The Fresh Milk Art Platform studio feels a lot like home. Granted, my neighborhood scenery and atmosphere is not nearly as serene, but the quietness and time spent alone in the studio seems very familiar. That and the fact that I have spent a solid amount of time at Fresh Milk for various events and workshops since its launch in 2011 makes me comfortable in the space given to me. For the first two days I wondered whether this was a blessing or a problem. Because I was so at ease with the space and with Annalee, the Director and Katherine, the Assistant to Director, I could find my groove quickly and be able to focus on executing whatever idea I had. But then, what if I wouldn’t be stimulated to create something outside of my comfort zone because of the familiarity?
I spent four days of the week at Fresh Milk; Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday I stayed home and realized the comfort I felt at Fresh Milk was because of a lack of pressure. During my daily life, after everyone has left for work and school, I have the quietness and space needed to focus my attention on my animation, one that I have been working on for the past 6 months. But I also feel a slight but constant pressure to produce something, anything of value; to feel like I am ‘doing something’ after leaving Barbados Community College (BCC). This pressure, self-imposed though it may be, keeps me active at home. However, when at Fresh Milk, I do not feel that pressure. The program gives me a specific purpose; there’s the ultimate goal of producing a fresh piece of work from this. It reminds me of having a deadline, like we so often did at BCC, which is comforting in its own way. At home though, there are no deadlines, no ‘projects’; I’m basically working to keep active and current, and therefore end up putting the pressure on myself to have work ready to avoid the feeling of idleness.
This past week I have been experimenting with lino block printing and my pen drawing in animation form. I have been considering the idea of incorporating lino block prints with my animated drawing for some time now, and Fresh Milk affords me the time and mental space to do that. I am stepping away from my animation film for a while to experiment with the printmaking. After a week, my thoughts and ideas are still very unresolved and scattered, but as week two starts I am intrigued by what could happen.