Lately, I’ve been thinking about why our society finds artist messes so fascinating.
Maybe because they seem romantic—the scattered brushes, split pastels and the remnants of splashed paint—but the reality of the artist’s mess is hard work. Keeping a studio tidy is an unending process, especially as my studio space also functions as my living room. Within the span of an hour, the studio goes from spotless to chaotic as I work on larger paintings. And as beautiful as a mess may seem, I’m constantly cleaning to make room for more of it. My life seems to revolve around finding balance between organization and chaos.
In a normal day, my studio sees fairly significant disorder, but nothing compares to the messy explosion in the hours prior to last week’s Studio Table dinner. Floral artist, Jenn Sanchez built an installation of flowers that cascaded down two floors of the studio; Oh Happy Day, a blog and party shop, built a balloon installation for one of the walls; Erica from HonestlyWTF blog designed handmade embroidered dinner napkins; and blogger Amanda Holstein created take-away bags for guests. There were flowers, boxes, dishes and people everywhere. But the entire evening represented a true collaboration, thanks to method.
Method home partnered with us for dinner last week. Our collaboration was about celebrating the launch of method’s new Sea Minerals soap—and to open discussion around how creative ideas and businesses start from mess.
During all of our dinners, we pose a thought-provoking question to the table. This past dinner we asked our guests to explain a fear—one that involved mess. Our goal was not to take the method hashtag, #FearNoMess, literally, but instead to get to the root of the concept of mess and what it could look like to other people.
My favorite story was from a guest who had happened to see the method founders speak at a seminar almost ten years ago. In short, when method first launched their soap bottles at Target stores across the nation, they had an unexpected challenge. Target contacted method with urgent concerns explaining how soap was literally spurting out of the bottles all over the shelves. Method was a small brand at the time and the founders had to face their fear of failure and try to figure out ways to fix the spills. They traveled to each store and attempted to repair all of the bottles themselves. They adjusted and wiped down hundreds to keep their brand going.
Hearing the story of method’s messy beginnings inspired us all to challenge ourselves to make more messes.
What could we make if we could create freely? What if we allowed ourselves make more mess? We wrote more about our Studio Table evening with method on the Studio Table Journal. I hope you’ll take a look.
A word on partnerships: With the objective of remaining true to my art and lifestyle, I only agree to partnerships with companies I respect. Therefore, I’m thankful for companies like Method, who are involved in bettering communities, and support my practice as an artist. I want to be as transparent as possible out of respect for my readers and in accordance with the FTC law of 2013. All content and opinions are my own. For more information on my views please read my open letter regarding partnerships.