2013/01/31

A few notes on how and where I work













Yesterday's post got me thinking a lot about how and where I work and I thought a blog post about it could interest some of you:

I work from home and have dedicated a room to it - my studio. I tried working for a year in a studio a short walk from home in Gothenburg, but it didn't work well - I still did more and better work when being at home. I really enjoy working from home as long as the room is separated from the rest of the apartment. When not working I hardly spend time in my studio - on weekends and evenings I close the doors to it to get some distance and let home feel like home.

Important to me is to dress well before entering my studio - I always wear clothes I feel good in and would wear if there were colleagues around. Personally I don't feel very professional if I'm working in my nightgown, and I never work in my bed. A good start of a work day is to get dressed and go out for a walk; it doesn't have to be a long one, but at least to get out of the house and get that feeling of taking a walk to work.

Like I wrote yesterday, I don't make plans to meet friends during daytime on weekdays. I need every day to be a tabula rasa that I can fill with whatever pops up. I never really know what will come to my inbox workwise and inspiration & flow are things that are really difficult to schedule. I do however sometimes meet my husband or friends spontaneously during the day if I all of a sudden need a change of environment. An unplanned lunch date can be very refreshing.

I hardly ever make to-do-lists (they are more stressful than helpful to me) but I try to have some routines (that I break pretty often though), like:
Packing and shipping orders at least every second or third day.
Dedicating an hour or two on one weekday to respond to emails (sadly I can't respond to all, sorry for that).
Taking pictures every day (not because I "have" to, but because I want to).
Updating this blog (a good blogging tip is to only update when you really feel like doing it).

My work contains a lot of running errands; to buy yarn, go to the post office, do some shopping at the art supply store etc. I try to do all this by foot so I get some fresh air and exercise. Also it's not always the most fun part of my work, so I bribe myself with coffee on the way and take a lot of pictures to feel good.

What am I working with? Since I moved to Berlin I have focused on running my online shop, making Wrist Worms, keeping up this blog, selling some pictures and interviews to magazines and working on a few amazing projects like this one. Right now I am at a turning point where I don't really know where I'm heading, which is super exciting and I am looking forward to this spring a lot!

What do I love most about my work? That I don't really know what will happen next - that's what keeps me going because I am always curious of new things, surprises and changes.

43 comments:

  1. Lovely! I love your idea of taking a walk before work starts and I will adopt such practice from tomorrow!

    I adore your blog...

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  2. This was very nice. I've been awfully curious about your studio and work-situation <: It's so inspiring to see someone who manages a non-standard job.

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  3. I really love this post. Congratulations Sandra your work is amazing and your studio looks really nice (:

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  4. Very nice to know. We do a lot of things the same. Enjoy!

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  5. So beautiful, so inspiring, so tender, so relaxing and exciting :)

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  6. my working space is also seperated from the rest of the apartment, if i am not there the doors are also closed and i also need to be dressed up like i am going of to work : ) also no to do list ( don't like them ) and also no working in bed....
    i like this post very much

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  7. I love this post! I would love to be able to fill my day with exciting projects and still make enough money for rent, bills etc. You're very talented!

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  8. i always love your photos, sandra. love this post too. it's always so good to get an insight into peoples studios and they way they work. also, your glasses are fantastic :)

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  9. Very cool entry; thanks for sharing! I also don't work in my pajamas; I find I feel sloppy in the brain if I do. However, sometimes I write in bed!

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  10. I actually have a seperate room, but for some reason I never really used it. This year, I want this to change. I notice how much more I work when I'm - like you mention - away from anything "home". I think I might try your walk-tip.

    I need to come up with a better working routine, though. Sadly, a daily job makes it sometimes very difficult. But I've learnt a lot from reading this post. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  11. Thanks for this! This is actually very helpful to me. I recently started going to a studio outside of home and I am not sure what to think about it. But it is very nice to see people in similar situation find a way that works for them to work well. Great!

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  12. Yes, dress well and make up are essential for get working!!!

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  13. Lovely pictures as usual!

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  14. Interesting perspective, thanks for sharing!

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  15. Lovely post and yes very inspring

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  16. Hi Sandra! Just wanted to say hi because it was so interesting to read this. Always interested to hear people's thoughts about their work. I've been thinking about these thing a lot recently (or maybe I'm always thinking). Feel like things are changing a lot in what I do or how I see myself. I'm looking for a new workspace (studio) too but it's not an easy task because I have to feel good about it. But anyway cheers from a colleague and hugs!

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  17. I really enjoyed reading this post, because yours is very similar to my ideal future working situation ;P I want to have my own studio at home, for writing and creating.
    And your studio is beautiful! :)

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  18. i am amazed by your blog, by your writing, by your life, work and simple way of describing it. thank you for adding such simplicity to our lives.

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  19. Breakfast with friends sounds lovely~ but I'm so different in the way I work, I really depend on to-do lists. I used to have one to do list but I find myself so much more productive when I break it into categories, and have many different lists. However, I definitely agree with dressing to feel good when working.

