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My tiny Studio journey – From chaos to creativity.

For eight years, my home office served just as a room with a computer. No art, no good light, just like an ok little room in my house. When covid hit, classes got suspended and my room became the space that me and my 8 year old  (at the time) used as our office space-classroom, sometimes with a breakfast lingering around and many, many times, with books and colors all around in the carpet and I am assuming, lots of breadcrumbs around. Those months tested my patience, maybe that’s what inspired me to take a leap of faith and find a more creative way to use my space.



I envisioned a studio filled with light, a place to channel my creative energy. So, I embarked on the transformation of my office into a tiny home studio.


The idea felt overwhelming at first. I knew I wanted a studio, but lacked a clear vision of the process or its potential. My space remained a simple room, merely functional.

Then, in October 2021, a Facebook ad for Renewal by Anderson caught my eye. They offered free project estimates – a perfect solution for my seemingly "insignificant" window-to-door project. Local companies had dismissed my request, but Renewal by Anderson took me as a serious client. It felt even frightening to me to call them, was I really ready? I have delayed this decision for at least six months. Well, I did it, I called and the very next day, a representative came from Portland and evaluated my space, he presented options for materials and dimensions.


Three months later, in early 2022, the new door was installed, bathing the room in natural light. This transformation perfectly aligned with my vision of a bright and airy studio. As the year progressed, I entertained a dream: participating in the Gorge Artists Open Studios weekend (GAOS). However, the process of preparing my space seemed overwhelming. All I knew was that I needed a separate entrance for visitors.



Taking the leap: Rookie year at GAOS

Later that year in 2022, I submitted my application to participate in the 2023 GAOS weekend. The application required a photo of the studio. In true "rookie mode," I scrambled to put up some existing prints in a corner. It wasn't perfect, but it was a start.

The year flew by, filled with smaller projects that chipped away at the studio's transformation for GAOS. Weekends turned into months, and before I realized it, April was upon me. With just 20 days remaining, the pressure mounted.




A rushed course in DIY

What initially seemed like a simple project – removing the closet – quickly turned into a hard learning experience. The closet held the doorbell, electrical outlets, and even a structural beam – obstacles I hadn't anticipated. I felt overwhelmed, the project was beyond my capabilities. However, a couple of friends offered helped to work on the electricity and finishing demolishing the closet, my husband learned how to do the drywall and we tackled it straight on-on. Just one month before GAOS, I was notified that my exam for US citizenship was going to take place the week before GAOS. I had to split my time between the work at the studio, getting ready with my prints and studying for the civic exam. I juggled between painting walls, remove the carpet, place the floor and have all my materials ready from the printer.

 

Feeling accomplished. YAY! I made it!

First, I passed the civic exam to become a US citizen. Once that was off my plate, I concentrated every single minute on the studio. In DIY projects, you spend an entire month trying to figure it out instead of paying one person to do your project over a week. On the eve of GAOS, I hung the last piece of artwork on the wall. My tiny studio, bathed in light and buzzing with creative energy, had finally come to life. It was 9:59 am when I finished – just one minute before my first visitors arrived at 10:00 am sharp! My dream of a dedicated studio space had become a reality.




Check out my "Buy Prints" section on my website to see the kind of art that thrives in this tiny-but-growing studio! I'm a woman-owned small business, and your support makes a big difference.

Follow me on Instagram: @paloma.photo.nature

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