It's nice when your work space is tidy. I'll show you around a little bit. I use a lot of cigar boxes for storage.
I like my bulletin board. Right now, there is the color wheel up because I'm making color studies. This is a kind of storage unit called a taboret. It has drawers and open spaces as well. With my desk, it forms an "L."
Here's my washi tape. Yummy but the box is full, so I'd better use some up if I want to buy more.
I try my best to keep to that rule. And really, there is no scarcity of art supplies around here. This bookshelf is right behind my desk and, along with my journals, I store a load of supplies there.
Some things don't make any sense but I know where everything is.
You can get cigar boxes from any cigar store, ebay, flea markets. I affix brass labels to the fronts with superglue and put the labels in. The white boxes are from Ikea. I like them because they store flat and have a place for a label on the front. Ziplock bags are awesome for many things.
I used to keep shoe organizers over the doors in the studio and they are great places to store supplies. All of the doors are down now in favor of a more open feel.
If you have any good organization tips, let us know.
If you don't read the text in this post, it may appear to be a "perfect life" post. The photos are from around my studio.
Looks can be deceiving.
These lovely pictures are the surface. And I have a perfect life. You probably do as well.
Most days you start out with a plan, right? You get up all rarin' to go. Drop a glass in the bathroom and step on a shard. Spend the rest of the day limping around and cussin'. Get the jobs done. Keep going. Get a great email or see someone you love. Spill your coffee on your favorite shirt.
Forget to bring the packages you need to put in the post. And then there you are driving home in the middle of a most amazing sunset and somehow you realize that you do have a perfect life. And this is it.
Perfect has to be flawed. Or it wouldn't be perfect. Flaws are part of the wonder of life. So is hard work and problems. If there were not problems to solve, where would the challenge lie? If you hadn't been limping around (and cussin') all day because of that shard of glass in your foot, it wouldn't really be such a treat to stick your feet into a bucket of warm, sudsy water.
This is real life. Don't believe everything you read on blogs and in magazines and what you see on TV.
Books in no particular order because it is fun not knowing what is going to come at you next:
Photos in this post: Art Journals, More Art Journals, Mini art journals, part of my flip book collection, art supplies.
Recently, this note popped into my email box. I completely related to her situation and thought some of you folks would as well.
... my art studio is a good walk from the house, I like it because I can leave it messy, and do not have to worry about spills. (But), it is cold, and lonely out there. Back at the house, I can only write with pens or markers. I find myself stuck at working on any journal (page), because for writing what I’m thinking, pens and/or markers are better, but for art, I have to get messy. I never know whether my little book should stay out in the barn, or be here in the house … Do you have any suggestions?"
Yes. I do. Scattered around this post today are pictures of vignettes from my studio.
My studio is on the third floor of my old house: cold in winter, hot in summer.
It used to feel lonely and removed up there so I made some changes.
Good lighting: I have overhead florescents in the studio but I added lamps here and there to give it a warmer feel. When working in the evenings, I light a candle or two.
Sounds: I have a radio and iPod with its home base so that I can listen to music or talk shows. Sometimes, I'll even watch a movie on Netflix if I'm doing something repetitive.
Sights: Some of my favorite items are in my studio such as my singing bowl (left) and my stone collection.
All of my journals are stored on shelves in my studio. I can spend a peaceful hour thumbing through. There is another bookshelf (or 2) with my favorite artbooks, books on writing, craft and poetry.
These touches around my studio make it warm and homey.
Granted, this is my work space and I spend most of every work day here. But even if your workspace is an extra room, it may feel like just a place to land while you work. If you "warm it up," you may feel more inclined to go there.
This post takes for granted that your space is tidy (somewhat) and clean-ish. That is really important. Well, at least for me. I find it really difficult to feel comfortable in a totally trashed space. It is distracting.
If you do need some organizing, look at Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's Organization Week posts, here, for some tips. My best tip on organizing is that you can't get a dinosaur into a chicken egg. In other words, you have "X" amount of space. Period.
I frequently work in my journal at night. I have a space in the livingroom carved out for that. It is small and compact. My travel watercolors and some other supplies (really enough for anyone to journal with) are stored in that space. I'll talk more about that space in another post. At the end of my workday, I pack a basket to transport my journal and any other extra supplies that I may need for the evening. My pens are always in that basket and sometimes my Inktense pencils or markers make the trip.
Artistic blocks can come in many forms and confusion is one that is familiar to me. What to do and where to do it is a legitimate question for those of us who have studios.
I'd love ot hear if anyone else is in this situation and if you have solutions, let us know!