Besides business planning and attending to some household projects, I am trying to reorganize my art studio this January. Not that I didn't try, oh, maybe eight times already in 2013. Each time I went through a crazy busy few weeks, I got frustrated with the clutter and chaos that accumulated (see evidence above). This month, I'm determined to devote the time and energy to designing a creative space that will really work, that needs only minor adjustments in the year ahead. As I embark, it feels a little insurmountable.
See Jane Get Organized.
So, I've decided to document my haphazard journey through the headaches, blank stares, and exasperated sighs of sorting out a busy space so that others - especially other messy creatives like myself - might learn some things along with me.
I've thought a lot about what I need my art studio space to be. I've done a lot of research about storage ideas and room layouts (oh, how I love you, Pinterest), but when it comes down to it, the most clever or most beautiful ideas won't work if they don't suit my space and my work habits. So, I've come up with three qualities that my art studio must have:
I need some empty spaces where unfinished projects or odds and ends can reside until I have time to put them away. Several organization blogs and books I've read say that you shouldn't have empty spaces where clutter can accumulate. Clearly, those authors are not as flawed as I am: my reality is not so orderly, so I'm going to accommodate my more casual working style. So there.
I have a lot of things to store in my studio: upcycled materials, tools, art supplies, books, shipping and packaging supplies, and jewelry making supplies, to name a few. I want to group them together according to their purpose so that it's easier for me to find things.
2. The Capability to Evolve
My work habits and projects change over time, so my storage and organization can't be so permanent that they can't be altered. That is to say, I don't think I'll ever have a studio with spiffy built-ins or wall-mounted shelves, a la HGTV. I opt for open shelves and an eclectic hoard of different sized containers that can accommodate my changing work.
Starting at the End
The Magazine Art Studio Perfectly Staged for Creating . . . um . . . Conversation?
Seriously? White shag carpet? Imagine it in six months with paint globs, glue gobs and tiny pieces of paper all through it. Certainly, there is a place for everything, but as soon as the occupant of this idyllic aqua oasis takes anything out of a mason jar to do some work, they'll have nowhere to put it. Unless they wear a giant apron with big pockets. But that would be rather uncomfortable.
A Real Artist's Studio Where Chaos is its Own Form of Organization
True, this is more representative of my sense of order, but I would cry if I had to work in here. This is the art studio of twentieth century Irish artist Francis Bacon. I get a little short of breath just looking at this photo. How did this guy find anything? Perhaps he knew what was in and under each heap of stuff. I often use my creative nature as an excuse for my messiness, but this is a little extreme even for me.