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Do you struggle with keeping your art studio as clean and organized as you'd like? Do you wonder how so many artists/creatives manage to keep their working spaces so neat and tidy? Have you ever found the mess around you demotivating to the point that it affects your productivity levels?
Though the act of creating art can (and sometimes downright should) imply making some sort of mess, this doesn't mean we should be okay with our studios being in a constant state of chaos.
Of course, people's tolerance levels towards disorganization vary immensely, but our studios are an extension of ourselves and our work, and should be treated as such.
Personally, I like to work in an environment that inspires me to create and helps me be as productive as possible every-single-day. My artwork is important to me (and I hope that your artwork is important to you as well), and staying as organized as possible ensures that it is going to be protected and accessible.
In their article How to Design the Ultimate Craft Room (for Beginners) the pros from porch.com explain the benefits of having a craft room at home, and provide lots of tips to consider if you're just about to get started with creating your own!
I really enjoy learning tips and tricks from other creatives, and Ali from Cut, Cut, Craft ( www.cutcutcraft.com ) was super helpful to share some ideas with us in the following post!
8 Ways to get (and stay) organized
by Ali Fields
Hey guys and gals! It’s Ali here from Cut, Cut, Craft! (www.cutcutcraft.com) with some practical and creative ideas on how you can keep your studio organized in order to make the best art you can.
In Erika’s own words, "the environment that surrounds us impacts our mood and creativity". Read her blog post titled How I Find Inspiration as an Artist and Some Ideas to Keep You Going.
This is true for the people you surround yourself with, as well as the sorts of art and entertainment you consume. But it is especially valid in your own art studio, the very place you want to be free to act on your creativity to produce wonderful creations.
If your space is cluttered and disorganized, your mind will spend precious resources distracted by the mess. It will take you extra time to find materials to get started on a new project. Your aim should be to lower the activation energy needed to create art.
Spend some effort on organizing your space, so it’s easy for you to dive in when inspiration strikes!
I’ll go through some general tips on how to get your art studio in working order, and give you specific ideas on how to implement each of them.
Let's get into the tips!
6. Hang your storage
Yes, I love to hang things! It’s incredibly flexible storage you can rearrange as you see fit, which is great if you’re like me and maybe switch to a different art mode every few months.
So past pegboards, which I mentioned above, another of my favorites is using towel rods or curtain rods. You can find affordable ones at Ikea, or pick some up at a hardware store. I use S-hooks to hang buckets with supplies.
You can also hang string or wire across a wall, and use clothespins to display some of your work! It’s easy to rotate out what you are looking at, as the mood strikes.
Another option for hanging storage would be over-the-door storage. No shame in repurposing a hanging shoe rack to hold things like cans of spray paint or skeins of yarn.
Smaller over-the-door organizers are great for pens, markers, glues, and paint as well.
7. Label your containers
Before I started meticulously labeling my containers, my organization system would quickly decay the first time I was in a hurry to put everything away and just shoved supplies into whatever bin looked like it had enough space. “I can always reorganize it again later,” I thought.
Which I would have to do. Over and over again.
By labeling all your storage containers, you not only know where to find everything, you can also easily tell where to put everything away. Miraculously, all my pens and papers and ribbons and tapes now actually stay separated and useful.
And hey, labels can also be super fun to make! So take some time and make a pretty project out of it.
8. Once it's clean, keep it clean
At the end of the day, or when you are finished working on a project, spend a few minutes to put everything back in its proper spot. Clear off your work surface and put all your pencils or paints back in their spots.
This is time well-spent, and will absolutely save time for your future self (hey future self, have some time!).
Tomorrow, when you sit down to create something, you’ll have space to work and will be able to easily find all the things you want to you.
Best of all, you’ll be more likely to actually make more things, because your creative space will be so much easier to use.
And since it’s so sensible, I’m going to go ahead and crib Erika’s Ben Franklin quote here as well:
“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.”
