Wednesday, September 09, 2015

keeping my creative space organized

When it comes to making art, I am a big, dirty, disgusting SLOB and I always have been! I am messy, I leave things out, I let paint drip, splatter and spill on everything. I always forget to wash my brushes, I leave my supplies everywhere and I am constantly losing things. I know that I will never be a clean and organized artist- a big part of my process is letting expression and creativity happen in the moment and often this means making really big messes. But over time I have learned a few tricks to keep my space and my brain a little more organized.

CREATE A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING

When I was younger I used to have all of my supplies sitting out. When I am in the "creative zone", I really like to see everything so I can grab things in the moment. Over time, this approach only lead to lots of clutter which ended up overwhelming me when I was making art. I had to learn the hard way that when you spend a lot of time creating (or when it's your job) you gotta have a place for everything. I will never be that person that picks everything up at the end of the day and organizes supplies by color but I do like having a place where I can contain my supplies and keep then out of the way.



I found that children's toy storage furniture works really well for me! There is a place for everything but I can still see the things that I need to grab when I am creating. Clean up is also really fast and easy- I literally throw things back into the bins when I done.

USE CONTAINERS AND BASKETS TO ORGANIZE AND DISGUISE

Since I make art for a living, I have a ridiculous amount of supplies and lots of back up supplies sitting around. Every six months I put in a big bulk order for sketchbooks, markers, drawing pens, paint and more. This means I have a lot of stuff that needs to be stored and I like using a variety of baskets and containers.
I buy baskets from Goodwill and containers from the 99 Cent Store and toss my excess supplies in them. All those baskets and containers have a place on the shelves in my studio.

I also have rolls of paper, canvas, fabric and old canvas paintings sitting around which can get tricky to store. I've found that big baskets and laundry hampers are perfect for holding all those large rolls. 


MAKE SUPPLIES MOBILE 

I spend a lot of time going back and forth between my studio and our home. I also spend a lot of time creating on the go. I really like having pouches and purses stocked with my favorite supplies- pens, pencils, paint, markers, watercolors, my favorite brushes and a sketchbook. When I am heading out the door, I grab a pouch, toss it in my purse. 

Since I juggle a lot of creative projects, I actually have a different pouch of supplies for different assignments. 

For example- 
I have a pouch filled with my favorite drawing pens for when I sit down to create coloring pages. 
I have a pouch filled with my favorite art journal supplies. 
I have a pouch filled with my camera and video accessories for the days that I film online courses. 
I have a pouch filled with art supplies for travel.

For most people this might sound really excessive but again, creativity is my job and I depend on staying organized with the many projects that I juggle.

EMBRACE THE MESS

Creativity can strike at any time and when it does I say embrace the chaos and mess that goes along with it. Often I will go for a month or two working around the clock on creative projects. During these marathon sessions, I let my space get messy without the pressure to clean and organize. Typically there is A LOT of stuff laying around- bottles of paint, old brushes, papers, supplies and scraps of fabric and canvas all over the floor. It is in these moments that I give myself permission to just let things be messy- often I am more creative amidst that mess because I've let go of the pressure to clean!

When I meet my deadlines and complete my projects, I go crazy cleaning my studio! And as as much as I love a good mess, I really do love picking things up and getting organized and prepared for the next round of creative projects!

What about you guys? What are some of your favorite ways to organize your creative space?

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