Bring Joy and Energy into Your Art Studio

feng shui art studio
Not my studio, but that of Lilla Rogers, featured in the Winter 2011 issue of Studios. Abundant lighting, happy colors, and 
a design board she can see infuse her space with energy.

cate pratoHere's a newsflash: my mixed-media art studio needs another overhaul. Six to nine months seems to be as long as I can go without a major clean-up and re-organization.

You would think that with all my knowledge of art studio organization, I wouldn't have this problem. Believe me, I know all about bins, buckets, pegboard, and using every bit of space I have. But there are three obstacles that get in my way of maintaining a functioning studio.

1. I frequently add new kinds of media and techniques to my repertoire (occupational hazard).

2. I have a hard time resisting lovely fibers, shiny or distressed objects, and almost any fabricespecially if it's free or a really good deal. (Another occupational hazard.)

3. Studio clean-up elves apparently do not exist. (No matter how hard I clap my hands and say, "I do believe, I do believe!")

Here's how bad it's gotten: I recently tried to hire an organization expert to crack the whip over me so that I would get all my stuff sorted, put away (or given away), and labeled once and for alland she turned me down.

Yes. My stash is so vast and spread out over my home that it was too overwhelming for a professional.

But I haven't given up hope. In fact, I'm thinking very positively. As in the positive energy of feng shui. I'm counting on the ancient Chinese belief in the laws of heaven and earth to get me and my studio balanced and functional.

"In feng shui, the placement of furniture and how you function in that space determines if energy is generated or consumed," says Lois Hallock in an article in the Winter 2011 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors Studios.

The tips below refer to a quilting studio, but can be adapted to any kind of studio:

feng shui art studio
A feng shui set-up, photo courtesy of Martingale & Co.

1. Fold your fabric and put it on open shelving as a focal point in your studio, often opposite the entry. If you choose to work with fabric, it must inspire you, right? So to be able to see it when you first walk into the room immediately provides energy. (If you work primarily with paints or found objects, organize those items so you can see them.)

2. Move the sewing table (or worktable, if you don't sew)  to the center of the room facing the design wall, which should be placed on the same wall as the door. According to feng shui, you feel safer if you can see people approaching. Placing the design wall on the same wall as your door serves two purposes: improving your energy and boosting your passion by putting your latest project on view.

I do have lots (and lots) of fabric. But ss I work with scraps of, not fat quarters or larger pieces, I'll probably sort my fabrics by color and put them in see-through bins of some kind. I think by making the bins all the same size and style, I can achieve a similar kind of focal point in my studio. Right now, everything is sort of higgledy-piggledy, thanks to some recent projects and the lack of the previously mentioned magical elves.

In fact, just picturing my studio like this has given me the energy and positive outlook to tackle my reorganization project.

For more on art studio feng shui plus loads of ideas for designing and decorating any kind of studio, be sure to get a copy of the Winter 2011 issue of Studios.

P.S. What do you think of the feng shui tips? What methods do you use to make your studio function energetically? Leave a comment below.


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