Saturday, January 11, 2014

Where I Create - Designing the Art Studio to be Functional and Inspirational

It's important that Where I Create is inspirational as well as functional. Sacred Space within it is essential as the intention of my artwork is meant to be healing, meaningful, and uplifting, not only for me, but for what I put out to the world. When setting up the space it should immediately make one feel good, feel excited, and full of ideas.

 Last month I began setting up a new studio. I needed it have several work stations, because I create in many mediums. A lot of art supplies go along with those different mediums; clay, fabric, beads, and embellishments for Art Dolls, various boxes, papers, and embellishments for altering Shrines, sculpting tools and supplies for gourd art, and then paint and canvas. I needed to be able to set up the supplies where I could easily find them and have them nearby where I create.
This was the beginning. It was overwhelming, thankfully I had extra "muscle" to help.

I started by setting up the outside perimeter of the room. The long 10 foot table went up against the windows first. During the day they bring in a fabulous amount of light. I used old drawers that had wood section dividers in them, and turned them up on their sides to store supplies in. Ott lights were placed on each end of the table. I use the underneath of the table as storage for recent paintings, paintings in progress, glass boards, and extra bins of supplies that aren't used AS often.

I later brought in another wooden table and placed in the middle, forming a "T" off of the large table. I covered it with large pieces of shipping paper to catch paint that can later be easily replaced. This is now the hub of my work. Always having a paint palette on the end, which is a large white enamel tray, I am ready to paint at any moment whether it is on canvas or for a gourd or doll. The shelf underneath that table holds stacks of watercolor tablets, sketchbooks, bookmarks, greeting cards, and smaller forms of "canvas".

Wooden shelves come from the long work table and around to create a corner and somewhat of a wall. Old suitcases, hat boxes, and bins hold feathers, beads, papers, wool, alpaca fibers, and tons of fat quarters and fabric.
This is my inspiration space opposite from the work tables. The glass shelves on the side hold books of quotes, poetry, and other "feel good" reads. A small notebook sits on the shelf to jot down ideas that pop into my head while working. When my back and joints are giving me a lot of pain (from Lupus and Carpal Tunnel), I will pull a tray table over to the couch, curl up, and create or sketch there. This is also the place where my ever present furry assistant will lay down while she watches over me.
The small antique desk sits on one side of the room. Underneath I store shipping paper, bubble wrap, shipping tags, and tape. There is a shelf that slides out from underneath giving more work space, so this is where I can wrap orders.
This workspace for making glass jewelry. Ott lights were hung, and the space is just big enough to hold the supplies and have a space to work.

On this end of the space I keep my laptop on a glass desk, along with printer, shipping boxes, and stacks of canvas. Recently I just hung an "art line" that holds illustrations that are works in progress for a children's book.

Inside the cubbies are tubes and bottles of paints.

Tiny Altoids tins and boxes hold beads and charms, each of them labeled so that I can find them easily.
Jars and bottles are filled with gemstone and beads, tons of beads.

The studio continually evolves to fit the needs, allows me lots of options for different ways to create, and is always inspirational.

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