It's Monday, and that means the start of the work week for most people. When you leave home and go to 'the office'.
But for me, every day is a workday. Why? Because being a creative is a full time commitment, one that requires not only taking your work with you when you go home, but also taking your memories of home, the things you like, the songs that make you move, and much more, with you always. Any photographer, designer, or writer, will tell you that; we can't fully compartmentalize, and we're at our best when the projects we work on evoke things in our own lives.
For a few years, I hopped between workspaces, trying various shared workspaces, renting separate units for my home and my work. But a few months ago, I decide to reign everything back in and re-consolidate. I figured being in the heart of the city would be key. I also needed a space where all my equipment could be stored, so that when a project came up, everything was right at my fingertips. It would be expensive though, as I needed a large two bedroom unit to fit everything. But, with some luck (ok, a lot of luck), one of my friends happened to be renting out an incredible unit right at Yonge & Front. So I jumped on the occasion, left the other two units I occupied as quickly (and respectfully) as possible, and the rest is history.
Now, let me tell you about my space.
I've decided to make the living room my office, and the second bedroom my living room (it's nice and cozy). The main thing for me was to remove clutter and stay minimal, while at the same time future-proofing the space so that multiple people could work in it in moments of high volume of work. So I opted to create my own table out of a 4x8 piece of plywood that I varnished (and painted ping pong lines on, just for fun!) and screw-on IKEA legs. It fits 4 people comfortably. On the left side, I have three little rolling storage units in which I store papers, pens and pencils, printer ink, label makers, DVD burners, and other office materials. And then, of course, my trusted iMac, along with my secondary Apple Cinema Display (that I've had for close to 10 years). On the opposite side, I have an IKEA TV bench in which I store all of my hard drives (60TB+), and that I use to elevate the focal point of my room, a beautiful painting by Toronto-based artist and friend Dominique Fung. A few other objects lie here and there: storage boxes, a clock, a printer, etc. But that's it. Overall, there's less than $1,000 worth of furniture in my office (I'm not including that couch in the corner in that price tag because I'm trying to get rid of it). And I love it.
But the best part about this space is this: it reflects my artistic sensibility!
Obviously, the condo unit itself is fairly upscale, and the view is breathtaking, but it was important for me not to get pretentious with the décor. Same as in my work with One Heart Films, the idea is always to distill an emotion into its simplest form: how do we say what we must say simply, how do we express complex ideas with few words, few images? That's the challenge I give myself.
And that's what my office means to me.