Today’s sneak peek is In the Studio with Finkelstein Center Toys. Handmade Toy Maker. Artist, Michelle Jewell shares how and where she works and some of her personal Studio clearing and organizing tips! These photo’s are not styled and are typical of what her working studio looks like on an average day.
The idea for this series, Inside the Studio began in while I was attending an art retreat at Penland. While there I observed the differences in the creative cycle of order and chaos and what that looks like for different individuals. In this series I’m interested in showing how organizing affects the artist’s creative process.
Finklestein’s Center Interview and Studio Sneak Peek Part II. If you missed it, go back and read Part I.
HKPS:: Do you consider yourself to be an organized person? How or where have you learn your organizing habits and systems? H ave you ever worked with another artist or gallery that you learned any organization from?
MJ::I do consider myself an organized person even if my techniques for organization only make sense to me. My habits happen organically through necessity. Systems occur due either to space availability or the need to contain a certain type of material. I try keep like items together so I’m not running around in the middle of a creative process tracking down ribbon or thread. My productivity really drops if I’m pulled away to locate materials. I formally worked high volume retail. Needless to say with so much merchandise on hand, I picked up some tips for organizing in small storage spaces.
HKPS:: What tips can you offer regarding your use of schedules, systems, tools or processes that help you maintain organization in your studio? Do you purge, clean or de-clutter your supply stash and space on a regular basis?
MJ::A tip that works for me, I try to stick to buying only supplies that I absolutely need. I use to buy materials because it was fun to raid the craft store. As my space started to fill I stopped myself from doing that. I have slowly purged my storage bins of things that just take up space. Although, I am still guilty of sneaking new drawing pencils or felt tip pins my my cart from time to time.
HKPS:: Please describe how creative cycles of organization or dis-organization affect your creative process? Are there certain phases of projects that are more or less organized?
MJ::A normal process of mine is messing up then cleaning up at the end of the day. I love to walk into a clean and organized studio in the morning. Also, if you clean as you go it doesn’t turn into a task that seems overwhelming. Something that really throws off my creative cycle is knowing I have something in my supplies stash and not being able to find it. If I’m feeling productive and creative then have to take 10 minutes to find fabric glue, it throws everything off track. Thats why I find it important to keep like items together and label storage tubs and containers.
HKPS:: How much thought do you give to your artistic body of work in terms of historic value and the overall legacy you will leave behind? How do you store/archive your work or records?
MJ::As far as archiving my work, all of my pieces are photoed and cataloged by yearly quarter on a hard-drive. This helps me to know when the design was created. This later proves to be helpful when we decide which designs need to be copyrighted.
Please see more of Michelle’s work here, where you can shop online and see her show schedule. If you are in Charleston, you can still visit the show at Redux::Rufous: The Stuff of Life until later this week, March 28th. Check it out!
If you are struggling with the cycles of order and dis-order in your creative process I’d love to help! I offer custom in person and virtual organizing, please contact me for more info or see my services page.