Clarissa's desk sports a 6-year-old Samsung "SyncMaster XL2370" monitor

Clarissa’s desk sports a 6-year-old Samsung “SyncMaster XL2370” monitor linked to her 6-year-old MacBook

10 years ago, I didn’t even know how to turn on a computer.  I refused to spend any time in the world of technology; like why would I need it, right?  There’s only so much time in the day and I’d rather create than look at a computer screen for hours.  Even though I had an official website since 1998 when most artists did not (only because my friend Cecil insisted I had a website so he created it), for the first nearly 8 years whenever I received an email from someone commenting on my work on my website, I always had to ask my kids to pull up my website to see what the inquirer was talking about and at that time it was a chore to do so!  Since then, my attitude has changed.  I had to surrender to the fact that every business interaction was all on line; there was no need for a hard copy of anything.  Not even what’s inside my wallet.

Clarissa's office in relationship to her living room

Clarissa’s office in relationship to her living room

My attitude changed too when I began taking control of how my website required many choices: the lay out, the choice of colors, the photographs, the text, etc.  I began to see the artistry of a website design.  I truly appreciate having a daughter in the family who enjoys creating websites.  She also encouraged me to blog nearly 5 years ago even though I initially resisted.

Clarissa's office in relationship to her sewing space

Clarissa’s office in relationship to her sewing space

In reality, I spend 1/3 of my year creating actual product, 1/3 doing administrative work, and 1/3 doing marketing.  Creating actual artwork is the best part; maintaining the business end of keeping one’s self from being a starving artist is 2/3 the work which includes: drafting up proposals, applying for grants, responding to emails, attending to bookkeeping, keeping track of receipts, applying to do art markets or artist residencies, doing the taxes, packaging and shipping artwork, preparing for, traveling to, attending and setting up/taking down an art market, researching and ordering supplies, updating the website, photographing the art, comparing insurance, posting blog entries, maintaining the vehicle, cleaning and maintaining the work space, and filing papers, etc.

Clarissa's office from the perspective of the kitchenette

Clarissa’s office from the perspective of the kitchenette

I spend at least half of my time as an artist in business on the computer.  I spend at least half my time sitting in this office.  Some artists have enough income to pay someone else to do the administrative/marketing aspect.  I have yet to make that kind of income to afford even a rental with running water and sewer,  let alone an administrative assistant.  Though some day you will know when I have an administrative assistant.  She will be the one who answers the call from you!

Clarissa's weaving area from the perspective of her office

Clarissa’s weaving area from the perspective of her office

People wonder if I even have a home.  Folks want to know where I live and work because it seems I travel a lot (though I have yet to afford a vacation.).  “Clarissa’s Studio” is a 9-part series showing the 9 areas of Clarissa’s studio where I work full-time and live part of the year in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.  As you know by now, I remodeled a 2-car garage about 10 years ago as a studio without running water or sewer system because I had no plans of using this space as a place of residence.  I had no idea that years later, because of big changes in my personal life, I would not be able to afford paying rent anywhere else. so for nearly 4 years I have weathered insufficient heat during the winter and the inconveniences of not having a real kitchen and a bathroom, until someday I can afford a real home.

Over the next three months (starting this past May),  I will introduce you to various parts of my humble 700 sq.ft. sanctuary divided into sections.  Here are the parts of “Clarissa’s Studio Series”:

  • “The Living Room” where I play music, read, crochet, knit and clear out the coffee table to do Tai Chi;
  • “The Office” where I draft proposals, emails, FB,  grants, letters, update my website and post blog entries;
  • “The Sewing Space” where I sew button robes and clothing for the grandkids;
  • “The Weaving Space” for all my Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving projects on various size looms;
  • “The Grand Table Space” where I do large layouts of robe pattern designs and cut the applique for button robes;
  • “The Drawing Room” where I sketch and finalize drawings for robes, paintings, collages and book illustrations;
  • “The Painting/Collage-making” where I create just that, along with printing limited edition Giclee’ prints and shrinkwrapping them;
  • “Clarissa’s Kitchenette” where I zap an occasional Amy’s TV dinner for lunch and I keep a modest supply of drinking water;
  • “Clarissa’s Storage Units” for beautiful and practical storage of all weaving, spinning, sewing, dyeing, beadworking supplies and recent collection of books

The first three  blog entries on “Clarissa’s Studio” series include:

Part 1:  “The Livingroom” at:

Part 2:  “The Kitchenette” at:

Part 3:  “The Drawing Room” at:

Part 4 — “The Beautiful, Practical Storage Unit” at: