Other than sheer desire and necessity to create, perhaps the most important factor for being productive as an artist is having the proper space to do so. Some artists spend their whole life without the preferred accommodations. I argue that they suffer for it.
The studio issue creates both a physical and mental obstacle. The physical is obvious. Without a room in which one can spill paint, how can one dirty a canvas? Without room for a piano, how can one practice their scales and arpeggios? And so follows the mental block. For much of my life I've caught myself saying or thinking, "Well, when I have the proper space I'll work on x, y, or z more effectively." This attitude becomes overwhelming to the point of paralysis. It turns us into stuttering, whimpering Hamlets with who've lost the will to succeed. To most effectively channel my artistic energy I have to diminish the opportunity for excuses.
As I began looking for a new city in which to make my home as a musician and community member, I had a pretty simple list of things I wanted: cheap rent, walkable neighborhood, space for a music studio. The other bigger picture idea I had in mind was a city that had both a desire for new, original music, that had room for the community and culture to grow, and that had avenues for me to steer that growth. People told me Austin. Athens. Ashville. Nashville. Louisville. [Insertsouthermusiccity]ville. I convinced myself Athens would be a jackpot, and I began to search Cragislist for jobs and housing. But then something happened. My sister and her boyfriend, who had been living in a two-bedroom apartment in a hip little neighborhood in North Omaha, bought a house. They would be moving out of their apartment around the time my lease in Grinnell ended. Rent was cheap. I could walk to any number of bars, a yoga studio, a diner, a head shop, a lingerie shop, a health food market, thrift stores, public library, and dozens of music venues and art galleries; there was a huge basement fit for a music studio, and (here is the cherry on top, my friends) the neighbors were deaf. In short, I would have been a dense little dunce if I had not snatched up that apartment.
So here I am. In Benson, Omaha. Just half a block off the always-hopping Maple Street. With my basement studio (Yorick Studio), I finally have no excuse of lacking the proper space, and I've already begun a new set of demos for an upcoming project featuring lyrics and poetry from my dear friend Kelly Musselman.
It's not New York City. It's not Los Angeles. It's not even Chicago, but I feel that my spirit is sort of in sync with Omaha. We are both primed and ready to show the world our as-of-yet untapped glory. So when people ask why I moved here, I shall respond, "Though this is madness, yet there be method in it."