Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend! The husband and I saw Julius Caesar at the barbican on Saturday night with family and it was so awesome getting to watch the Royal Shakespeare Company perform at the Barbican Centre! It was fab to see family, as we haven’t seen them for a few weeks, but it was also nice to get out of the house and have some fun. Are there any fun things you and your family like to go and do?
As mentioned in my latest newsletter, the December Freebie will be coming out next week! I hope everyone is excited as I am about it. I am going to be trying something new, so be on the lookout next week for a super great freebie! You can get all the cool sneak peaks for AotB if you sign up for newsletter, and you also get an exclusive, hand drawn, freebie from me!
Today I want to talk about dream studios.
I’m talking about that giant airplane hanger with glass ceiling, buckets and buckets of oil paint, canvases the size of buses, surround sound stereo, and full kitchen levels of dream studio. I don’t have a Pinterest board called Studio Goals for nothing folks!
We all have a dream studio. It could be a beautiful, open white room in a cozy part of the New York City or it could be a fabulous barn on the edge of your property out in the country. And it is great to have these dreams.
But let’s be honest. That is probably not your current situation (it is definitely not my current situation). Why else would you be here? It is probably the case that like me you are stuck in a small/smallish apartment or house and need to optimise your small studio space ASAP!
Don’t worry though because I have a 5 step process that will truly make your small studio your dream studio! This process can work on any creative space, so whether your writing space needs updating, your sewing space, or your art space needs a fix, I got you covered!
1. Dedicate a Space
Like most systems, process, or habit forming techniques- the first step is the most important! As per the Millennial norm, I don’t have a whole room to dedicate to a studio. I find that this is even more true with the high price of property in London and then having to share that space with my husband. That is why when we moved to our current flat, we decided it was better to live further away from tube stations and fun amenities so we could have more space. However, not everyone can just up and move, so as mentioned this is the MOST IMPORTANT STEP! Search the room(s) in your apartment where you may not be using the space the best. For us, it was the weird space around our bay window. With a TV and a bookcase on either side of it, we were not utilising that space to its highest abilities. The space for you could be a corner, a storage closet, or that weird alcove with little head space your landlord said would be great storage, but really isn’t.
Once you’ve picked an area, it is time to get cleaning. This could be a great chance for you to go through your things and donate/sell things you no longer need. At this point, you should setup your main base of operation. This could be a coffee table, an easel, or whatever other set up works best for you. I use this IKEA coffee table and some free things we found outside of an office in Hammersmith.
2. Light is EVERYTHING
So you’ve found space! Hooray! Now let’s talk about lighting, because if you can’t see your work how will you get anything done? No matter what project you are working, you need good light to see it. Obviously, natural light is ideal, but who lives in such a perfect world where natural light is always abundant? What if you get inspired at 3 o’clock in the morning? How are you gonna work with no light? So get yourself a good lamp. It can be a clamp, a desk lamp, or you could pull a lamp from another corner of the room to an outlet closer to you. Creativity doesn’t have set hours. You have to be ready to create at any time! That lamps will also be super helpful when taking photos of finished works and when you are burning that late night oil.
3. Maximise Storage Space
So you’ve got the basics set up, you’ve dedicated a space, added the ever important lighting and now you need to think about storage. Can you hang things on the wall(s)? Can you easily create multiple levels of storage under your table? Around my art station, I have an end table where I keep my papers, tap, journals, and taller bottles of turp and jars. I also use the space underneath it to store paint, large brushes, and works in progress. Having a place to store your supplies and works will make you want to keep coming back to your studio. Having ample storage will help you keep organised, and help you stay creative.
4. Getting Stocked
Sometimes in the process of setting up a good studio space you realise you don’t have enough supplies. You may need more paper, paints, or fresh markers. And now that you know how much space you have, it is the perfect time to buy. You could also use this possible extra space to try a new medium! When I finally pulled my art studio together, I finally felt like I had the space to invest in printmaking supplies. It was great to be able to start carving on linoleum again and make prints.
5. Make it Inspiring
This is probably my favourite part of the process (besides cleaning). Decorating your studio space with inspiring things! This could be nice print outs, plants (all the cacti!), or even other art from your favourite artist. These could be general things, or they could be specific to what your currently working on. Surrounding yourself with these objects of inspiration will make it creating your masterpieces way easier! But be careful, you don’t want to have so much stuff that you get easily distracted.
Tada! Five Steps to a Better Studio Space! Keep your dream studio in your heart, but remember to use your current studio to it’s full potential. Use your current space to challenge yourself. I know for me, one of my biggest challenge since leaving my much larger studio in university to my super small one here is adjusting the scale of my art. I always want to create large beautiful pieces, but now I am challenging myself to create small, focused pieces. How do you plan to challenge yourself in the new space you’ve created?
In the words of my favourite my second favourite man “Make it work”!
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