
And I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have used the shit out of that studio, and found myself making things which had been tugging at my sleeves for 15 years or more, setting in motion a creative flow which has extended into all parts of life, and learning how to create with the freedom and acceptance of making a mess around me and just going with it. We even made it a monthly meeting space for a group of women exploring the non-denominational realms of magic and spirituality.
I have found that having sacred space to create has been priceless.
Renting a space dedicated to creative and spiritual endeavors was a true lesson in getting over fears about finding both the money and the time to make the investment worth it. It was committing to my own creative life in a way I never had before knowing that there would be no real profit beyond experimentation that would come from the BabeCave.
Renting the space was itself an experiment in seeing if my own creative play time was worth the lack of extra cash that was inevitable as an exchange for paying studio rent. It showed me the importance of having a sacred space to create.
And what I learned and what I want to share is that I would rather be poor and inspired, and with a creative space and outlet and room/time to play than have extra cash any day…..hands down. The BabeCave has been 100% worth it to me. And I encourage any of you who have been on the fence about allowing yourselves uninhibited creative time and space to go ahead and just do it. Find some friends and do it together.
At the end of this month, the building that holds the BabeCave will be torn down, and I’m mourning it already……Stay tuned to see what the hell happens as a result……..Still don’t know where all my stuff will go. Ha! Glad for the last year in the BabeCave. Thanks ya’ll for being here:)