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This article is written by Ann Strecko Koemen
Whenever I have a new visitor to my studio/basement I often hear comments such as: “Oh my….you have so much stuff…” Most people just let their jaws drop open while their minds are trying to take it all in with their eyes wide open too! I also have heard: “How do you find anything?” Usually these comments come from my non creative voyeurs. My craftier friends and loved ones love my space but do express envy at the sight of all that I have. I have been accused of being a hoarder of course as well as being obsessive compulsive, a clean freak, and super organized. So I know to take their comments lightly. I believe these visitors have watched the American television program that likes to exploit people who have serious issues by scandalously sharing these people’s living quarters which are usually a health and fire hazard. I assure you that I do not come even close to that description. I live in a well maintained, clean, and orderly home on the main level. However, half of the basement is MINE!. I am after all an artist that dabbles in many forms of art and crafting, and so I am well equipped.
I thought I would do a little bit of research on this topic. By definition collecting refers to the bringing together or the accumulating of objects. On the other hand, hoarding, which by the way is an Americanized term, refers to the non specific collecting of anything and garbage with no goal in mind.
There is a fine line here between the Artistic hoarding disorder and Artistic accumulation. Let me shed some light on this topic to alleviate any fears.
Artistic accumulation involves care whereby one takes the time to store, organize, and even label accumulated materials for future use. Hoarding, does not.
There is also specificity involved in Artistic Accumulation, where the collector looks for materials which are related to a specific media or project. Hoarders are non specific. Artistic Collectors have Intent. Artists intend or have an idea as to why they are collecting the materials. The artist usually has a vision of the intended project to be. A hoarder has no such vision. Artistic Accumulation also involves production and creation, whereas hoarding has no vision of completing any project. The artist who accumulates a lot of materials also is balanced and will spend more time creating rather than collecting the accumulating artist USES the materials. The Hoarder, does not.
Perhaps in future articles I will describe some of the many organizational methods I practice. Until then ….
be forewarned future visitors, my studio is big and full, it is also a productive and buzzing hive dominated by one super hard working Queen bee!
Ann is a mixed media artist collecting and living in the countryside of Ottawa, Ontario Canada. She and her family live in a big house that can hold all her stuff and more! No pets or family members have ever gone missing in there.