3 Tips on Finding a Place to Make Your Art

No Studio? No Problem!

Small Studio | Small Space | Studio Space-saver Tips | Artist Daily
Maybe not ideal, but you can learn to paint or draw in a small space. Even with a model!

There are people who can sleep anywhere — in a car, on a couch, even standing up. I’m not one of those people. And it is the same for when I find the time to make art.

I can’t just plop down and do it anywhere. It doesn’t feel right, and I get distracted too easily by other stuff. But I don’t have the budget to have a separate studio somewhere I can go to get away from it all.

And, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. Many of us have to get creative and find ways to do our art in our homes which allow us to focus and spread out, but also clean up and store away work easily.

Here are three ways to make the most of your art-making space, studio, floor, closet, or wherever it may be!

1. Find space savers. The biggest hurdle many of us have to overcome is finding enough space. I’ve worked on the floor, at a table, with my work pinned on a wall and at an easel. I definitely recommend experimenting similarly before you decide to draw or paint one particular way.

You want to use all your space optimally and not stretch and reach for things. But, beyond that, you need to be open and let your process guide you.

2. Stay organized. I also never give in to the impulse to keep my art supplies scattered around.

Putting things here and there disrupts your flow when you set out to work. You may constantly have to get up and search for an ink pen or paint tube instead of actually working. That’s why I have a single box of stuff, and everything goes in it. What’s more? I make sure my art box is always in the same place.

Small Studio | Small Space | Studio Space-saver Tips | Artist Daily
That’s a lot of brushes! Be mindful of what you really need if you are working in a less than spacious studio area.

3. Don’t be a hoarder. It can also be a really good idea to be kind of cutthroat when it comes to hoarding supplies and materials. I stay really lean in terms of the collage materials, paints and sketchbooks I keep on hand. This way, I have more space to make art — not store art supplies.

Bonus Tip: Get Inspired

Once you are in the studio, or wherever your art process may be, I wish you the best of luck making the most of your creative time there. For me, it takes awhile to settle down and get in the right mindset.

I am thinking about starting each session with a few quick exercises to get my head clear. The Days of Doodles: Zen Coloring Kit is chock full of inspiring zen doodles to clear your mind, warm up your hands, and get the creativity flowing. I hope you try it and it is much the same for you. Enjoy!

What is your studio like and are you happy with it? Challenges you’ve faced? Leave a comment and let me know!

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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.   

8 thoughts on “3 Tips on Finding a Place to Make Your Art

  1. I received a gift of a 7 foot counter from a Dairy Queen store my husband was remodeling. The top is a wonderful place to work. The back has access to three sections. One for drawing, one for painting, and one for other stuff like my camera. I am very thankful for this area. I can leave the latest project out & can work even five minutes without having to spend time to get out and put everything away. This is not a studio or even room but it is just right for me. I do have to have one rule. If I can’t find a place for a new item then an old one must find a new owner. Small, convenient and I get to spend more time doing what I love to do.

  2. I have a large bedroom which I also use for a studio {just a small area}. I clean up well and remove my current painting to another room so that I don’t breath in any toxic fumes. We have a room in the basement which could have easily been setup for a studio, but I like to be close to the hub of the home. Plus there is a lot more light in the bedroom. Lynn

  3. My mom was a watercolorist and she died in November 2011, leaving me her small drafting table and art supplies. I have not worked on any artwork since 1998 and decided it was time to take it up again so I started taking watercolor painting classes. Since the dining room table wasn’t working, my husband put her table together for me and we set it up in the dining room (900 sq ft house, not an extra inch of space to put a table and supplies!). Our dining table is now pushed against a wall so that there is room for me and my stuff. We have no children so I can leave my things out in the open, ready to work, except when we have guests!

    Just using Mom’s table and materials makes me feel so much closer to her. I have never painted before and I’m finding that I love it and I’m not bad at it!
    Karen

  4. First, my sympathy to Karen. It’s always too soon to lose your mother. I’m sure she’s very proud of you for trying something new! Maybe you could make some pieces as sort of a memory journal?
    Second, I have a wonderful sewing studio (with drafting board), but I’m afraid to paint there because of the white carpet. So I drag my painting supplies to the kitchen table. Is there any way to protect carpet when watercoloring?

  5. @4Beauty, I don’t have a white carpet, but I still want to protect the floor where I do my artwork since I’m using as my studio a teeny nursery/bedroom in an old house I’m trying to preserve. To protect the floors, I use a plastic floor protector from IKEA, US$20 last time I checked. I’ve provided a link to it, in case you’d like to check it out: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/44881100/

  6. My studio is in 2 separate rooms and in a basement. I don’t like it but it is better than nothing LOL. Each issue of studios and posts on blogs brings me closer to creating my ideal studio that will encompass my writing, stamping/ scrapbooking, quilting, sewing, mixed media. The floor plan is done, most of how I store stuff now is compatible. Hubby and I are at the ‘affordability’/ ‘feasibility’ stage of the process.

    My priced piece for storage is a large 3-section entertainment center my daughter left behind when she moved out. I determined the size of the drawers and hubby built them. It’s a wonderful repurposed item!

  7. My studio is a tiny room on the 3rd floor (it is actually the only room on the 3rd floor!) and I am constantly fighting this battle! I do collage and mixed media and STUFF is constantly falling out of boxes, or being moved around. I like to do experimental things as well (gelli art, clay making, etc) and so I have even more to stuff around. I try to pare down and then the next thing I know, more things catch my eye. Know it intellectually and then carrying through doesn’t always connect. On top of all that, I have a chronic illness which leaves me very small amounts of energy to create, and so I don’t want to use up my energy cache to sort and move things. I find doing that very frustrating, so …… I really have no answer!

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