A few notes on how and where I work

January 31, 2013

Yesterday’s post got me thinking a lot about how and where I work and I thought a blog post about it could interest some of you:

I work from home and have dedicated a room to it – my studio. I tried working for a year in a studio a short walk from home in Gothenburg, but it didn’t work well – I still did more and better work when being at home. I really enjoy working from home as long as the room is separated from the rest of the apartment. When not working I hardly spend time in my studio – on weekends and evenings I close the doors to it to get some distance and let home feel like home.

Important to me is to dress well before entering my studio – I always wear clothes I feel good in and would wear if there were colleagues around. Personally I don’t feel very professional if I’m working in my nightgown, and I never work in my bed. A good start of a work day is to get dressed and go out for a walk; it doesn’t have to be a long one, but at least to get out of the house and get that feeling of taking a walk to work.

Like I wrote yesterday, I don’t make plans to meet friends during daytime on weekdays. I need every day to be a tabula rasa that I can fill with whatever pops up. I never really know what will come to my inbox workwise and inspiration & flow are things that are really difficult to schedule. I do however sometimes meet my husband or friends spontaneously during the day if I all of a sudden need a change of environment. An unplanned lunch date can be very refreshing.

I hardly ever make to-do-lists (they are more stressful than helpful to me) but I try to have some routines (that I break pretty often though), like:
Packing and shipping orders at least every second or third day.
Dedicating an hour or two on one weekday to respond to emails (sadly I can’t respond to all, sorry for that).
Taking pictures every day (not because I “have” to, but because I want to).
Updating this blog (a good blogging tip is to only update when you really feel like doing it).

My work contains a lot of running errands; to buy yarn, go to the post office, do some shopping at the art supply store etc. I try to do all this by foot so I get some fresh air and exercise. Also it’s not always the most fun part of my work, so I bribe myself with coffee on the way and take a lot of pictures to feel good.

What am I working with? Since I moved to Berlin I have focused on running my online shop, making Wrist Worms, keeping up this blog, selling some pictures and interviews to magazines and working on a few amazing projects like this one. Right now I am at a turning point where I don’t really know where I’m heading, which is super exciting and I am looking forward to this spring a lot!

What do I love most about my work? That I don’t really know what will happen next – that’s what keeps me going because I am always curious of new things, surprises and changes.

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  • Reply * HOPSCOTCH * ~ Charlyn January 31, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Inspiring and lovely.


  • Reply Miss Kiki Salon January 31, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Lovely! I love your idea of taking a walk before work starts and I will adopt such practice from tomorrow!

    I adore your blog…

  • Reply Podam January 31, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    This was very nice. I've been awfully curious about your studio and work-situation <: It's so inspiring to see someone who manages a non-standard job.

  • Reply Beatriz S. January 31, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    I really love this post. Congratulations Sandra your work is amazing and your studio looks really nice (:

  • Reply Nathalie -worldly treasury- January 31, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Very nice to know. We do a lot of things the same. Enjoy!

  • Reply verU January 31, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    So beautiful, so inspiring, so tender, so relaxing and exciting 🙂

  • Reply Belle Fleur de Lis January 31, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    my working space is also seperated from the rest of the apartment, if i am not there the doors are also closed and i also need to be dressed up like i am going of to work : ) also no to do list ( don't like them ) and also no working in bed….
    i like this post very much

  • Reply paperbagblog January 31, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    I love this post! I would love to be able to fill my day with exciting projects and still make enough money for rent, bills etc. You're very talented!

  • Reply laura redburn January 31, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    i always love your photos, sandra. love this post too. it's always so good to get an insight into peoples studios and they way they work. also, your glasses are fantastic 🙂

  • Reply Samantha January 31, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Very cool entry; thanks for sharing! I also don't work in my pajamas; I find I feel sloppy in the brain if I do. However, sometimes I write in bed!

  • Reply the Blue Rabbit House. January 31, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I actually have a seperate room, but for some reason I never really used it. This year, I want this to change. I notice how much more I work when I'm – like you mention – away from anything "home". I think I might try your walk-tip.

