One of our regular articles in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine is Studio Spotlight: a fun feature that gives you a glimpse inside the art studios of some of today’s top mixed-media artists. The following spotlight, also featured in our January/February 2018 issue, highlights the studio of Arizona artist Debi Adams. We hope you enjoy this look inside Debi’s inspiring space!
If you believe small spaces aren’t conducive to creativity, Debi Adams would like to prove you wrong. This mixed-media artist moved from a large house with a dedicated art room to a two-bedroom Arizona apartment she shares with her daughter. One of those bedrooms also doubles as her workspace, but her approach and attitude to organizing and creating makes it work. “I like to think of it as my retreat,” she says.
Three large windows supply lots of warm sunshine, copious storage boxes and desktop pieces help keep supplies in place, and the colorful artwork on display offers a unique, creative atmosphere. But Adams, an in-house senior creative designer for Spellbinders®, readily admits that all bets are off when she’s in the zone, and adds she’d rather be messing up than cleaning up. “I like having my things organized before taking on any major project,” she says, “but when I am in the heat of creating, I spread out everywhere.”
Exploration and discovery are best “when things are messy and buried. Sometimes the ‘accidents’ end up being the solutions.”
An array of storage pieces helps Adams easily locate the papers, paints, and embellishments she uses in her work. That storage includes stacked boxes and clean, white drawers as well as rustic metal vintage cupcake tins and bread loaf pans. For a vintage piece to pass muster it must be attractive and useful, and garage and estate sales and thrift stores are favorite sources.
Numerous art supplies are purposely on display, not only to be within reach, but to enhance the creative décor: “This is an easy way to add to the ambiance of the room,” she says.
Pens, pencils, and markers sit in vintage glasses, decorative papers peek out from a 1950s-era metal bin, and chippy flower frogs make great displays for ephemera. Wall space doesn’t go to waste. Rows of clipboards serve as an efficient way to display reminders and artwork. “The clipboards are like sticky notes for me,” she says. “Some have schedules for important events, and many are filled with ideas and sketches. A lot are misguided art pieces that will eventually be incorporated into other projects, while others are filled with my watercolors, drawings, and mixed-media pieces.”
Adams admits to being able to create pretty much anywhere—on a plane, at the beach—but says that this space is special. “This takes me home, and there is no place like that,” she says. “I have surrounded myself with things I love. I go to a whole other world. It’s just me and a substrate, a whole lot of supplies, and an opportunity.”
Debi Adams considers herself an eclectic artist, dabbling in mixed media, party décor, and everything in between. She has been featured in Where Women Create and in a variety of other art and craft magazines. Originally from Southern California, Debi now resides in Phoenix, Arizona, and works in the craft industry. Visit her website at debi-adams.com.
Want to see what else is inside our January/February 2018 issue? View our lookbook preview for a special sneak peek at the mixed-media art and projects featured in this edition.