Art Studio Organisation - Tips to keep your art studio organised
Making art can be a messy business and even with a relatively organised studio, I often turn around and can barely see my floor! Now with canvas works, pots and card making all on the go simultaneously, my studio has got a little out of hand. It is at the point now that when I tell my kids "Go and clean your room if you want your pocket money!" they come back at me with “But Mum, your art studio is a mess – you need to clean up your room too!”
So, I guess I’ve been told and it’s time for a clean-up!
Here are some tips for getting the most out of the space you have and ensuring your space is as productive as possible.
Purge the Art Supplies
Think about what items are helping or hindering your creative process. Have you got lots of supplies taking up room from past endeavours that you no longer pursue? Did you go through a phase of trying a new medium, only to discover you’re not a fan or your work has moved in a new direction? If you are not using all your supplies and they are taking up valuable space, why not have a cleanout and sell or donate the items that no longer serve you in your current creative process.
Use containers for writing drawing and painting instruments
Use anything you can get your hands on to store your instruments. Think of glass jars, pots, vases and old mugs. I’ve used a little tin bucket I had lying around and a sweet little pot I took from my Nan’s house when she passed away, which has a lot of sentimental value to me. I’m a big fan of recycling and repurposing when I can, rather than buying new. This bucket and pot hold most of my brushes, posca pens, palette knives, pencils and recycled paddle pop mixing sticks!
Any larger instruments I hang on my pegboard – like scissors, a Stanley/box knife and large paintbrushes with holes in them for hanging. All these items are used regularly and are within an arm’s reach for easy access.
Get Smart With Storage Solutions
Working in a small studio, I find vertical storage is the best. I purchased some shelving from Ikea which gets things up and out of the way and makes the most of the vertical wall space in my studio. I use one high shelf to hold items I don’t need on hand all the time like the items I purchase in bulk such as white paint, Gesso and varnishes.
I also have the Hemmes wall shelf which is actually a bathroom storage organiser from IKEA which fits perfectly on the small wall next to my studio window. These shelves are a great size for tubs and small tubes of paint and allow me to see all the colours I have available in one quick glance.
Utilise over the door storage such as shoe organisers which can hold items like tins of spray paint, tubes of paint, inks and yarn. Towel rods and curtain rods with s hooks can also offer some space to hang items. You can also hang string or wire across a wall with pegs to display work in progress or bits of inspiration you collect along the way.
My favourite hanging storage is my pegboard. Upcycled from my Pop’s garage when we were cleaning it out, it spent many years gathering dust and spiders in our shed. A coat of paint and it has a whole new lease on life!
My pegboard holds tubes of paint, scissors, paintbrushes, tapes, and my Stanley knife.
Bins, Baskets & Boxes
Use bins, baskets and boxes to store larger items. Packaging supplies I collect from my own mail like bits of cardboard, bubble wrap and butchers paper live in baskets. Scraps of paper collected for collage and failed paper works live in a box, ready for future works.
Labelling drawers and containers will help you find items easily and save you time digging through draw after draw and makes cleaning up a breeze to return the item to its home.
Keep it Clean
Once organised it should take a lot less effort to maintain it! Look after the space and try to keep it tidy. Art studios are messy by nature but if things get too crazy it can become a very overwhelming and unproductive space, neither of which are great for your creativity.
What storage solutions do you have for your creative space? I’d love to hear of any other amazing hacks other creatives have implemented in their studio space. Share them below so we can all benefit!
Now I’m off to clean my studio, so I get my pocket money this week!