For more ways to save time and be productive, check out Erika's blog post
Time Management for Artists: My Secrets for Staying Consistently Productive.
Alright, that’s all the organizational advice I have for you today!
Thanks so much to Erika for letting me share my ideas here. I hope you all find some of these tips helpful for keeping your art space organized and functional.
I’m sure you guys have all sorts of things you use to organize your own space, so please share them below so we can all benefit!
Ali Fields is a crafting geek who writes DIY tutorials and reviews over at Cut, Cut, Craft! Her latest obsession? The Cricut Maker
Follow her on social media:
Sending out a huge thank you to Ali for sharing all of these useful ideas with us today! Hope you found it helpful.
Great tips and useful for everyone, not just artists! I plan on putting a couple of these ideas to use. Thank you!
I'm happy to hear you found this post useful! Keeping a creative working space organized can definitely be a challenge, but its definitely worth the time invested as it saves time later! :)
Thanks so much for taking time to comment!
Hi Robin! So true!
Ali certainly shares some wonderful ideas in this post that I hadn't even thought about incorporating! Now I'm certainly looking into them. :)
Thanks for your comment!
It's a struggle, for sure. And its honestly never going to be perfect (if we ever get there it's probably going to be in that "perfect" state for one day).
What's important is that you've acknowledged the fact that you could be doing better (we all can), and that you're doing your best to create a space that allows for a better creative workflow. :)
All the best to you and thank you so much for your comment!
It certainly can! I'm an expert at getting places messy, but not so much at organization and cleaning. haha
Ali's ideas certainly inspired me to keep things more organized. It's better to spend time with organization, I feel, as it helps me be more inspired and productive. :)
Thanks so much for reading and for taking time to comment!
Thanks for the tips! I hope I put these to good use.
Thanks so much for reading! :)
Wish you a lovely day.
Keeping things clean is a great idea that will make things very easy to store. This is a great way to make sure that you are getting the right help for your project. My sister is thinking about getting art storage and might like knowing this.
I love how staying organized can really help us with our productivity, as well!
Thanks so much for checking out this blog post and taking time to comment. :)
I like how you mentioned that space where one creates art should be as organized as possible so that it's easier to be able to find certain materials and be able to create right when inspiration strikes. Another thing to consider is that you should also have a place to display any pieces of art that are works in progress should there be a need for any paint to set. If I had the chance to be able to create art then I would definitely want to have enough space to store all the many materials that I would be needing.
Hope you're having a fantastic day, so far! :)
That's SO true! As a painter, I need space where I can leave my paintings to dry safely. I'm always running out of space and would love to have more shelves to place them away from dust and cat hair. hah
Thanks so much for visiting and taking time to comment.
Really means the world!
Thanks so much for checking this one out. :)
Happy you found some useful nuggets.
Wish you a lovely day!
I thought it was interesting when you explained that it is important to put in a little effort when trying to keep an art studio clean. It would be interesting to learn more about what kind of things a professional art studio does. I would imagine that they probably do a lot of commission projects for companies that want interior or exterior decorations such as murals.
Thanks so much for checking this post out. :)
The awesome human that wrote this guest post for me is more of a crafter, working with diverse mediums indoors.
I, however, am a working artist that sells oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings. Murals, not so much!
I can say, for myself, I like using tables and shelves as much as possible to keep my paintings safe while drying.
Once they are completely dry, I decide whether I'm going to be hanging them up on my studio walls or anywhere in my home, or store them. If I choose to store them, I cover them loosely with parchment paper and place them in a closed closet, making sure that they can breathe.
In terms of my watercolors and smaller pieces I create on canvasboards, I organize them in a large plastic container.
My studio gets pretty cramped with my work! But it's important to have my paintings readily available and organized for gallery showings and art events.
Hope this gives you an idea of how I get organized!
Thanks again for popping by and have a good one,
Nice post Erika... I need to start with number one.... clearing!