    I need to come up with a better working routine, though. Sadly, a daily job makes it sometimes very difficult. But I've learnt a lot from reading this post. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Reply élise* January 31, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Thanks for this! This is actually very helpful to me. I recently started going to a studio outside of home and I am not sure what to think about it. But it is very nice to see people in similar situation find a way that works for them to work well. Great!

  • Reply Sonia January 31, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Yes, dress well and make up are essential for get working!!!

  • Reply June January 31, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Lovely pictures as usual!

  • Reply bromeleighad January 31, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Interesting perspective, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Astrid January 31, 2013 at 6:22 pm


  • Reply amermaidmmv January 31, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Lovely post and yes very inspring

  • Reply Hanna Päivikki January 31, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Hi Sandra! Just wanted to say hi because it was so interesting to read this. Always interested to hear people's thoughts about their work. I've been thinking about these thing a lot recently (or maybe I'm always thinking). Feel like things are changing a lot in what I do or how I see myself. I'm looking for a new workspace (studio) too but it's not an easy task because I have to feel good about it. But anyway cheers from a colleague and hugs!

  • Reply Mopsa January 31, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this post, because yours is very similar to my ideal future working situation ;P I want to have my own studio at home, for writing and creating.
    And your studio is beautiful! 🙂

  • Reply andrea January 31, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    i am amazed by your blog, by your writing, by your life, work and simple way of describing it. thank you for adding such simplicity to our lives.

  • Reply Jennifer January 31, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Breakfast with friends sounds lovely~ but I'm so different in the way I work, I really depend on to-do lists. I used to have one to do list but I find myself so much more productive when I break it into categories, and have many different lists. However, I definitely agree with dressing to feel good when working.

  • Reply sonrie February 1, 2013 at 12:20 am

    I too like the idea of a walk before work. If I worked from home I would have to set aside a transition time that is my commute now. A walk, breakfast, and photographs would be more enjoyable than my commute too!

  • Reply Helga February 1, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Hallo Sandra! Interessant deine Beschreibung:) Bin auch "Heimarbeiterin" und kenn das gut: man braucht viel Selbstdisziplin, aber dafuer hat man auch supertoll viel Spielraum.
    Ciao aus Italien

  • Reply máni February 1, 2013 at 8:40 am

    i really feel the same about staying in my pajamas for work. i do some freelance work from home now and always put on a proper outfit, otherwise i feel like i am sick and would just be lazy. often i even put some make up on, though nobody sees me.

  • Reply Jasna February 1, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Hey! All your posts are so beautiful, I follow your blog on a daily basis 🙂 I was just thinking about buying such drawer units.. is it from IKEA, right?! Is it useful? Regards from Slovenia

    • Reply sandrajuto_6360gn February 1, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      thank you jasna!
      i will give you my most honest answer: the drawer unit is super crappy. i only store things i hardly use in it so i won't have to touch it too often 😉

  • Reply klemen February 1, 2013 at 10:42 am

    As I have said many many times I love, love, love your blog. I found a lot of inspiration here. I have also mentioned your blog on mine, because I like it so much.
    Here is the link to the post: http://podezju.blogspot.com/2013/02/i-love-naj-naj.html

    Keep up the good work.


  • Reply Chapter 9 February 1, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Hi Sandra,
    Great post – it's always interesting to hear how other people work for themselves.
    My studio isn't at home & I think I work better that way – I enjoy being in a different environment, probably because I have 3 kids & so there's always so much that needs to be done at home, I would get too distracted. Plus the kids would be all over my stuff! So it's great to have 'A room of one's own'.
    Plus there's a really great coffee place just around the corner!

    Your studio looks great, that's a lovely portrait of you – love the legs 🙂

  • Reply s t E f a N i a February 1, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    I love this subject, getting an idea about the routine day of of the people we admire the work of. Having such a big lovely room where to work is a dream of mine, but I am lucky to have at least a tiny space at home dedicated to this. I wish I was able to concentrate in it as much as you, though. The rest of the house calls my attention far too often. When going to the kitchen for a cup of tea I end up getting caught in clearing up some mess, do this, do that, just to name an example 🙂
    happy friday

  • Reply Kim Welling February 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    How lovely to read your 'work routine'! I just started to work from home again myself and am still adjusting 😉
    Good luck with whatever the future brings!

