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Working Outside The Box

It was not my vision growing up to work in an office building, the dreaded cubicle, that box that I’m speaking out against.

My vision has always been one of working from an art studio and not being confined by both the description of my job, or the size of the box that a company has fit me into for days that range from 8 to 16 hours easily in the field of Visual Effects.  Yet, I did this for many years before I reached the point where I had had enough and wanted out of the box, the office building, and Los Angeles in general.

About four or five years ago I started to talk about telecommuting and telling managers at different companies, that I couldn’t afford to buy a home in Los Angeles, and that if I bought one in the suburbs of Los Angeles I would see my family even less than I was seeing them already.   I wrote a report that was twenty pages long touting the obvious ecological benefits of telecommuting and outlining what kind of techniques and technology I would help build in order to make telecommuting a reliable methodology for artists. I offered to help build the infrastructure myself because indeed, to pay for the expensive software and high end systems myself was still far less expensive than trying to delude myself that I would be able to buy a home in Los Angeles.   Other employees came up to me curious and encouraging, but management did not agree with this vision at all.

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A Cube with a View

Having arrived in Colorado my wife and I with our son in tow were looking around the house and property trying to decide where I would set up a studio.  The vision of taking the stable and converting it into a studio was pretty strong.    It’s just twenty feet from the creek which wanders on the northern border of our property.  I imagined windows cut out and being able to see the creek while I worked.

The stable is a little further from the house, maybe forty or fifty feet.   Far enough away that when I’m working late I wouldn’t disturb anyone.    So  I called an engineer to come and check it out.  We knew it had to get cleared by him before we could do anything.   After measuring and looking it over he told me that to set up a studio inside I’d have to raise the whole stable two feet to get it above the flood plain.   The stable is sixty three feet in length and roughly 18 feet wide so this started to feel like a bad start to such a lovely vision.    What did he think it would cost to raise the stable?   He told me that it could probably be done for $60,000 dollars.   That there may be other things I could do if I wanted to get around the flood plain rules but in the end just finishing the stable would cost a lot as well.

So I decided to do what I often do in a situation like this.  I back burner it.   It doesn’t mean I give up on the vision of having my studio in the stable, it would be too much money for a fledgling business.   Instead I went to our big two car garage, plan B.

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