© Holly Connolly 2007 - 2023. All rights reserved.
Ever since I was at school I have dreamed about having the ultimate studio space. My Mum had a huge industrial table that my Grandad had found for her at work. She set it up in the corner of her bedroom and would sit there for hours, just painting. To me – it was the best, most creative space I had ever seen. I loved to see how, no matter what else was going on, she could go to that place to escape it all, and just paint. It’s an image that’s always stuck with me and when I decided to dedicate myself to design, I knew that I wouldn’t be happy until I had my own beautiful desk – my own beautiful space to escape to.
I didn’t get my dream desk at Uni. When you’re a student, you have to make do with what you’ve got – and I didn’t have a lot. One summer my friends and I dragged our kitchen table out into the street outside our house, stuck an umbrella in a welly as a makeshift parasol, and spent the day working there (aided by cider!). The library was also a good choice. Swansea library over looked the sea, and I would often daydream about owning a super yacht and travelling from country to country whilst designing from the deck. Seriously, how cool would that be?! I’d call it Arial… ;p
My favourite place to work was on trains. There are no distractions, the gentle hum of the tracks helps you zone out whilst travelling, and it feels good to be shunning the designer-cliche of the dark room with a glass of red wine… On a train you’re free, and you’re going somewhere! The destination is your deadline, and the constantly changing scenery is your inspiration. You meet (or observe) new and interesting people on a train, who always have a story to tell and are keen to find out what you’re doing.
My train eventually stopped at Bath, where I finally have the beautiful desk I had always dreamed of. I have my den, where I can design to my heart’s content away from prying eyes. The postcards I have kept neatly folded away for years are finally on the wall, next to my Sid Vicious painting and Jessica Hische pressings. I love my new space. I really do… But maybe it’s not the necessity I always imagined.
When you are a creative person, it’s easy to make excuses about why you’re not ready to accept the responsibility of your own talent – “I don’t have the perfect desk. I need a new computer. I need a different kind of pen, ink, paper… I haven’t finished the training yet…. I don’t know what I’m doing!… I’m not any good at this!” I still suffer with these kinds of thoughts – but if there’s anything I can take away from my search for the perfect space, it’s that these are just excuses. You don’t need any of those things – you just need the spark of an idea, and the courage to see it through to the bitter end. It’s easier not to do something than it is to do it – if it was easy, everyone would be doing it! All you can do is to just make sure that, no matter what, you ARE doing it!