sign up for news and inspiration
  • connect
"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Where We Make: a new feature!

In 2008 and 2009 the Guardian ran a delightful series called Writers’ Rooms, pairing a photograph of a writer’s study with a brief but reflective essay on how they work in the space and draw inspiration from their surroundings: the pictures and knick-knacks on the wall, the books on the shelf, the particular style of desk chair, and what have you. Entries by or about George Bernard Shaw, Beryl Bainbridge, and Jane Gardam were particular favorites. (“I move around the room when it gets too untidy, like the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.” That cracks me up every time.)

I was disappointed when the Guardian discontinued the series, and for years I wanted to start my own project to reboot the concept on more inclusive terms. I wanted to see the workspaces of all sorts of artists, emerging as well as established—and from all over the place, too, not just Britain! I know we all like the occasional peek inside other people’s notebooks and studios, whether that artist is working in your field or something completely different (like hand-dying! My dear Amy Lou Stein—who dyes yarn and fabric, sews and knits and crochets and has a dedicated workspace I envy every time I visit—will be my very first contributor.)

Guidebook-writing chaos, Galway, summer 2006.

Guidebook-writing chaos, Galway, summer 2006.

But I didn’t have a workspace of my own that felt worth featuring (I generally wrote in a nondescript “quiet room” at my local library), so whenever I broached the idea with writers and painters I thought might be interested, they hesitated because I didn’t have any examples to show them. It’s true that I could’ve done my best with the impersonal space I was working in at the time, especially since I am also very interested in temporary workspaces, but maybe the idea was just biding its time.

I’m happy to announce that I’m finally ready to launch Where We Make with a profile of my own current workspace. Now that I have a sample profile to point you to, how’s about it? Would you like to write about your own workspace for my weekly feature? Please email me with “Where We Make” in the subject line.

Some things to keep in mind (you can consider these “submission guidelines” if you like):

  • The format is super simple: one photo of the entire workspace (with or without you at work in it), and a brief essay of around 300 or so words. (One shot will probably suffice for us writers, but if you are an artist or designer and want to include more photos, that would be great!)
  • I’m not snooty about the definition of “artist.” ANY sort of creative work qualifies here!
  • This isn’t just about showing off the scope of your personal library or the handsome prints on the wall above your desk. How you use the space you work in, whether you draw energy from it or zone it out, surround yourself with things that inspire you or sit down in a temporary space as if it’s a blank slate—that’s what I find really fascinating. So by all means take a picture of your table at the local coffee shop if that’s where you work best.
  • I will tweet, Facebook, and pin the heck out of your contribution. Yay for free publicity!
  • If you are so inclined, please take a moment to leave a comment on a workspace profile, and we’ll both be very grateful.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to launch this new feature! Thanks very much in advance for your interest and support.

3 Comments to Where We Make: a new feature!

  1. September 26, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I can’t wait for this feature, Camille! I love seeing where artists work… so fascinating and inspiring!

  2. September 26, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    What a wonderful idea, Camille! I wish I could share a photo of my beautiful prior workspace, when I lived in Philly and owned an actual desk (the size of Alabama)! Now that I’m in Brooklyn workspace = chair! That’s it! Good luck with this!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.