My office here at Cloth Paper Scissors Central doubles as my secondary art studio. To produce projects for blog posts, it makes sense (and saves time) to create things where I work. Recently I did a big one-day cleaning/overhaul, and it’s made a huge difference in my mood and my energy. Although it may seem counterintuitive, I believe organization and routine are huge creativity boosters.
Yes, I said organization and routine—the very things that some people think are crushers of imagination and inspiration. But being organized and having a routine will free you from the chaos of disorder and allow you to create more confidently and more freely. Doesn’t that sound great?
Save Time and Energy with Art Studio Organization
I’ll admit that slovenliness is my true nature. As a child, my room was always a mess, and that really hasn’t changed throughout my life. But as good as I am at making a mess, I’m also great at cleaning up and organizing—call it the duality of me. I can only work in disarray in my art studio for so long until I simply can’t stand it, and a full-on cleanup ensues.
Once that happens I feel so liberated, so ready to try new techniques and tackle those back burner projects. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of how much stress a messy workplace can cause until it’s neat and tidy again. When the hassles of having to hunt for that one scrap of vintage lace or stepping over a pile of fabric for the fourteenth time are gone, all of that energy can be funneled into making art.
Invite Routine to Your Art Studio
Routine is a huge boon to creativity too. I love my morning routine because I can shower, do my hair and makeup and get dressed without ever really thinking about it. Muscle memory gets the job done. Since my days are usually packed, this is time when I can think about what I’d like to incorporate in a fabric collage, or work out a new binding for a book.
Establishing a routine for your art studio or workspace is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Like any other habit you’d like to foster—going to the gym, reading more books—setting a date and sticking to it helps ensure you’ll actually do it. And when you begin to see the benefits of keeping to a schedule, you’ll look forward to that time and perpetuate a cycle of happiness. Even if you’ve had a bad day and don’t feel like making something, if you’ve carved out that time, keep it. Stamp some tags, practice lettering, make a quick collage—I guarantee you’ll be glad you put in the effort.
After I cleaned my office/studio, I was motivated to do a little decorating. I’ve had a vintage wooden tool caddy forever and bought it with the intention of one day embellishing its plain exterior with stamps or collage. Now that it wasn’t obscured by five paint water jars, I could go for it. I loaded up some Prima IOD Décor stamps with acrylic paint and went to town.
Create Artistic Studio Storage
I know I’ve said this before, but I can’t emphasize this enough—whenever you have leftover paint, create painted papers. I had a substantial amount of blue left over, so I quickly grabbed some found papers and tags and printed them. The process took a total of 10 minutes, and now I have some lovely papers to work with for future projects.
When the paint on the tool caddy was dry, I sanded it a bit to give it a distressed look. Next, I covered the sides with a collage of book pages, gluing and sealing them with Collage Pauge Matte. A Catalyst Wedge is helpful for pressing the papers flat, making sure there are no air bubbles.
When the papers were completely dry, I removed the excess by sanding the pages off. I find this much easier than cutting, and the results are far better.
I adhered book pages to the other side, and here’s my finished caddy, all dressed up and looking pretty!
A few months ago, I picked up a rustic pottery jug at a flea market to use as a prop for magazine shoots. But I loved it so much, I thought it belonged in my office instead of the prop bin. Now it holds a variety of natural items, but I thought it could use some sprucing up, too.
I decided to make a wrap from fabric scraps to jazz it up a little. So I cut small squares from kantha quilt scraps, butted up the edges, and zigzag stitched them together. I also cut small circles of the fabric and stitched them over the seams. Two pieces of sari ribbon were sewn on the ends for a tie.
What a great upgrade! And a nice touch for my workspace. Since the wrap closes with a tie, I can easily remove it and add it to another piece.
It’s the Perfect Time to Tidy Up Your Art Studio
If your art studio is in need of tidying up, now’s a great time to do it. The holidays will be here before we know it, and having a clean, organized space to work in will make a huge difference. If you have some favorite studio organization tips, please leave them in the comments below!
I have one more idea for you—see how I made a studio storage piece from a vintage quilt block.