Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Heart-to-heart: Moving out of my home studio.

Hello hello. Sometimes, I wonder if I'm writing for the readers (if there are still any of you around after such a long hiatus from my blog!) or if I'm writing for myself.

But when it comes to these wordy posts for HTH, I know they are 80% written for myself. Writing helps in helping me see things somewhat clearer, and will hopefully allow me to purge some of the negativity which have been building up these few weeks.

This is perhaps the last thing you'll expect me to blog about after a cheery Gudetama post haha.

In case it's the first time you're seeing my HTH posts, it's where I bare my heart to anyone reading out there. :)

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SO. It's been quite a whirlwind this 2015.

In the earlier months, I was actually getting very comfortable with the state of things. There were months I gave myself a vacation and earned almost nothing. And some months which were filled with workshops and I would be gleeful looking at the figures in my Excel sheet. (yes that's my style of accounting here, not very professional huh)

The numbers worked out, since I had no overheads from working from my home studio. I did pay my share of utilities and gave my parents allowance, but those were comfortably within my means.

But now, as you can guess from my title above, a huge game changer is about to happen.

Come December 2015, I will be relocating to a space in town. It's a brand new area, so renovation is slated to start as soon as next week. There will be hefty construction costs to bear, as we are putting up walls and doing expensive soundproofing to create spaces which will hold my studio, together with the dance studios of my friend's whom I'm collaborating with.

All of these madness commenced with a phone call from my friend a few months ago, who excitedly told us about his plans to have a studio and invited me along for the ride. And the last few weeks, it's been a truly rollercoaster (this is getting to be an overused word for my HTH posts) ride of emotions. As with all collaborations, there are a lot of details to be discussed and agreed upon. And with so much uncertainty in the air and my tight budget, it made for very difficult situations sometimes.

One moment, I'll be hopeful and excited for all the opportunities a studio in town provided for - expanding the AiClay team, having more people craft together, having a prettier space, getting out of house more regularly (not sure if this is a pro or con), inviting other crafters to join me in working from a shared space.

Then the next, I'll be stressed and overwhelmed with the worries - the impending rental burden every month, crazy renovation costs, will I be biting off more than I can chew, would I be able to get workshop participants, where am I going to find clothes to wear to the studio everyday (haha).

The stress is real yo. Sometimes, I'll find my heart rate quicken and I'll struggle to breathe as these fears and worries creep up on me unknowingly. I actually broke down once into a weeping mess, when it all felt too much to bear.

Today was one of those days. I caught up with a couple of my friends separately, and coincidentally, they both advised me about the not-so-rosy parts of owning a space outside. Which is a tad too late, as papers are signed and there is no going back. (well there is, if I was willing to sacrifice a load of money and more importantly, a long friendship :( )

I came back home to try and seek solace in munching on biscuits and surfed around aimlessly online, and then I started reading Qiuqiu's posts. I love when she writes long, honest posts, and it reminded me of how much I love to write and share as well.

So here I am. Acknowledging to the world that yes, I am scared as f*ck and getting a studio outside requires so much courage and business sense which I highly suspect I still don't have. BUT, we are going through with it.

Not just because papers are signed, but because this could very well be the push that I need for AiClay, to break out of the comfortable rut I've grown into. This is the main factor I keep returning to, when my worries plague me I have to forcefully remind myself that change is a good thing.

In case you're wondering, I don't have pictures to share of the space yet, since it's just a blank space for now.

But if you are from Singapore, and you have some ideas about collaboration for my new studio space, let me know! Or just any words of advice or comfort for renting a studio. :)

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