There’s not a lot that you can see in terms of positive things about going into lockdown and having to close your business that you’ve worked on 60 hours a week for nearly two decades.
It was a strange and alien time and I’ll freely admit to shedding a lot of tears at the start of it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any problems with having to do it – I totally see the necessity for it and we are all in this crisis together. It made me sad nonetheless. Until I forced myself to get out of my pyjamas and write a massive list of all of the projects that I wanted to complete but never seemed to have the time to. This turned out to be a huge list of professional and personal goals and the studio definitely sat at the heart of a lot of it.
I love my studio and it was in good shape with just about inch of space maximised for backdrop and lighting options as well as prop storage. However, some time with it quiet allowed to me not only deep clean it but to examine each item I had stored and evaluate whether it was earnings its place. Then there was time to put everything back in the most efficient ways I could come up with. Extra storage was purchased and new props were created to fill the gaps that I identified.
Then there were the big projects – I had long wanted to totally redecorate the centre section of the studio which combines a storage area and changing room with our toilet and washing facilities. The floor was so tired and I had a yearning to replace the outdated dark wood with freshly painted white, bright and airy decor. So that got done – man, there were so many times that I wished I hadn’t started that one! Not only did it take soooooo many coats of paint to cover the dark wood, when we pulled up the floor to relay the new one, we discovered a leak which meant we had to rip out the toilet and sink and replace them. That said, it did lead to us redesigning it a bit to a better use of the space and it looks incredibly smart now – didn’t think that at the time we were doing it though :)
Then there was the outside of the studio. I took the time to jet wash and repaint it all with wood treatment to keep it strong and healthy for all the years to come. Last year, we replaced the decking and resized it as part of the old substructure had collapsed (not where customers walk obviously!) but we hadn’t got round to cutting out the old framework and tidying it up. That’s all been done now and it looks fabulous. No more looking out the studio window and getting annoyed with how it looks for me!
So there we have it, I leave this difficult time with at least the consolation that the studio has never looked so good!