Classes and Creative Spaces

Introducing The Studio Space


I was talking last week about dreams and plans for different kind of spaces on the web.

Being of impatient disposition, that’s as much trailing as I can manage for I’m now itching to tell you what’s afoot.  What’s afoot for the first space anyway; the other will take a little bit longer for me to work out where the nuts and bolts are supposed to go;-)

Without further ado let me introduce space #1….


… drum roll….

Here it is.

The Studio Space

The Studio Space is a virtual studio where you can experiment, test ideas, explore concepts, think out loud and banish fears in a safe and supportive environment.

The studio space has been designed with women in mind.

It’s been created with web-work in mind: its challenges and frustrations.

It’s open to creative spirits everywhere.

The Studio Space gives you:

  • A place where you can share ideas, work-in-progress, and new material within the confines of a small, supportive group (max 50) before you’re ready to share with a wider world
  • The opportunity to get encouragement and support, plus feedback at the points where you need it
  • A network of other creative pioneers to learn from and with, and to help promote each others’ work
  • A chance to explore some of the specifics around creating on the web: either technical issues you’re facing (or have cracked), or dealing with the good (and not so good) of social media as a means to promote your work
  • The opportunity to bounce ideas off me (unlimited email support while you’re a member of the studio)

How It Works

The Studio Space is on Ning, which is a social networking site that you can adapt to create small, private group spaces. It’s easy to use and if you’re already creating on the web and using things like a blogging platform, Twitter or Facebook you’ll be able to pick up Ning quickly and easily. (Plus if you have any problems I’ll help you out with technical support.)

You will be able to post ideas, reflections, question and new material on the site, and ask for the kind of feedback you’d find useful to you.

There’s also a forum where you can explore technical, webby or creative issues with others, and hopefully find the answers you’re looking for.

The space will be moderated by me to ensure a positive and constructive environment for everyone who’s working within it.

You also get unlimited email access to me while you’re a member of the studio to ask questions, explore ideas or just get a bit of moral support (we all need it sometimes!)

What it Costs

Membership of the studio costs $20 a month. Payment is through PayPal. You can join any time, stay for as long as you think it is helpful, and leave when it suits you. Of course you’re welcome to come back anytime you need a bit more space, encouragement or support!

Opening the Doors

I’ll be opening the doors in mid November. (I’m moving house in early November so want to get that bit out of the way first. Yes, you read it right, moving again.)

I’m taking notes of interest from just now - please just email me at joanna [@] with STUDIO SPACE in the title of the message to let me you’re interested (and/or, of course, to ask any questions and check things out.)

Why Designed With Women in Mind?

Two main reasons, based on my experience of working and creating on the web.

1 ) women have a particular way of getting themselves stuck, and blocking their creative process

2) women also have a particular way of encouraging and supporting each other, and building phenomenally strong networks

This isn’t unique to women of course, nor do all women create and work in this way.

The doors of the studio are open to all creative spirits (until we’re full - capacity is 50)

What Kind of Creating?

Let’s see… You might be creating:

  • Music
  • Writing: non-fiction, fiction, poetry, songs, business blogs, guides
  • Photography
  • Art: painting, sketches, greeting cards, collages
  • Teaching opportunities
  • Business ideas
  • New ways of doing things
  • Dreams
  • Belief that another way is possible
  • Communities

I don’t know… what are you creating?

The Origins of the Idea

The idea for The Studio Space emerged in part from my own craving for a (real world, offline) studio: somewhere to practice, create, make a mess, explore. In an ideal world it would be part of a bigger community of artists, thinkers, dreamers, writers, poets… but I haven’t (yet) found that space. Not in the real world anyway.

Which made me think it might be possible to create at least part of the same effect - the same space, the same chance to work together - in an online setting.

It’s an experiment and a work in progress. I have no doubt it will be shaped by the way it is used by those who inhabit the space. Luckily it’s easy to make changes and alterations in the online world. No builders required ;-)


Thanks everyone for your comments and reactions to The Studio Space.  I knew this was going to be a work in progress ;-)

I’ve adjusted the description of the studio so it better reflects the intent - a spaced designed with women in mind but open to all creative spirits.

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17 Responses to “Introducing The Studio Space”

  1. On October 19, 2010 at 8:51 am Jan Scott Nelson
    Twitter: JanScottNelson
    responded with... #

    I’m definitely up for this, Joanna - I have my own online studio space but it can get a bit lonely and I long to be able to bat ideas aboutwith other women especially as I feel I’m at a crossroad myself.
    Thank you for, once again, providing precisely what I need.
    Jan Scott Nelson´s last blog ..New eyesMy ComLuv Profile

  2. On October 19, 2010 at 11:12 am Chris responded with... #

    This sounds great! I’m currently working on a nonfiction project and am struggling to find the *right* place to share, explore and solicit feedback. I’ll keep an eye on this. Thank you!
    Chris´s last blog ..SpitMy ComLuv Profile

  3. On October 19, 2010 at 11:12 am Linda Hartley responded with... #

    Oh dear, Joanna. Sadly, I am not going to join you and my main reason is that you are excluding men. I suspect only a few men would want to join but if they are drawn to the space then they should be able to take part. I feel it is as morally wrong to specifically exclude anyone for reasons of gender as it would be for race or age or sexual orientation. I’m disappointed.
    Linda Hartley´s last blog ..Fun with charcoalMy ComLuv Profile

  4. On October 19, 2010 at 12:15 pm Sheila Glazov responded with... #

    Joanna. I’m looking forward to learning more about the new Studio. You generous creativity is always a treat! Best of luck with you move and new home. Cheers! Sheila

  5. On October 19, 2010 at 3:38 pm Karen Swim responded with... #

    Joanna, this is brilliant! I also love the idea of limiting it to creative women. In working with both genders, I agree that women do face similar challenges and we do have a different way of supporting one another. In fact, I have always said one of the reasons I had a great marriage is because I had great women friends. I got the needed female support and camaraderie from my women friends and didn’t need to try to turn my hubby into another girlfriend. :-) It was great for marriage, and I know it will be great for my creative relationships too!