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  20. I too like the idea of a walk before work. If I worked from home I would have to set aside a transition time that is my commute now. A walk, breakfast, and photographs would be more enjoyable than my commute too!

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  21. Hallo Sandra! Interessant deine Beschreibung:) Bin auch "Heimarbeiterin" und kenn das gut: man braucht viel Selbstdisziplin, aber dafuer hat man auch supertoll viel Spielraum.
    Ciao aus Italien
    Helga

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  22. i really feel the same about staying in my pajamas for work. i do some freelance work from home now and always put on a proper outfit, otherwise i feel like i am sick and would just be lazy. often i even put some make up on, though nobody sees me.

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  23. Hey! All your posts are so beautiful, I follow your blog on a daily basis :) I was just thinking about buying such drawer units.. is it from IKEA, right?! Is it useful? Regards from Slovenia

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    1. thank you jasna!
      i will give you my most honest answer: the drawer unit is super crappy. i only store things i hardly use in it so i won't have to touch it too often ;)

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  24. As I have said many many times I love, love, love your blog. I found a lot of inspiration here. I have also mentioned your blog on mine, because I like it so much.
    Here is the link to the post: http://podezju.blogspot.com/2013/02/i-love-naj-naj.html

    Keep up the good work.
    Klemen

    www.podezju.blogspot.com

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  25. Hi Sandra,
    Great post - it's always interesting to hear how other people work for themselves.
    My studio isn't at home & I think I work better that way - I enjoy being in a different environment, probably because I have 3 kids & so there's always so much that needs to be done at home, I would get too distracted. Plus the kids would be all over my stuff! So it's great to have 'A room of one's own'.
    Plus there's a really great coffee place just around the corner!

    Your studio looks great, that's a lovely portrait of you - love the legs :)

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  26. I love this subject, getting an idea about the routine day of of the people we admire the work of. Having such a big lovely room where to work is a dream of mine, but I am lucky to have at least a tiny space at home dedicated to this. I wish I was able to concentrate in it as much as you, though. The rest of the house calls my attention far too often. When going to the kitchen for a cup of tea I end up getting caught in clearing up some mess, do this, do that, just to name an example :-)
    happy friday

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  27. How lovely to read your 'work routine'! I just started to work from home again myself and am still adjusting ;-)
    Good luck with whatever the future brings!

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  28. Hi! First time visitor here. Blocking off weekdays seems only right - I wonder why I haven't thought of that! I just quit my day job to launch an online shop so am still figuring it all out. Having a few 'ground rules' while letting your work days take their own shape sounds like a very good way to go about it.

    Great post :)

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  29. I love this post so much, so honest and refreshing.
    Is really nice to have your own space to work, I need to do that,
    hopefully this year is the year : )
    Have a great weekend!
    X

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  30. Well put. And what a nice pile of fabric you have there.

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  31. So interesting and inspiring!

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  32. Your home makes me swoon! And I LOVE that white chair, may I ask where you found that? I fear that you probably got it in some lovely quirky secondhand shop or flea market. It's very cool.

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    Replies
    1. my husband got it from someone when he was young :)

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  33. i love this post - it is so inspiring and reminded me - being a home officer myself every other day - on what is so good about working from home and how i need to get myself out more often for walks and coffees :-) thank you for these lovely insights!
    xxxx

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  34. ah, and just when i pressed "publish" i thought of something i often think about - and know that some of my home working friends do have on their minds as well: do your wear shoes when you're in your studio? :-) i think the whole dressing up is very important to have this "professional" feeling but running around in our apartment in shoes is something i can not really get used to ... but working bare feet neither! :-)
    xxx

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    1. no shoes, i'm hopelessly swedish ;)

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    2. haha, so that's my swedish touch then :-)

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  35. Hello Sandra! My name is Joanna, I live in a town of 400 people tucked deep into the San Juan mountains of Colorado. I moved here to be an ice climber but also to pursue my creativity in this beautiful & remote environment.
    Even here it is easy to be distracted (and of course I always want to be outside!); like you, I'm learning what it takes to create an environment of accomplishment. I, also, find that being up promptly in the morning & getting dressed & ready for the day is a good beginning. I also like to have a time segment set aside when I can't be doing anything else besides creating: no jumping up to check email or do laundry, just staying focused :) Having a good playlist is excellent, I've found, and also planning a reward at the end of the time, like going on an outdoor adventure or having friends over. All great incentives for a creative & effective day!
    Thanks for your posts from the faraway cities you inhabit, I love to see your interaction with the urban environment. It feels like a different world & I enjoy your posts a lot! Thank you!

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  36. Hi! I just found your blog and this post really helps me getting through some creative difficulties which I have in the moment. I'm currently working in a shared studio place with 5 other people and everybody gets his own 15 m² but it's really messy except my place. It freaks me out and I currently can't work there. It's good to here that somebody is out there who also needs his own space. I always thought i'm a introvert freak, haha.
    Have a nice week!
    - dominique


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