My studio life

Hello friends,

I finally took the courageous step of starting to write blog posts. Although I used to write a lot, becoming a self-taught artist meant that I had to pour all my energy into art. Art has always been my passion, but my family was afraid to see me struggle financially and live an unfulfilling life. That is why I studied international relations with the aim to eventually have a “real job”; and indeed, I was very interested in political subjects, so it was not an outlandish decision.

Shortly after I began working in the field of my university studies, I found out that my daughter had some health problems which eventually forced me to stay at home. This has been the most challenging period of my life because I had so many big dreams for my career, yet I could not realize any of them. While dwelling in uncertainty, I re-connected with my original dream, which was to become an artist. In the beginning, it felt like unlocking an old house full of memories where all the precious things were covered with a thick layer of dust.

I taught myself to be patient and took my time. First, I started to work on the living room table, doing some small sketches. Then, I started a few-months long period of research, which was crucial because it helped me discover what medium I enjoy the most, what artistic styles suite me and what my artistic strengths (and weaknesses) are.

Once I found my direction, my husband built me the most amazing artist table, which we placed in our common working room; having a little corner of my own increased my motivation. At that time, Instagram’s algorithm was also on my side, and I quickly gained thousands of followers. Creating my own space and having people beside me was quite encouraging.

My old workspace

After two years, we moved (back) from Munich to Vienna, and I had the freedom of choosing a room in our new home that was just for me and my work. I cannot stress enough how important it is for my creativity to create a dedicated workspace. It does not have to be a separate room, but already a corner that is entirely for myself improves my motivation. It also makes me feel more dedicated to my work.

I chose this room because of its big French window and the view to our neighbour’s green garden. One of the first things I did was to paint one of the walls in a beautiful shade of azure blue. Blue is my favourite colour and I use it the most in my illustrations. Also, blue reduces my anxiety and keeps me stay focused. Thereafter, we placed my handmade table against that blue wall. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that the light that reached the table was rather bad. However, my talented husband immediately built another table, which we could place directly in front of the window, to take advantage of the best light. The rest followed slowly, including decorating the walls according to my wishes. Once everything was prepared, I was the happiest artist.

Painting the wall

I am quite messy when I work, so my room is never as tidy as it is shown on the photos. But always when I finish a project, I feel the urge to bring everything back to order. Otherwise, the atmosphere in my room would block me from starting something new.

My studio

I hope you enjoyed this little journey of getting to know how my art journey has evolved. But now I am curious about you: Are you an illustrator/artist or simply an art lover and how has your life journey taken you to where you are today?

6 replies on “My studio life

  • Gudlaug Thorleifsdottir

    Your space looks beautiful Cagla. I find it so interesting how our stories have many similarities. I too went to school to learn something completely different than art and quit my job to focus on my family. Then I started painting and here we are today.

  • Raquel Russo

    My dear friend, it is lovely to see your studio/workspace and read a little more about your journey! Life is always full of unexpected twists and turns but I am happy that you are doing something you love. 🙂 You are incredibly strong! And I’m also so happy you’re writing blog posts! I can’t wait to read more. You have a lovely “writing voice”. Hugs!

  • Heather Flockton

    My mum has always had a creative space, filled with brushes and colourful paints and fantastical things that I wasn’t supposed to fiddle with.

    She studied illustration at uni when I was 10-13 and I remember going in to the campus with her and seeing all the other illustrators. “Oh my god, you just draw all day?! That’s amazing!” I said.

    I’ve always tried to have a my own studio growing up, but it hasn’t always been possible. I do have a lovely space now though. I used to compare my work to my mum’s all the time (which obviously is ridiculous) and so didn’t feel like I was good enough at drawing to study illustration or graphic design. I picked photography instead to try and forge my own path.

    When I was going through a crisis, I invented a character in my sketchbook and have since put a lot of work into this character ( I’ve still got a long way to go and a lot of practice but I’ve gradually done more and more drawing over the years and am feeling good about it.

    There is no better feeling than when you’re sat at your desk, music playing, cup of tea, cat curled up nearby, in a sort of drawing trance.

    I really enjoy your articles. One thing I don’t have is many creative people in my life so it’s nice to share these sorts of sentiments with other creators.

    • Cagla Zimmermann

      Dear Heather, I just realised that I have not responded your beautiful comment. Although, I do remember how your comment made me smile when I first read it and I do remember clicking the reply button but I must have been interrupted. It is lovely to read your perspective as a child, because my daughter is slowly getting more and more into art. She wants her own set of color pencils in a wooden case 🙂 I hope you are still enjoying drawing and you continue to create beautiful moments with it. Love, Cagla


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