Sally and I want to use our blog not only to show you our new work but also to give you a peak into our creative process, thus the “studios” in our title. We believe a space to make art can be wherever you make it. We hope you’ll be able to use some of our ideas to spark your own creativity.
While an art studio outside of our homes would be a dream come true, I’m lucky enough to have a room that also serves as a guest bedroom. Sharing with guests hasn’t been a problem but up until now, it’s felt more like an office and less like a place to make art. Working with a small budget and a very handy husband, I’m so excited about my “new” space and wanted to share my ideas with you while it’s still so clean and orderly.
Step one was to clear the decks. I have a great corner desk but at least 75% of my potential workspace was covered with books, papers, notes, gear — you know what I’m talking about. One objective is to have a surface for ongoing art projects that can be left out. Of course, now I needed a place to store all the stuff that had been on my desk. I knew a trip to Ikea was in the cards but I did some planning and careful measuring before going, which helped with the overwhelm factor. You can even check online and make sure your item is in stock. A tall narrow bookcase with fabric storage containers took care of most of the desktop clutter.
My next challenge was what to do with my rather large Epson printer. I have an everyday printer that sits in the dead space on my desk behind my computer. We came up with a super-inexpensive solution although it took a little magic on Charlie’s part. I bought the least expensive coffee table I could find. Charlie cut the legs off to make it fit under the desk and added casters — not that easy because the legs are hollow. He plugged the ends with wood to have something to attach the casters to.
Now whenever I need the printer, I can easily pull it out to use it. It’s close to the computer and power source and even has a shelf below for paper.
The most exciting new addition to my studio is 4 magnetic boards to use as a pinboard. One thing I’ve learned about my creative process is that I like to have things out where I can see them, I want to be able to easily change things around and there needs to be some order to the chaos. These boards are perfect for photos, magazine cut-outs, leaves — whatever you want to add to your ongoing collage. I was inspired to pull out some film prints created years ago in my basement darkroom and add those to some magazine photos and some of my newer work. I’ve just barely gotten started but it’s much more fun than I imagined it would be and gives me a break from staring at the computer screen.
Here’s one last tip for you. Several years ago Charlie built several shelves in the existing closet. I added my favorite black paint to the sliding doors and now I have plenty of storage space but no added clutter.
Ahhhh…. now I feel like I concentrate. If you do nothing more than clean off the top of your desk or work table, I promise you’ll feel the difference.