3 Tips on Finding a Place to Make Your Art

2 Aug 2012

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 that I can go to get away from it all.

That's a lot of brushes! Be mindful of what you really need if you are working in a less than spacious studio area.
That's a lot of brushes! Be mindful of what you really need
if you are working in a less than spacious studio area.

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 that allow us to focus, spread out, but also clean up and store away work easily. 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, and I definitely recommend experimenting similarly before you decide to draw or how to paint one particular way. You want to use all your space optimally and not stretch and reach for things, but beyond that be open and let your process guide you.   

I also never give into the impulse to keep my art supplies scattered around. Putting things here and there disrupts your flow when you set out to work because 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 and it is always in the same place.

Maybe not ideal, but you can paint or draw in a small space. Even with a model!
Maybe not ideal, but you can learn to paint
or draw  in a small space. Even with a model!
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 that I keep on hand so that I have more space to make art--not store art supplies.

The Fall issue of Cloth Paper Scissors Studios is chock full of inspiring studio ideas, from supply storage and workspace solutions to making your studio a reflection of your artistry to selling your work straight from your studio. All in one magazine? Awesome! 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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Donna Kilian wrote
on 3 Aug 2012 9:13 AM

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.

LynnP58 wrote
on 3 Aug 2012 5:49 PM

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

Karen Wheat wrote
on 4 Aug 2012 7:56 AM

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!


4Beauty wrote
on 4 Aug 2012 9:22 AM

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?  

rsfloresart wrote
on 5 Aug 2012 9:07 PM

Well my kids are out and I have turned one of the spare bedrooms into my studio with south lighting. My studio used to be in the basement, just a bit dark.

4 Beauty,  I have two large canvas drop cloths covering the carpet in my studio. The basement studio is pictured here robertfloresart.blogspot.com/.../studio.html

sunstruck1 wrote
on 6 Aug 2012 9:50 AM

@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: www.ikea.com/.../44881100

ShawnaK wrote
on 14 Aug 2012 1:42 PM

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!

bellesouth wrote
on 26 Dec 2013 10:32 AM

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!