The why, how, + who of Second Home.
Updated: Jul 15, 2019
Hey! I’m Kirsty, the director of Second Home Studio + Cafe. Second Home will be an open art studio + cafe in Aberdeen city centre which will regularly host art classes, workshops, and events. In this little blog post, I’ll talk about the why of Second Home, how it came about, and who’s running it. I hope you find it helpful, or that you feel like you know me, and the business a little better!
W H Y
When I talk about Second Home Studio + Cafe, people tend to imagine I’m talking about two completely separate things, but I’m not. Imagine a cafe space, with creative materials available for everyone to use. Thats what I mean when I say “open art studio”. It will be a place where anyone can come in, enjoy a great coffee and use the materials available to create something.
The idea revolves around making art accessible to everyone. By this I mean:
- Making materials available for all to use.
- Making space for practicing artists/students.
- Creating a supportive atmosphere and building relationships within the creative community.
- Having an accessible space physically.
- Hosting classes to suit a range of abilities and needs.
- Hosting classes at affordable prices.
- Talking about art in simple terms.
All in all, I just really want a space where anyone and everyone can walk in and feel at home enough to express themselves creatively and connect with others.
H O W
I’ve spoken a little bit about how the idea came about in our “about” section on the website, but I thought I’d expand a little more if you’d like to know.
The idea for Second Home Studio + Cafe was inspired by Brand X, an artist led initiative in Sydney, Australia which turns under-utilised urban spaces into studios for artists, musicians and performers. The studio that I happened to stumble on (I was completely lost and I still could not tell you where I was), was an open studio with 5 artists on a 6 month residency. The space also had a collaborative exhibition, and an open studio for everyone to use with art materials and a piano.
At the time, I was struggling massively with anxiety and being lost in a huge city which I’d traveled to all by myself was completely overwhelming (which is a common traveling experience that no one really talks about). Something drew me into this shopping centre. I could reason that maybe thought I would find a map inside, but had I not been completely lost in a random shopping centre on the other side of the world, I would of never found what inspired me to create something that I now consider my purpose in life. I cried as someone played the piano in the open room. I knew then that I needed to bring this home.
W H O
I'm Kirsty, the director of Second Home Studio + Cafe and the sole employee at this point. I might refer to the business as “we”, but it’s actually all just me. So we should get to know each other!
My basic info is that I have a HND in Visual Communication and a Bachelor of Art degree in Fashion Communication from Heriot Watt University. I didn’t stay to work towards my Honours because I already knew that after 2 years, I didn’t want to work in the fashion industry. Since then, I’ve worked and lived in Melbourne, Aberdeen and Glasgow and I’ve been working on the plans for Second Home for a good few years. It doesn’t take THAT long to actually write a business plan, but I’ve had a few setbacks which are mainly just due to my mental wellbeing.
Some other things you might like to know about me - I can ice skate pretty well and although I only started skiing at 26, I’m actually okay at that too! That might paint me as a bit of an ice queen (which I’m sure teenage Kirsty actually loved being), but I’m the biggest softie ever. I cry at adverts, cute dogs, and compliments. I’m a vegetarian and I’m actively cutting down on my dairy consumption because I care about the environment, waste, and animals. I’m a feminist and an ally. I’m an illustrator and I’m going to be learning along with all of you at most of the classes we’ll be hosting. Keep an eye out for the hashtag #KirstyIsShitAtThings.
Perhaps the most important thing you should know about me above all other things - I love a chin photo. I will ruin every photo opportunity with a big old double chin.
W H A T N E X T
So you may of noticed that we keep saying “will be”. Well, Second Home hasn’t found it’s home in Aberdeen just yet. We’re keeping an eye out for the perfect premises but, even with all the properties you see to let on the street, it’s not as easy as it looks. Many of these properties, for whatever reason, are unsuitable. Some don’t allow start-up independent companies like us, some don’t allow for class 3 (for cafe/restaurant use), some are listed buildings meaning we can’t make any real changes, and some are not accessible. I think it’s really important that we start off on the right foot with the right premises and I guess all the ones we’ve missed out on, just weren’t meant to be.
We’re currently running classes from Parx Cafe (19a Rubislaw Terrace) which is my current full time place of work. Big thanks to Boss Kirsty for letting me use the space. Love and appreciate you. Also just a quick shout out to all the other people that have supported me so much so far including my mum, Elizabeth Cameron, my partner Jon Fucking Murray, Ica Hedlam of Creative Me Pocast and my business advisor Emilia Stanczyk. Seriously, thank you all.
If you’d like to attend a class, click our classes page on the website. If you’d like to help out with a class or run one with us, please do contact me! We’re open to collaboration and help.
So for now, we’ll keep running classes, blogging, and looking for premises. Thank you for being on this journey with me. I really appreciate all your support and love.