Where do you make all that beautiful stuff?

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Even when I don’t care much for the product of an artist’s work, I am fascinated by the process they use to create it. The stories are so often surprising: what appears simple was five years in the making, or perhaps a magnum opus arrived in one crowded week. What inspired them? How long did they spend working on it? What does their workspace look like?

Some creative types make lovely temples to their craft, places where you’d love to linger and bask in the pregnant glow. Others can crank out great work in filthy cramped quarters. On My Desk is a site, a blog actually, that has the tagline “Creative folk share the stuff on their desks.” In it, you get to see what practicing artists’ workspaces are like. It’s a lot of fun to compare the neat with the dirty, the cluttered with the spare. And yet they’re all doing more or less the same thing. How does it work?

One of the reasons I enjoy comics is that, for some reason, comic artists will happily talk at great and articulate length about their influences, creative process, technique, and tools. The Comics Journal does a wonderful job recording and presenting these interviews. It’s rarer for a musician to have the same gift, but it’s a pleasure to read what any artist has to say about how and where they work.

I remember watching the end of the movie Let It Be, the part where they’re recording the title song, and I remember thinking at that moment, “So that’s what it looked like when they made that sound.”

Update: By happy coincidence, Greg just posted some pictures of his spacious basement recording studio.

One thought on “Where do you make all that beautiful stuff?”

  1. In my old slab home I practiced in my garage. Since there was no basement the garage was the only quite place I could go after my kids went to bed. Also, because it was a slab we had very little storage space and, consequently, we kept all the things that wouldn’t fit into the house out in the garage. It was really an unpleasant mess. It would also get real cold out there during the winter. I had this shop light hanging around that I would put on and point my direction on the coldest days. If I stood close enough to it I could keep my hands warm while playing. One evening I was sitting out in the garage playing through some tunes on the ‘ol guitar and a mouse ran between my legs. I thought, ‘hmmm, that was interesting’. He never bothered me again. Happily, I’ve moved to a new house, with a basement, and I now have heat, which, ironically, causes other problems. Also, I noticed the other day that the mouse has followed me. Ned, you got me thinking and I decided to put together a more detailed look at my workspace over at baconworks.

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