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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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 รฉlise* 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 Pรคivikki 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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 mรกni 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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 ๐Ÿ™‚
    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 ๐Ÿ˜‰
    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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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 sandrajuto_6360gn February 4, 2013 at 9:52 am

      my husband got it from someone when he was young ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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? ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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

      no shoes, i'm hopelessly swedish ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

      haha, so that's my swedish touch then ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 mยฒ 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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