I'm a landscape painter, and I work in "plein air" a lot- usually creating over 100 paintings a year. I'm trying to figure out how to organize them all! I have them on vertical racks. You can see how I typically store them here: https://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=537613. Or Google "art storage rack easy to build" and it should come up.
But now I feel like I need a way to organize them. If someone says do you have any daffodil paintings or paintings of Knoxville or waterfalls- physically sorting through 100's of paintings can be tough! It's one thing to have digital files, I have many of them digitally archived and photographed, but to actually find the real painting .... good luck, haha!! Good problem to have I suppose. Part of the issue is I don't always remember when I painted them. So I can't really sort them all by date. I could maybe sort them by place... I archive my digital files on artworkarchive.com and like them pretty well. Keep it up! BTW what platform is this site on?
Hope you're having a great day. :)
That's amazing that you paint so much! It can certainly be tricky to store all that artwork, while keeping it safe!
It's a lot of work, keeping all of the physical artwork and digital files organized, for sure!
Hope you find a system that works for you, soon.
This site is built on Weebly, which I wouldn't recommend, to be honest. If I could go back, I would have probably used Squarespace.
Thanks so much for reading and taking time to leave a comment.
Have a great day and take good care!
Thanks so much for checking out this post. :)
Vertical storage is, indeed, very helpful.
Wish you a great day!
Thanks so much for checking this one out. Glad you're enjoying what I'm sharing.
Have a great day and good luck to you, as well!
Thanks for this post!
Sooo... I too swing between mediums... what tips do you have for storing and keeping multiple art interests without looking like you are a candidate for hoarders?
And don’t even get me started on collecting things for upcycling... whelp, I started... any experience with upcycling treasures?
Thanks so much for checking this one out.
Your comment made me giggle. :)
I don't do upcycling! That must take up so much space!
In my studio, I do have separate shelves and drawers for my different painting mediums. I work with watercolor, acrylics, oils and occasionally, gouache.
The work I create with watercolor and gouache is kept in portfolios, folders and sketchbooks. Some watercolor pieces I do frame right away, and these I keep protected with cardboard corners, wrap with bubblewrap, and place in large plastic containers.
The work I create with acrylics and oils takes up much more space and I have to be much more careful with, as its created on stretched canvases and canvasboard. Those I either hang up on walls and keep well dusted, or I cover with parchment paper, thin foam sheets, and also place inside large plastic containers or inside a closet I have in my studio.
Installing shelves and investing in drawers has been great for me, and also making time at least once a month to keep things organized. :)
Hope this helps.
I like that you suggested using containers in order to make sure your tools are always visible and easily accessible. Maybe, it would be nice for me to shop for a paint tray cart so I could ensure that even while I am doing a painting job, I could complete my task easily. For sure, it would be nice to find a tray where a paint tray will fit.
Yes, having our tools easily accessible and organized can make such a huge difference.
Thanks so much for checking out this post. Wish you tons of enjoyment in your painting journey!
Thanks so much for reading. :)
I'm so glad you enjoyed this post and found the storage container idea helpful.
Wish you a great rest-of-your-day!
Thanks so much for reading and taking time to comment. :)
Glad to hear you enjoyed this one.
Have a lovely day!
It sure was helpful when you said that you must consider grouping all your art supplies together in order to keep everything organized. This must be shared with my daughter who has been wanting to set up her own gallery at home. Her plan is to have her artwork framed and displayed. Your tips will surely help her have everything set up.
Thanks so much for reading and taking time to leave a comment. :)
Glad to hear this one was helpful. I loved reading that your daughter is planning on setting up a gallery of her work at home!
Wish her tons of enjoyment as she continues on her art journey.
My wife wants to be able to do her art without being bothered. It makes sense that getting an art studio would be beneficial! I'll make sure that she knows to keep it well organize.
It's so important to have peace and to avoid interruptions in order to get in flow. :)
Thanks for sharing with your wife! Wish her tons of enjoyment moving forward in her journey and wish you a great day.
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