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

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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!