  6. On October 19, 2010 at 7:01 pm Lea Woodward responded with... #

    I love this concept, Joanna and (as you know) feel that women who work together can create something uniquely powerful.

  7. On October 20, 2010 at 2:11 am Elle B. responded with... #

    I love this idea and completely support limiting it to women. Sometimes we just need a space to ourselves in order to create our deepest work. I’m definitely interested.
    Elle B.´s last blog ..On Blogging- Books and Dug The DogMy ComLuv Profile

  8. On October 20, 2010 at 10:04 am Julie Gibbons
    Twitter: JulieGibbons
    responded with... #

    Wonderful news, Joanna…

    I’m reading this *right now* and it struck me to be somehow related;

    “As human beings we have a powerful need to be creative - a need that is powered or fuelled by our very nature… It isn’t about aesthetics: that creativity is the lateral thinking, the playful exploration and curiosity, the reckless decisions that lead us to innovation, the trying out of ideas and making tiny adjustments or radical changes. The aesthetics shine through when our thinking manifests into something we’ve created which brings a deeply intuitive satisfaction. That visceral sensation and appreciation of beauty comes when we behold something that works, the more beautiful it seems.”

    From Kissing the Hag, Emma Restall Orr

  9. On October 20, 2010 at 10:10 am Jan Scott Nelson
    Twitter: JanScottNelson
    responded with... #

    I am LOVING the complete title of that book, Julie. It made me stamp my feet with joy, laughter and recognition! And the quote could not be more relevant as I have just (this very hour) *discovered* a new way of working with my photographs that has given me that “visceral sensation and appreciation of beauty”. Wow!
    Can’t wait for this group to start - in fact I think it’s started already!
    Jan Scott Nelson´s last blog ..New eyesMy ComLuv Profile

  10. On October 20, 2010 at 5:55 pm Jackie Walker responded with... #

    For women by a woman who understands how women work. I love this concept Joanna. If there are networking groups which allow only women (and there are), why can’t there be a creative studio space doing the same?
    I’m rooting for you and the success of the studio - you’ve helped me so much with my understanding of technology and by helping me create my website, I know first hand that others will get the very same patient, warm, creative responses and prompts from you.
    Jackie Walker´s last blog ..Fullness of ProcessMy ComLuv Profile

  11. On October 20, 2010 at 7:14 pm Elle B responded with... #

    @Julie Gibbons: Julie, amazing quote, which I’m going to print out and put above my computer. Just checked Kissing The Hag on Amazon and it’s looking like a must-read (like Jan, I think the title alone might have sold me)!
    Elle B´s last blog ..On Blogging- Books and Dug The DogMy ComLuv Profile

  12. On October 20, 2010 at 9:38 pm Robert Hruzek responded with... #

    Sounds like a great idea, Joanna; I just *know* you’ll make it a success! A small part of me was disappointed to see it’s “ladies only”, but what the hey, I don’t begrudge y’all that at all. It would be nice to see how y’all are doin’ every now and then, though.

    p.s. I can’t believe you’re moving again! Before long you might even catch up with me! (62 moves over 29 years… and counting!) :-O
    Robert Hruzek´s last blog ..And Speaking of Imponderable Questions…My ComLuv Profile

  13. On October 22, 2010 at 10:47 am Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Thanks everyone for your comments and reactions to The Studio Space. I knew this was going to be a work in progress ;-)

    I’ve adjusted the description of the studio so it better reflects the intent - a spaced designed with women in mind but open to all creative spirits.

    @Jan Scott Nelson: no doubt you were once again inspiring me Jan with your work, and the way you approach it. Sometimes I don’t even realise the effect until after the event!

    I do think it’s hard to develop new material in isolation. I know you’re sharing things online but the web is a very *big* space and it’s hard to invite the kind of feedback we really need. I’m hoping this will help provide the right kind of medium for growth and exchange.

    @Chris: that sounds like just the kind of project… and space requirements… I had in mind. Do keep in touch!

    @Linda Hartley: Linda, thanks for really getting me to think hard about this one. It is one of the best things about creating on the web, we are always given the chance to learn from each other

  14. On October 22, 2010 at 10:51 am Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    @Sheila Glazov: Sheila thank you, once again, for your encouragement and support. It is much appreciated.

    @Karen Swim: thanks for the encouragement as ever Karen x it was a conversation between us on Twitter that was one of the prompts for this… the feeling that the social media spaces we inhabit are too big to get the kind of structure and support we sometimes need to grow and develop new material. The big rooms are great for some things, but not everything.

    @Lea Woodward: Thanks Lea. Me too, and have seen it so often in action ;-)

  15. On October 22, 2010 at 10:58 am Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    @Elle B.: Glad the concept resonates… do keep in touch, would be great to see you there!

    @Julie Gibbons: that is a stunning quote Julie! I do think we need space - and structure - to do the manifestation bit. And the right kind of support. And yes, Kissing the Hag is a must read title for me too!

    @Jackie Walker: thanks for squeezing in a wee testimonial there Jackie, you’re a star!

    @Robert Hruzek: 62 moves? Oh my! I am hoping this will be the last move for a very long time. Of course I have heard myself say that before but this time, I really hope so.

    Thank you for the gentleness of your reply. You helped me to see the way to open the doors wide.



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