Sunday, August 31, 2008

The New Studio

I feel very lucky that I have my own studio room, especially since we are apartment-dwellers at present. But loving this space has not always been easy for me.
My problems were the result of having a lot of stuff without a lot of storage space, as well as the fact that my studio was a convenient place to hide messes that I did not want cluttering our living room. The room was burdened by piles – piles of paper to be filed, fabric to be ironed, magazines to be looked at. And these piles had such amazing permanence! I would whittle away at them, but they grew faster than I could keep up.
I can’t tell you how many times I walked into my room with the intention of starting a project only to turn right back around, repulsed by the clutter or to be sucked into an hour of cleaning rather than creating.

Over the last two years, I've attempted to revitalize my space on a couple of occasions, but usually this just involved tidying the piles, neatening surfaces, and some furniture rearranging. This picture shows one of those mini re-dos that my mom helped me with (thank you, Mom!).
With the onset of summer, I reached my tipping point. I notice this happens a lot, by the way – things finally get so bad that I slide right into change. No motivational tricks or guilt-trips needed – I just tire of the status quo and suddenly things start happening.

First, the clutter and piles had to leave. I boxed ‘em up and off they went to our sun porch (temporarily!). I wanted my space to be a blank canvas.

Next, I needed to get things off the floor. Why wasn’t I using my wall space? Although, I loved my thrifted bookshelves for their gently-worn character and kindness to my pocketbook, their height and depth made for inefficient storage. After perusing the IKEA website, I found my solution: the BONDE shelves – super tall and super deep. They could not only hold all my books, but a variety of storage boxes as well. And being a collage artist, the ALEX drawers were an obvious solution for controlling paper chaos. I'd first seen a picture of them here, in Jenn Ski's studio and knew the shallow (but not too shallow) drawers would be great for all my collage supplies and nature collections. I stacked the two drawer-sets, in keeping with my efforts to better use the vertical space.
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After getting the furniture set up, I tackled those boxes of miscellaneous stuff. It was easier now that I had places to put things. For the first time ever, my studio felt spacious and orderly. Now it’s a joy to walk in there and I can get right down to business … creating.
If you are looking for a little more inspiration, I created a mosaic of some beautiful studio spaces posted here.