Studio Tour

Okey, at the extreme risk of boring everyone stupid, here's a mini tour of my mini-studio, starting with the entrance way (click on the images for larger versions)

Say hello to my "pets". The two lions on the right are traditional house guardians you find all over Asia, they're supposed to stand in the entranceway to protect the place from evil spirits and such like. The cats are Japanese Maneki-neko, the white one ushers in wealth, the black one health. Hmm, with business as it is I think I need a bigger white cat....... The sketch behind is a doodle of my missus when we first met.

From the entrance you enter an L-shaped room and are presented with The Meeting Area, cordoned off from the work space by a display case and shelves showing my books to date. Nowadays I don't have so many clients popping over since we moved to the suburbs, but appearances must be maintained. It's not usually this tidy - I had two meetings the day before I took these pictures.

Contents of the display case. Yes, chocolate, toy soldiers and comic characters - another little boy who never grew up.

Looking backwards towards the Meeting Area from my work corner. Kitchen on left with entrance door next to it, the central door leads to the bathroom (jammed with boxes of frames). The Japanese script next to the i-Mac reads fugen jiko - "less talk more action".... I should pay a little more attention to it methinks...

Peering over the top of the i-mac in the other direction, around the L bend towards my work desk. Black boxes contain artwork. Shelves in the corner are for current job files. Shut away in the cupboard is more artwork and books. Bottom right is my dry case where I keep my collection of rare books, essential with the humidity in the Summer here (the dry case I mean , not the rare books).

Antiquarian books collection. Mainly Golden Age first editions, (spot the signed limited edition Rackhams at bottom right, hehe...)
Showing off? Me? Well you're the only people around here who might possibly know what I'm talking about, so now's my only chance! Wish I could afford to add to the collection nowadays, but times are not what they were.

My workdesk and equipment trolly. I keep meaning to get an angled table one of these days, but when I had one years ago I could never stand how pens, brushes and ink bottles kept rolling onto the floor. Somehow I just feel more comfortable working on a straight flat surface.

So what am I working on right now? Erm, as you can see, not a lot.....

Just in case you think I'd tidied up before snapping away, here's the messy corner, left untouched just for your delectation, out of view of guests.

And finally just for the extra curious - the kitchen area. Oops, need to wash up the tea left over from that meeting yesterday. That's my o-bento lunch at bottom right.

So there you have it, everything you never needed to know about me.

John in Japan


Ellen B said...

Thanks for posting these John. Have always wanted to "join" you in your very-far-away environment. Beautiful space & light. At first I thought the furniture was very interestingly-different, angular, maybe "modern-Asian"... and then I thought, actually, it could even be Swedish IKEA! Wondering about that....

rebecca said...

John, are those beautiful first-edition books the ones that were lost in a box back in England somewhere? I remember your post to the PBAA list about your despair over their loss -- then I think I remember they turned up after all, in some very likely unlikely place? It looks like a magnificent collection. Someday, if ever you have a free half hour or so, would you photograph some of the choicer interior pages for us to see? (I know, I know, in your spare time...)

John Nez said...

Gosh! I'm impressed! Looks almost like a whole apartment suite.

I'm sure you're the only one on the list with a 'greeting area lobby' in their studio! I know I don't have one... but then I haven't met a real client in decades.

I luv those midget kitchen cupboards... looks almost like a play toy kitchen.

Signed 1st edition Rackhams... there's a hidden treasure.

Thanks for the tour... since I doubt I'll be getting over to Japan anytime in the near future.


Anonymous said...

I long to look through those books John, you lucky man.

Having your studio space must make a huge difference from when you were working from your appartment. It really is a good size space, and looks efficient yet friendly.

I must get myself some of those cats and lions... I'll try anything!


Leanne Franson said...

ooo! that is so interesting... as for the soldiers, chocolate etc ... that is VERY adult... so tidy, so museum like, so collectible! I was relieved to see some clutter... liked the empty kleenex box, the pink piggy butt. Is the furniture Ikea? I like the tall furniture that has all the closetogether shelves. I could use something like that. I have two furniture with 20x30" shallow drawers (one is a retired pantone film my airbrush colors, another item that was felled by the computer revolution, and I got it for $20 from the art store)... but they fill up quick. I could use some taller shelving for papers. Well, thanks for sharing. That was great. And I once found a whole blog ONLY on bento box lunches... one a day. too cool.

John Shelley said...

Thanks everyone. I love my studio, Of all the studios I've had I think this one's my favorite (you wouldn't have seen pictures of the nightmare years I worked at home!). One of the things I'll regret more than anything when I come to leave this country is losing the studio. But can't be helped.

The furniture is Japanese - Iremonya, Cibone and others. My work chair is a Steelcase Leapchair - very comfortable, though I tend to spend more time in front of the i-mac on a rubbishy old chair I've had for years.

John Shelley said...

Ah yes the books - you're right Rebecca they're the very same volumes I thought I'd lost a third of in transit (and which turned up in my ex-wife's possession). But everything's together now in one piece. If I leave Japan next year (which is beginning to seem increasingly likely) I'll be hauling them back to the UK again. Ha!

Marilee said...

How wonderful for you, John, after all those years of working in a corner of your home! And those first edition Rackhams - I'd love to see them. What a precious collection!