Thursday, May 19, 2011

Perfect Packing Progress

The last week has been full of Actual Paying Work that's distracted me a bit from the NYC design mission. But this was to be expected at some point. In lieu of design work, however, I've been ransacking and disassembling my apartment, focusing on the most significantly stuff-full part: my studio.

After two failed attempts at roommate-gathering when I first moved in four-ish years ago, I decided to keep the second bedroom of my apartment for myself for the foreseeable future and turn it into a sort of screenprinting/art studio area. I started by covering the floor in a thick layer of painting plastic, then some thick dropcloth, and finally some puzzle piece-style rubberized floor cover things for the main standing areas. Karl and I spent a couple of days in my parents' garage constructing a really nice and sturdy work table and we put enough forethought into it to make it modular and held together with bolts instead of screws, for easy disassembly should the need arise.

The rest of the studio was taken up by an old computer desk topped with a typewriter, metal shelves that held a ton of art supplies and art projects, two bookshelves containing my Decent collection of books, and an assortment of drawers, boxes, and containers that held other art supplies, costumes, computer parts, and general Hilarious Items.

After taking video and pictures of my entire flat last week, I went into the project face first and started tearing down the studio. Some late, coffee-fueled evenings, much like tonight as a matter of fact, resulted in five huge trash cans full of stuff that ended up in the dumpster. Given, a lot of it was made up of boxes, which take up a lot of space in a trash can, but still. Five is a lot. I honestly didn't know I had this much to throw away. And I'm really glad I'm going through it all too. I even played Hoarders on Netflix Instant while I was cleaning out some of the room and I like to think it helped me get rid of even more stuff.

Five of those. With more to come.

A lot of things that weren't thrown away were condensed into an unbelievably small amount of space. All of my Adobe Creative Suites and subsequent upgrades were in their own huge, heavy boxes. They are now all in one box. If I lose that box, I'm as good as fucked professionally. A huge surprise was that all of the art media that I wanted to keep fit into ONE cardboard box. Things in bags and boxes really do take up a lot more space than they need to. I took all of my oil pastels out of the fancy arranged-by-color box they came in and fit them into two small IKEA tins; every single pen I own, from Sharpies to Pilots to those smelly graphic design markers with the numbers on the tops fit into ONE large IKEA tin; all of my charcoal fit into another; all of my India Ink and ink-like materials into another; and all of my screenprinting inks, emulsions, and other art supplies fit into the cardboard box into which the aforementioned tins were placed. The organization and packing of that box may be the most surprising and greatest accomplishment of my life.

As I was sorting out the crap I no longer need, the little glimmer of hoarder mentality that lives inside each and every one of us kicked in and said, "Dang, Chase. Someone could probably use some of this. Maybe you and I shouldn't throw it all out." So I posted this lovely image on Facebook and labeled every single item in it:

Dibs were called on a lot of the most significant stuff and the rest is in, or on its way to, the dumpster. And a couple things went or are going to Goodwill, because who couldn't use a beat-up-ass skateboard or a bag of black feathers?

I went ahead and took apart my big metal studio shelves and the work table that Karl and I built too. My parents, who live across town, have been kind enough to let me store a bunch of my crap in their basement until I move, so the things I've packed are slowly making their way out of the apartment too.

I've worked on a few other things around the apartment too in a manic coffee-frenzy. I'm slowly scrubbing the HELL out of every room in the place, I've ripped out all of the screenprinting plastic from my upstairs bathroom with NO ink stains at all in the tub (hell yes!), and packed up all of the video games on my media shelves.
This is another example of a box that I'm completely fucked if I lose, but in a whole different way. Almost all of the non-PC video games of my life live in this box. I plan to protect it with my life. I'd also like to take this moment to thank Past Chase for keeping all of my cables and wires in one place. I wrapped them all up and am now more wire-organized than I have ever been. EVER.
That about covers the packing side of things. I'm working through more stuff every day, although I'm still resisting packing up my bookshelves because I like to look at them.

No promises, but I'll see about updating the blog a couple times a day in the next week to catch up and also force myself to keep trucking at 110% efficiency. This will be extra difficult because it defies physics, but if NASA can do it, I can do it!

"We are about to break the surly bonds of gravity and punch the face of God." -Homer Simpson

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