by roy mackey

july 27, 2019


Corner of Powell and Commercial Drive here in Vancouver

     OK... the ARC is not really a temple but it sometimes feels like it. Mind you at times it also feels like a high security prison and even a busy amusement park!!! One thing it is not is a dull place to live as Live work buildings tend to be like that. Partially because everyone who lives here has a common thread connecting them. That is a drive to express their creativity and this is where the ARC really shines.

     If you have ever had that urge to finally get serious about your art or creative venture that has been lurking in the back of your head live work might be your answer. There are a few reasons aside from the obvious as to why live work is so good. One of the main ones is they are places where you actually can do the work you love without worrying about whining neighbors. Everyone here knows where you are coming from as they have been their themselves. Creative energy permeates live work buildings like no other.

     The studios here are all very sound proof. All of the better live work studios are. The amount of noise you can get away with in your studio is incredible. Oh sure you can't pound away on your drums as base sounds tend to get through everything. You can though grind metal, run a table saw, sander air compressor etc and rarely will anyone complain or even hear you for that matter. Playing your baby grand in your studio is also rarely an issue as is other acoustical instruments. Welding in your studio is fine as is setting up a kiln. or wood shop.

     If you are an actor or dancer you can head down to our common room and practice all night long if you wish. Musicians can head to the music practice rooms and pound out heavy metal all night if they wish. Of course we also have the wood and metal shops where once again you can work all night if you choose. On top of that we have a fully equipped gym, darkroom and kiln room complete with kilns and a kick wheel.

The Big Picture....
     There are also a lot of other advantages to live/work that often don't get talked about as much. This is how well they work overall in our new economy. In today's world the days of a nice fat paying job at IBM for thirty years is long gone. Not only jobs but whole industries can now vanish overnight. I read a stat not long ago that virtually all of the top fortune 500 companies from 20 years ago are long gone. Then if you stir in the world economy the situation gets even worse (in truth actually better but thatz another story)

     Thus if you are half on the ball you are likely not bent on putting all your eggs in one basket. Most smart people tend to diversify a little with a back up sideline or dream they want to pursue. That could be music, art, writing, inventing etc etc.  They keep the day job to pay the bills and act as a cover then under their covers they work on their sideline.

     Now if your sideline or "undercover" project involves noise or dangerous flammables or fumes etc then it gets complicated. In a normal condo, deathpartment, house or housing situation it would mean you would need to rent a workshop elsewhere. This sucks for a few reasons. First after a long day at work you have to trudge across town just to work on your project. Not to mention the added cost of renting that workshop. If you have valuable tools and don't live there then it will only be time before you get that call from the police or your alarm company. You know the one that tells you your alarm is going off. Which really tells you someone has just taken thousands of dollars worth of your stuff that you will never see again.

     With your whole life is all under one roof as in live/work it is a different story. You sleep next to the very tools that could one day make your rich, broke, famous or retired etc. Even if you did have a bad day at work it is not that hard to mosey off the couch and across the room to work on your "project" business or dream. Thus your productivity here will go through the roof. On top of that so will the exposure to what you "thought" you really wanted to do in life. I say "thought" because sometimes when we get or do our dream for awhile our perception about it can change. It is one of the reasons that I often refer to the ARC as the Artist Recovery Centre. People move here dive into their art and after a period of time snap and move into their real passion... network marketing or law school etc. I honestly believe there are a lot more starving artists that have a closet dream of being a corporate lawyer raking in the big bucks that there are rich lawyers really wanting to pursue the life as a starving artist.

     This really makes live/work even more viable. Often you pay similar rents but it is the value you get from those rents that really make the difference. It is milking that value for all you can is what takes live/work living over the top. I see it often in the city where people cannot afford a city mortgage so they buy something small out in suburbia somewhere. This shaves down their payments but ads on a two hour commute which is craziness. If you don't think so check out this bit of math.... 52 weeks in a year times five days a week equals 260 working days times 2 hours a day commuting equals 520 hours a year. Then if you divide that by 10 you end up with 52 ten hour days a year stuck in traffic!!! What could you do in 52 ten hour days? Maybe learn a language, start a business, write a book, watch youtube guilt free. The list could be endless. On top of that you have to pay for all that commuting via a car, gas, insurance, repairs, etc etc. It is death by a thousand cuts.

     With live/work it is a whole different game especially if you live close to your day job work if you have it that is. Of course for me it is even better as my work is here also. But still the more time you can save the more life you really want you can have. After all In today's world time is quickly becoming the new money.

     Hey if you want an online tour of the ARC check out the link below. The ARC is one crazy fun building with an incredible sense of community here.

This will take you over to another site. If we don't see you agin.... CheerZ till next time!!!!