The Norman Transcript

May 10, 2013

A room of one’s own

By Hannah Cruz
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — At the ripe old age of 23, I can easily say I’ve lived multiple lives, and I owe it all to creativity.

As a little girl, my mind was constantly spinning with stories and images — make believe, writing and art projects. I was a cowgirl in the rugged Wild West. I was a mermaid swimming in the depths of a blue, mysterious sea. I was a humble ruler over a beautiful kingdom. I even explored careers: teaching, medicine, marine biology, artist and you better believe I was the best pop singer of the decade.

The actual setting for most of these “lives” was simple: A bedroom in suburbia.

It was nothing fancy, but as Virginia Woolf has long emphasized, it was a room of my own — a place with no boundaries, limits or distractions. Anything was possible in my room.

While I was in college I earned myself both a bachelor’s and an Mrs. degree, permanent roommate included. It may come as no surprise that my husband wasn’t entirely appreciative of the jungle of papers, pencils, brushes, charcoal, scissors and textbooks that flourished in our small home, nourished by the climate of my journalism and art studies.

For our first Christmas as a married couple, my husband purchased me a sewing machine — another creative endeavor I was itching to get my hands on. He soon discovered my sewing efforts did nothing to declutter our living areas.

The only logical containment he could find was a desk of my own, so we purchased the best our meager budget could afford in an effort to curb the creative madness.

To say the least, it wasn’t as effective as he’d hoped, but he had the right idea, taking his cues from ol’ Virginia, and providing me a new version of my very own space.

Since then, my desk has moved into a spare bedroom, complete with my own closet, shelf and even a futon. I don’t have much time to develop the many concepts in my sketchbooks beyond the occasional wedding or baby shower gift, but that room — a space of my own — stands as a treasured symbol of my creative freedom.

It’s a concept not lost on many Norman artists who are showcasing their own creative spaces this month during Norman Open Studios, presented by the Norman Arts Council. Several of these artists have studios in corporate spaces, while many, like me, carve out space for creativity in their private residences.

Though I suspect some day our spare room may be overrun by tiny creations of another sort, I’ll always prioritize a corner of my own — even if it’s just a desk or large chair — where I can make art, put together crafts, read, write — whatever I want, to my heart’s content.

No matter the size of a space, every creative person needs their own corner of the world where wild ideas and whimsical fancy are allowed — even encouraged — to run with great abandonment. In that way, every facet of life can be explored, multiple times over.

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Have any suggestions for us? Comments? Praises? Give me a shout out at hcruz@normantranscript.com. I’d love to hear from you.