Artists Need Space

And with that said, I’d like to share with you, I have decided to build a tiny house.

It doesn’t seem to make sense, with the idea that artists need space, to confine living and working into a 250 sq. ft. area. At least I seem to always be seeking space. Does that seem like enough space to live, much less live and work? And here lies the beauty – the definition of space or how the journey changes the definition of space.

Sometimes I need to know everything there is to know before I make an educated decision and sometimes I just follow an urge and find out later. This is just what I did, in a sort of circular order without being aware of it. Deciding to build a tiny house felt like a spontaneous decision but what I was finding out later was that I have been preparing for this tiny house transition for years by experiences that have been changing my definition of space.

I was fascinated with architecture of the pod houses even before the tiny house movement. I can’t say that I didn’t go in that direction completely as part of me held onto the idea. However, the other part of me went in the opposite direction, of trying to find large amounts of space. It seemed like I spent many years of looking and building space that never seemed big enough to work in.

The start of coming back around to a more minimal way of living began the half year I walked over two thousand miles, sleeping in a new place every night. This certainly has an affect of what one thinks of space. Some days I studied the terrain and planned my campsites, other times I walked until I couldn’t go any further. That constituted a good place. Then there were those days where the perfect location was at the right place at the right time. Most of the time thinking of where to call home for the night entered my thoughts a few times a day. This process of daily looking for a place set a new pattern in me. It tapped into my nomadic tendencies and freed me from belonging to one place.

The lack of owning many possessions also had an impact during this walk. The process of being mobile reminded me to stay light and it did it quite forcibly. Every time I wanted to carry something with me, I was coerced to answer whether I wanted to carry the extra weight. Of course, most of the time, the object of consideration was food and I usually reasoned that I would lighten my load by eating more. This reasoning doesn’t translate so well in society. The good news was that this pattern of changing space daily and traveling light had a big influence on the way I thought of space.

Space was again the center of attention when I returned from this hiking journey. I found that I no longer had space. My personal life had changed so that I didn’t have a home to return to. For months I struggled in a state of limbo not belonging anywhere but at the same time, not wanting to belong. I wondered how I my work might fit into this floating existence.

I didn’t wonder long until my belonginglessness took me further away. Living in a foreign country with a new set of guides to the space I was assigned to felt just like that, foreign. My uncertainty convinced me keep my possessions few. So it seemed my unintentional exploration with space continued the practice of living minimal. The sensibility of living minimal and somewhat nomadic if only in commitment, replaced my task of searching for large amounts of space.

When I returned to the US, I returned to a space that was again not mine. It was a familiar place of home with my family but it seemed I no longer traveled the road of being driven to find a large space. Instead I thought of how many times have I moved a bin to slide another to lift another from here so that could push something there so I could get to that part I wanted. So many times. I began to see that I was fighting myself. I really enjoy minimal living, I enjoy the process it requires both mentally and physically. I wondered how small could I live and still have the necessities. Then I realized I had returned to my ideas of living minimal. And that is when I decided to build a tiny house.

You can visit my blog for status updates on Tiny Housanie. I welcome you back.

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