1930s hair dryer

Guess what that is. It’s a hair dryer from the 1930s. Isn’t it swell? Back then it seems like household objects were designed specifically so they could also look good hanging on a wall. Which is what I did in 2008. I created wall art using the retro hair dryer and painted cardboard. It was cool, then we moved and I never got around to recreating the piece.

I was reminded of the wall art when I cleaned up the screen print studio this past week. I’ve been meaning to take on that project for several years, but print jobs kept getting in the way. Not bad for an excuse to avoid cleaning. I’ll take it.

The recent CoronaVirus Stay-at-Home orders (suggestions?) have meant that the screen printing business has slowed down quite a bit. But it also brought me a gift in the form of time. While the printing business took a breather, I was suddenly staring at a studio filled with old rags, boxes, dirty screens, dirty presses and dirty, hoarded art stuff like that hair dryer. I was also fresh out of the excuses I used up in March like, “Somebody might have commented on my twitter post!” With no twitter friends to save me, I faced reality and picked up the broom.

It actually turned out to be super cathartic. Aside from the aforementioned hoarder hair dryer, I found lots of other useful things I can use (uh, fishing line?). Besides sifting through old junk and breaking down boxes, I also created a new water filtration system. It reclaims water from the studio, filters it, and runs outside to water our roses.

This is your brain on stay-at-home.

I have more to do. And it sure would be great to have the presses running again. But the experience brought me a sense of newness, like refreshing my browser and seeing images show up again. The business is refreshed. I’m refreshed. I feel like we’ll be ready to go when things start opening up again.

I know that it’s going to be different from here on out. It’s never going to be 1938 with super arty hair dryers ever again and it’s never going to be like it was before “social distancing.” In many ways, that’s a good thing.

This little interlude has woken up my brain to new ideas for the business that I think will help diversify our offerings so we’re not just depending on print orders. I’m actually pretty excited about the future.

Have you had any breakthrough experiences lately? I want to hear from you! Add a comment below, or send me email at dj at littlesidegig dot com.

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