Uncomfortable and Thriving


I guess I started to notice it last year sometime. Some days it would feel strong and almost pull me – toward what, I didn’t know. Other days it would be more like a little nudge from the corner. I couldn’t put it into words, but I felt it almost every day, particularly around studio time. Something was shifting.

My morning commute to the studio was a short one, about 20 feet or so. Coffee in hand I’d go out our french doors, past the creek and the pond and maybe gather a few fallen leaves from the garden along the way. My studio was a sweet little cottage with just enough room to make a good mess. It was picturesque, still, quiet, and private. I’d often look out at the lovely yard and the beautiful trees and marvel at how lucky I was. I was in a great home routine for 17 years; things were simple and calm; and my work was good. I was comfortable. Ya, I said it: COMFORTABLE. Hmm.

 Not a good place for me. I realized I needed to be uncomfortable.

That little something I could feel was my creative mojo growing restless, and it began shouting at me, “Move. I needed to move my body, move my mind, and yes, move my studio to a much more untamed, loud, active place. I needed to disrupt. I needed to be afraid, to experiment, to feel vulnerable, to create new, unexpected things. And I needed to have the energy and space to do it. It was time for renewal and reinvention. While I was craving change – my art required it.

So, when the universe (and a gorgeous and generous human named Donna) presented me with the opportunity to take a studio space in downtown Victoria, I jumped at it. I moved in March.

This new space feels limitless and exciting. A bright spark has been lit in me and my work. I open the windows wide above the city street and am serenaded by the sounds of people laughing, cars honking, musicians playing, construction, alarms, bikes, skateboards, tourists, sirens – the sounds that have awakened that little part of my artist soul that was pulling and nudging me. Downtown can be loud. It’s always fluid. Every day I move, connect, explore, and watch. There’s a new energy flowing around me and it feels magical. 

While much has changed, much remains the same: my brushes, paints and canvases wait for me each morning; there’s always wine in the cabinet; strong coffee is never far; a decent playlist is constantly cranked; and things are still a little messy. 

 One day I’ll return to my beautiful home studio, but for now I’m happy here – uncomfortable and thriving. 

“If I’m an advocate for anything, it's to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”  ~ Anthony Bourdain

Laura’s studio is located on Yates Street in Victoria, BC, and is open by appointment only.