  • Reply anjaguggenheim February 1, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Hi! First time visitor here. Blocking off weekdays seems only right – I wonder why I haven't thought of that! I just quit my day job to launch an online shop so am still figuring it all out. Having a few 'ground rules' while letting your work days take their own shape sounds like a very good way to go about it.

    Great post 🙂

  • Reply Mariela February 1, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    I love this post so much, so honest and refreshing.
    Is really nice to have your own space to work, I need to do that,
    hopefully this year is the year : )
    Have a great weekend!

  • Reply Victoria Firth February 2, 2013 at 2:02 am

    Well put. And what a nice pile of fabric you have there.

  • Reply Live February 2, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    So interesting and inspiring!

  • Reply Kerstin February 2, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Your home makes me swoon! And I LOVE that white chair, may I ask where you found that? I fear that you probably got it in some lovely quirky secondhand shop or flea market. It's very cool.

  • Reply lovesonic February 3, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    thank you so much for this!

  • Reply wiebke February 4, 2013 at 9:23 am

    i love this post – it is so inspiring and reminded me – being a home officer myself every other day – on what is so good about working from home and how i need to get myself out more often for walks and coffees 🙂 thank you for these lovely insights!

  • Reply wiebke February 4, 2013 at 9:26 am

    ah, and just when i pressed "publish" i thought of something i often think about – and know that some of my home working friends do have on their minds as well: do your wear shoes when you're in your studio? 🙂 i think the whole dressing up is very important to have this "professional" feeling but running around in our apartment in shoes is something i can not really get used to … but working bare feet neither! 🙂

    • Reply sandrajuto_6360gn February 4, 2013 at 9:50 am

      no shoes, i'm hopelessly swedish 😉

    • Reply wiebke February 11, 2013 at 10:01 am

      haha, so that's my swedish touch then 🙂

  • Reply Joannahavana February 6, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Hello Sandra! My name is Joanna, I live in a town of 400 people tucked deep into the San Juan mountains of Colorado. I moved here to be an ice climber but also to pursue my creativity in this beautiful & remote environment.
    Even here it is easy to be distracted (and of course I always want to be outside!); like you, I'm learning what it takes to create an environment of accomplishment. I, also, find that being up promptly in the morning & getting dressed & ready for the day is a good beginning. I also like to have a time segment set aside when I can't be doing anything else besides creating: no jumping up to check email or do laundry, just staying focused 🙂 Having a good playlist is excellent, I've found, and also planning a reward at the end of the time, like going on an outdoor adventure or having friends over. All great incentives for a creative & effective day!
    Thanks for your posts from the faraway cities you inhabit, I love to see your interaction with the urban environment. It feels like a different world & I enjoy your posts a lot! Thank you!

  • Reply dmnqurrr February 12, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Hi! I just found your blog and this post really helps me getting through some creative difficulties which I have in the moment. I'm currently working in a shared studio place with 5 other people and everybody gets his own 15 m² but it's really messy except my place. It freaks me out and I currently can't work there. It's good to here that somebody is out there who also needs his own space. I always thought i'm a introvert freak, haha.
    Have a nice week!
    – dominique

  • Reply Iveth M. March 11, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    I deeply admire the way you see things Sandra. You just own it. I love the easiness with which you embrace all possibilities. I've known your work and blog for a long time now and let me tell you, your are very inspiring to me. Reading this makes me feel hopeful in someway, like, lately I'm dealing with a lot trouble concentrating on my work (I work from home as well, have my studio here), trying to form a routine, I'm just all over the place and a total mess and meanwhile orders keep piling up and I have to say no to projects and other cool stuff because I just can figure things out, what I want, what I don't. But things like this, like reading about how you manage, really makes me feel hopeful, like with the desire to address my creative/working issues and just keep doing what I love. xx

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