How I drew my way to getting used to my new workspace (and home!)

I recently moved flats. I live in London and it’s not a secret that the renting market here is crazy. The prices are high, the properties are all over the place and the agents are very aggressive and, sometimes, unprofessional (I once went to a viewing and as the agent unlocked the door we discovered there was someone already living there. The place had been rented 2 weeks before and the agent didn’t know!)

The whole ordeal is exhausting at many levels; facing how little your money really buys in London, juggling with your schedule in order to fit viewings, dealing with agents of all kinds, making decisions under pressure, paying hefty fees, and when it’s all done; actually packing your life into boxes and moving it across the city. All while keeping up with work, shopping groceries and trying to stay sane.

It doesn’t end once you move in. The first few days in a new home are always a bit weird; everything’s new, things are not where they should and new routines are slowly replacing the old ones. It requires some time to acclimate.

When, on top of all this, your home is also your workspace things get even more difficult. Because when you work outside, all those boxes in the living room don’t take mental space once you step out of the house. You go to work and when you come back at night you undo some boxes and go to bed early while you wait for the new sofa. But when your office is in the same space and you have to get back to work just like everyone else, you just don’t get that mental rest of being away from the source of the stress for the day. It feels like there’s no way out. That’s exactly what happened to me when I first moved in to my new flat. Suddenly I couldn’t find my feet, I felt unfocused and out of place.

I couldn't point at something that wasn’t working. Objectively the new space is more suited to work than the old one ever was and I really like it here. But I I couldn’t seem to get anything right, what was an off day was turning into an off week and I was getting anxious. So I set myself on a quest to get acquainted with my new place without having to wait to get used to it by sheer habit because I really didn’t have that kind of time.

I had a walk around the flat and I pictured myself in every room doing everyday activities. I thought if I could see myself living and working here, that would help settle that something inside me that was all upset about the change. And then I had an idea;apart from just picturing myself I would draw myself living here.

And that’s what I did. I drew the things I was doing during those days and then I drew the things I was looking forward to do once I felt at home.

Magically I was working again. And before I realised I was at home.

First few showers in a new bathroom are a bit weird, like showering in a hotel.
Pizza for dinner sitting on the floor while waiting for the furniture to arrive.
Finding time for a cuppa.
I’m not a fan of the carpet.
A place for everything and everything in its place.
Enjoying the big windows.
Getting some plants to spruce up the place.
Discovering a new reading nook.
Sunbathing in the new aspect.

My name is Lucia Soto and I am an illustrator living in London. You can find my work in LuciaSoto.com or follow me on instagram to see what I’m up to.