Every time I read descriptions of residency calls for applications, they sound sooo wonderful. Chef prepared meals, community, access to tools and equipment I don’t have, and most of all, time and space.

I’ve applied for a couple, but mostly I don’t apply because I can’t get away for three months — you know, excuses like that.

I’ve been pondering, well, how could I get a residency-at-home? What are the elements of a residency that I crave that I could create for myself?

One of elements of a residency, it seems, is the nurturing, the not having to worry about anything except your art making.

An artist friend and I were having coffee and talking strategy about easy to fix dinners, so we’d have more time to make art. We kind of laughed at ourselves and said that we didn’t think male artists had these conversations.

So here’s my solution for Can’t Go On A Residency Syndrome:

1. Make a plan for when I can, in the future! Work on plans, macquettes for site-specific work, be ready to apply when the time comes.

2. Take advantage of community access work centers and tools right here in my own area! The Chicago area has at least four print making centers, four! and two hacker spaces! Whatever I might want, (except for nature) I can find right here in Chicagoland.

3. Of course everyone needs a regular schedule for what’s called their “art making practice” these days (why isn’t it just called making art, I wonder?), and in addition, my idea is to carve out some pockets of time where I create my own nurturing situation — where I only have to take care of me, and I don’t have to cook. Plus permission to use paper plates.

Simple! Take out and babysitting, that’s all I need to create my own at-home-residency.

What about you? What would it take for you to “get away from it all” right in your home studio?
What would you need?

Image credit: Rana Majumder at http://www.sxc.hu

Update: Over on Chicago Artist Resource, artist Lindsay Olson talks about creating a different kind of residency where none exists: http://www.chicagoartistsresource.org/dance/node/45536

Another update, 5/25/13: Gloria makes a terrific point in the comments, I’m pasting it here:

“If I were doing this I would add: no emails to answer, no phone calls coming in, no bills to pay or registrations to make or appointments to keep, no compulsive checking-in on one’s little online communities.

Maybe setting up an email autoreply saying you are away … sticking everything else in a filing basket … putting the electronics in a box in the closet … and giving yourself permission to write nothing on a to-do list except whatever relates to your “residency”!”

She is so right! That’s a key component of the at home residency!

Update, 6/5/13: Thinking about finding inspiration for your at home residency? Here’s a terrific post from Lateral Action, “You Don’t Need to Look for Inspiration.”
http://lateralaction.com/articles/finding-inspiration

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