I'm Tammy. 

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    « How to do the index-card-a-day challenge | Main | Glitter Mandala! High Flow Acrylics in the Rapidograph »
    Tuesday
    May062014

    Life Without a Studio!

    “Sometimes things happen in life that you didn’t plan for.
    All you can do is suck it up and start mapping out a new plan.”
    Colleen Hoover

    Dust. That's what drove me to pull every single basket off the art shelves that line a closet-sized nook adjacent to the laundry room and the kitchen. It had been about about 3 years since I thoroughly cleaned out the space and dust was winning. So I pulled the wooden baskets off the shelves so that I could dust. I couldn't get a good shot of the shelves because there isn't much space or light for a photo!

    There's no "studio space" so I'm used to seeing a few baskets at a time. It was wild to see everything at once spread across the dining room floor! {Disclaimer: Well. Not everything! The majority of magazines, papers, japanese papers & ephemera are stored in the guest/sewing room.} And the canvases. And the kids' art materials. And. I'll stop now.

    It took 3 days to sort, re-organize, vaccuum, switch and revamp the baskets; I work in 15-20 minute sessions. That is the reality of having wrists and thumbs that are so easy to strain through over-use. If I injure something, it will set me back a week. And no, my back didn't fare very well. 

    The inks, blank journals and watercolors are back in their respective baskets. All of the journals-in-progress are in one place. The block printing inks and paint pens will be donated to school. The cracked eraser stamps were pitched.

    You've got to develop a system that works for the way YOU work. The stuff used to cut or shape goes together {x-acto knives, circular paper cutter, hole punch, scissors}. The palette knife, sandpaper & mark-making tools are stored with the heavy body acrylics rather than having a separate basket for tools. The book-binding stuff is together. The washi tape, matte medium, a few stamps, a set of alpha stamps and a few ink pads are stored together as an art journaling basket. I'm cool with using just a few favorite stamps - the last thing I want to do is search through a stamp basket for a particular stamp.

    If I had an art studio with twinkly lights I imagine I might organize the materials differently. Maybe I could have materials visible and easy-to-reach rather than sheltered/hiding in baskets. But I'm a realist and my choice is to make the best of the space I have!

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    Reader Comments (12)

    love this!

    “You've got to develop a system that works for the way YOU work.” — YES. realism! :)

    05.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterLori

    I think you have a great system going!

    05.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterNina

    I started adopting your technique a few weeks ago Tammy. Thanks for the great suggestions. I always create on my whims so it's nice to think "I feel like painting today" and grab my painting basket :)

    05.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJo

    Great post! I'm trying to figure out how I could make this work for my writing stuff since I don't have a space of my own.

    05.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlly Broadfield

    Your space is much tidier than mine. Maybe I need baskets! I am jealous of all those paint pens. Do you not like them? I love mine. I have a closet and a bureau that need a clean out as we speak. Mostly the stuff I got when I first started and before I really knew what I loved.

    05.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterNatasha

    Loved seeing all your baskets. 15 minutes at a time sounds about right! I am cleaning too....

    05.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPamela

    you go girl

    05.6.2014 | Unregistered Commentertina

    I have two kids a messy husband and my mother-in-law lives with us. My studio is my closet. The same one with all my clothes in it. Life is messy. You have to do what you can with it.

    05.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea Shepherd

    I too am re-organizing into "use all the time", "use sometimes" and "never use". I too have limited space, but it is about the size of a good walk-in closet. A new shelving unit to match my other two arrived from the storage room today after a good bit of whining....(yay!). It is sort of like cleaning out a closet. If I'm not using it, I am going to pass along to someone who will/can or share out into the happy mail world. I am all about order. And right now, I'm not feeling too orderly, but will soon!

    05.7.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBetty R

    Fun seeing all that "stuff." I am always amazed at what I find when I do a thorough cleaning!

    05.7.2014 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Warren

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