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Stir-Crazy Studio Tour

Heya! How's it going? How are you holding up in our Crazy New World?

Quarantine, teleworking, and furloughs have had many of us spending more time at home than we'd rather. Maybe you're among the many who have really gone headfirst into home-improvement projects, garden projects, and general homestead-y activities. There's more bread being baked, veggies being pickled, and tea towels being cross-stitched than every before! Homebodies are thriving.

But maybe you're among those who are struggling with all this time at home. Getting a little stir crazy. Coming down with cabin fever.

Maybe you're a mix of both.

While some communities have begun opening up, allowing us to venture out into certain spaces, well sanitized and dutifully masked... it's still all a bit weird.

And with all this socially-distant weirdness, I thought now might be a good time for another (totally responsible, safe, and socially-distant) Studio Tour!

We've done some studio snooping here on this blog before, and I dunno about you, but I love seeing the sheer variety of creative spaces that are out there. From rented studio space, to little nooks and craft corners, refurbished basements, and studio sheds in the yard, there's something magical about where artists make their work. (Make their magic, if you will)

And I realized that I haven't yet invited you into my space.

How rude of me! How thoughtless!

Please do come in! I'll show you around...

I usually only have the one table set up, but the studio is currently doubling as my office for work.

So, to preface this: I've moved over seven times in the last ten years, and each living arrangement has been... let's say, "a new and exciting adventure." Each has brought a different set of living arrangements, organizational challenges, and space constraints. I've shared a one-room studio with my spouse, where my "studio" was a toolbox kept under our folding table. I've packed up all my worldly belongings into one 60-lb suitcase, and fit all the art supplies I own in a shoe box.

And now, for the first time, I have an entire room as a studio space.

And I'll admit. It's pretty cool.

Generally, it just means I keep my messes (mostly) contained to one room of the house (though I'm guilty of chasing the daylight and bringing the mess into other rooms...)

It's also nice to have the space to leave out a piece I'm working on and thinking about, rather than having to clean up and pack everything away when I'm not actively crafting. It's helped me with my follow-through when trying get things finished.

Having a studio space helps me to "think out loud," giving me a place to tack up images of works I've already done, sketches for ideas I have, sticky notes scribbled with concepts, pile up neat-o found objects, and assemble objects that symbolize the themes I'm mulling over.

In the past, this part of my creative process was relegated to a notebook.

But now, I have the space to work with my ideas in a bigger, more tangible way.

And it's nice to be able to see a visual representation of all my thoughts at once.

Keeping these "reminders" all around me also helps to keep me inspired, encouraged, and reminds me if I've already explored an idea in past works.

I'm pretty low-maintenance when it comes to studio must-haves. Like I said earlier, I've had to "make it work" with what I've had for years, and that DIY attitude it still pretty helpful.

Some card tables and extra dining room chairs work just fine.

I use tin cans, old teacups, and cardboard boxes to keep things organized.

I like being able to move things around, for when I want to work on the floor, or stand at a work bench.

Since I have a closet for storage now, I hang on to more supplies now than I used to. Fancy art supplies, you ask? Nah! Mostly cardboard boxes, milk cartons, toilet tissue rolls, and other things with potential.

I'm mostly an illustrator and painter, but I'm also a generally crafty person, and I love to try out new things. That said, I really don't like having too much stuff. It stresses me out. It's hard for me to remember all the cool supplies I already have. So there are no secret stashes of colored pencils or scrap fabric. I don't have shelves full of every shade of orange paint on the market. I try to use up what I have and keep my button collection to a minimum. (Though, I will say, I do have some super-neat buttons)

My only real must-have is good natural light! Fortunately, I'm a morning-person, and my studio gets good morning light... unless a car decides to park in front of my window (Did I mention I live in a basement?). When I want to work in the afternoon, I venture out to the areas of the apartment... and thankfully my partner is very tolerant of my creative exploits.

Personally, I love having my studio in my home. I have some friends with some pretty enviable rented studio space, but I find I work more often when I can saunter in anytime inspiration strikes. And my creative work isn't something I keep separate from the rest of my life, so this makes sense to me.

And when I hit a roadblock with a project, or the mess is just too much to handle... I can just walk out and shut the door.

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