Every week, I go to the Open Studio at my local arts centre to work in clay. Sometimes I miss a week, because I have other obligations or am sick, but the place is always in the back of my mind. When you work in a studio situation with the same people week in and week out, you become a type of family based on creativity. It is quite different from ‘going to work’ but it involves work. We are working on our individual projects, ideas, and goals but we are doing it together. Any group or organization runs on communication and it is the same with a studio setting. Whether people are part of a studio collective or a public art studio, communication is key. Generally, it revolves around the process of making things… schedules, materials, and equipment. The familial aspect of communication takes place around the big work table, as individual members spend hours working in the community of others. In our Open Studio, we talk about pretty much anything… current events, things happening in our lives. We philosophize, offer advice, ask advice, offer opinions. I actually believe what we experience is a microcosm of the world. We are all adults and everyone is pretty much on an equal basis. The way communication takes place within the studio setting is a reflection of our communication skills and our commitment and respect toward the group. Last year on this blog, I wrote about the concept of the spiritual child. It is a term used in the Communication field to talk about an additional ‘self’ that is created over time in a group setting. The spiritual child is created by the group; a fusion of the group dynamic creates a new being in the group that is separate from us individually, the spiritual child. The health and well-being of the group is reflected by the spiritual child. The specialness of the group, the importance of it in our lives cannot be overemphasized.
Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.
— Henry Ford