I always love to recap and share what we learned In the Studio from all the wonderful artists interviewed. Here’s a short highlight and some of my favorite tips, insights and ideas.
We began the year with Chambers Austelle in her small home based studio. She shared a wonderful piece from her collection of vintage family heirlooms, below. Collections can inspire us or become overwhelming, so just keep in mind how surrounding yourself and your work space with collections influences your work.
Cambers also offers the following storage and organizing tips:
I use a filing cabinet, old dental cart, and jars in which I store my materials, supplies, and tools. I use Apple Calendar, a blank notebook, and scrap pieces of paper to organize my schedule. I use envelopes, folders, and binders to organize the business side of my work (see below).
We RE-visited quilt artist Sam Hunter in a newly created home studio. Sam converted her Living Room/Dining Room space into her studio, who says you need to use space conventionally! She has maximized her space by adding a lot of storage drawers and going vertical. Sam offer’s the following great tips:
In this studio, the things around the edges don’t move, but everything in the middle can shift. This allows me to manage different sized of projects and different numbers of people.
I also pay attention if I always look in a specific place for something… If I do that a couple of times and it’s not there then perhaps that’s where I should move it.
In local Painter Michael Hayes studio (converted garage) we got to see a lot of work in a very tight spot!
Michael’s great tip is he keeps a running list …of materials that he need as he runs out of them so that he can run down to the local Artist & Craftsmen and knows what he need to get (rather than getting distracted and buying impulse items:).
Next we visited the Studio of Lisa Shimko, which was fun because her whole home feels kind of like her studio!
Since Lisa’s home overlaps with her studio I love how she’s incorporated her art collection and supplies. She offers this tip:
My decor is definitely mix and match. Mainly books, artwork by others and gifted or found objects. Overall move stuff around to have my sense of homey feeling without feeling cluttered (might look cluttered to others though).
It was a pleasure to take a trip to Richmond, VA to visit the studio of fiber artist and weaver, Andrea Donnelly.
Her studio is rather large, in an old industrial building with other artists and includes 3 rooms for wet (dyeing) and dry (weaving and finishing) process.
Andrea keeps her space clutter free with the following tip:
I try to keep from having too much “extra” stuff around in the first place, buying what I use and using what I have. I do keep an inventory of my basic materials, but those are continually cycled through and replaced by new things, so clutter doesn’t really build up.
Andrea also shares:
I would say that as a visual artist my organizational processes and systems are intuitive, tactile, and informed by my need for beauty. So my shelves are open for things I use a lot, and those things are organized in a way I find aesthetically pleasing. This works great for pretty things like cloth, my weaving tools, and cones of thread. Things that are more utilitarian, like tape and paper, pliers, hammers, etc, are organized in nice chests and toolboxes within easy reach.
Finally I stopped to visit the studio of Susan Irish, also here in Charleston, who has a bright, functional and spacious studio she converted over the garage in her home.
Susan use to be challenged by finding things…
This was once the bane of my studio practice and greatly cut into the inspirational flow. So now I try to have all that stuff near me, semi organized and contained but still visible so that I feel like it is there waiting to be incorporated.
I adore that she has incorporated many found objects into both her storage and art. And if it’s metal, think Magnetic!
What were some of your favorite tips or lessons from the artist we visited this year? I’d love to hear from you with your own suggestions and tips for studio organizing and storage as well! Happy creating in 2018, I’ll return soon with new In the Studio interviews!