The recent need to work from home due to extreme weather shutting down the UK transport system has prompted me to consider my workspace. I have the enviable position of being able to do my job almost entirely from home – through remote access, email and telephone – under these circumstances, but does a change in surroundings change the way I work and what I produce?
Objectively good places to work rarely end up being so; in their faultlessness, quiet and well-equipped studies have a habit of rendering the fear of failure overwhelming.
Alain de Botton (The Ideal Live/Work Space According to Alain de Botton on Unplggd)
Apart from the obvious distractions of home working – pets, family, the ability to chain-drink tea, I can see obvious benefits and pitfalls, some of which are one and the same. If you usually work in a studio with other people, sitting at the same desk and looking at the same wall, I think a change of scenery can bring a refreshing change in perspective. It can allow you to think differently, access a different range of resources and inspiration. It can afford you a more relaxed working environment, which is not always beneficial, but can be if you are disciplined enough. I tend to move my workspace around the house depending on the task in hand: drawing, and checking proofs at the dining table where I have space for my drawing board, or to spread out sheets of paper; web building on the sofa where I can have my laptop on my knee and feel comfortable, warm and relaxed for the inevitably long time I will be sitting working; studio with desk for drawing on the mac, photo editing, etc. where I need to use a mouse or pen and tablet.
So that’s how I work, but I’m also fascinated by other people’s workspaces – what they gather around themselves to inspire and motivate. There’s this great thread on Behance where people are posting photos of their workspaces – mostly computer stations, but there are some artist and illustrator’s studio spaces too. The Guardian also did a series which ended a couple of years ago called writer’s rooms which featured writers in their workspaces along with an article about their working practices which made fascinating reading.
If you have a photo of your workspace on flickr, tumblr, facebook, whatever, please feel free to post a link in the comments section, or email me and I’ll do a post of some of them later in the week.