When I built my studio, one of the first things I did once the space was enclosed was to put everything on casters. Every tool, table, and workbench has its own set of wheels. I ordered so many from Amazon that it became a running joke.
Each set came with a free neon orange screwdriver – by Christmas they filled a large box that I gift-wrapped for my family’s white elephant gift exchange. My 10 year old nephew was lucky enough to receive it, and he couldn’t have been more proud. (It was much better than the fuzzy unicorn slipper alternative.)
My “world on wheels”, as Alan lovingly refers to my space, has been rearranged a hundred times since. When I have a big project, I shift my work tables to fit. When the wildflowers are in bloom, I slide my computer in front of the large windows. When it’s cold outside, I swivel my desk near the wood stove. Last fall when I opened my studio to visitors for an event, I was able to quickly transform the space with just a few pivots.
This past weekend we hosted a small wedding. An intimate affair for good friends and their immediate family. Too small for a big venue, too big for a small venue, just right for us. The ceremony was held outside among the wildflowers and, with a bit of rearranging, my studio was decked out with cassata cake and champagne. A world on wheels wedding.
Until recently, I assumed my caster obsession was purely practical. Born of a desire to not lift heavy things any more than necessary. But I’m come to realize it’s more than that. I think wheels represent a sort of creative flexibility. My business was born during the 2007 recession. My job in education suddenly vanished and I needed to make a quick pivot. I had to stay nimble to survive. Rotate my life in a new direction.
I thought about this the other day as I was rethinking my creative business. Times are changing. Systems we’ve taken for granted are crumbling. There is no getting back to normal. But, we’ll make it through – and if we do it right, we’ll come back even better than before. We just need to be willing to be flexible.
It’s time to use our wheels.