Updated: Sep 19, 2021
Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had an amazing weekend. I had a lot going on, including a wonderful Cat Mother's Day lunch with a fellow Cat Mom. Since I was so busy, I thought it would be the perfect time for me to give you a tour of my art studio! I've been documenting the evolution of my art studio since we moved back in February, and it's finally ready for a reveal. (Need some tips for moving with art supplies? Read this post.) I'm not the best interior decorator in the world, but I hope it can give you some cool ideas for your art space!
Oh, and you'll all get a sneak peek at my latest piece in this post. So keep your button-eyes out for that. *wink*
This was my old painting space. It wasn't really a studio, but I made a lot of work in this little corner of our living room. And when I say little, I'm talking 3' x 5' in total. My space was comprised of my easel, a chair, and a repurposed file cabinet that held my paints. It also had a little black shelf that held my tablet full of reference photos. And that was it!
I never shared my old space before, because it just wasn't cute. That being said, I never let that factor prevent me from making art. Despite what social media says, you don't need a perfectly all-white studio full of bright sunshine and super expensive, exotic plants to be a real artist. All you need is a place to put your canvas and a place to store your supplies. If you find this belief holding you back, I highly encourage you to kick that thought to the curb. It's just not true.
This corner wasn't perfect, but it will always hold a special place in my artist heart. Fun fact: this tiny corner was right next to the couch where my husband proposed to me.
While we were moving in to our new place, my husband had a brilliant beyond brilliant idea - let's use boxes and old furniture to plan out what we want our new space to look like! As I mentioned previously, I'm not good at interior decorating, so this little exercise helped me visualize what I wanted. We played around with these objects to plan what would work best for us and came up with something super functional.
We knew we wanted to divide our maker space from the dining area and the kitchen, so we set up our old bookshelf as a marker for a future divider. We also used boxes and our desk chairs to figure out what size desks we could fit in this space. Thankfully, it seemed like our plan was going to work just fine, and we moved forward with this idea.
The very first thing we worked on was our desks. Due to the pandemic, the only Ikea in our state (and all their online stores) was completely out of stock of everything we had planned on buying. And after perusing other furniture stores, nothing was catching my eye. For an added challenge, I needed a desk that is much shorter than the standard desk height manufacturers use in their designs. (Can we please get a furniture line made for people of all sizes, please? Thanks.) This meant we had to get creative and come up with a custom design that would work for our needs.
We first needed to determine what style we wanted and eventually settled on an industrial feel for this area. When paint and wood shavings are going to be involved, you want something that looks like it can stand up to wear and tear. After some brainstorming, we came up with the idea of using butcher block counter tops paired with custom metal desk legs. The wood desktops meant easy maintenance and felt inviting towards creation. The metal legs were found by searching "custom desk legs", and I stumbled upon an incredible Etsy Seller who could make desk legs to the exact height I needed. (If you're in the market for custom metal work, check out this Etsy Shop.) Thus our desks were born.
The Process Continued
We then started moving all of our tools and supplies into the space and worked on figuring out storage solutions. This was the biggest point of importance for us: our space needed to allow both of us to work on projects at the same time. No one really knows this, but my husband loves making things, too! He doesn't make 2D visual art like I do, but he enjoys painting miniatures for tabletop games, working on model boats, and tinkering around with other various things. Thankfully, our new apartment has enough space for both of us to have work desks and plenty of storage for our all of our projects.
We also decided to be very serious adults and get a Star Wars rug for our studio space. Actually, we debated back and forth about this rug for a few days and almost bought something more "grown up". But then we decided to do what we wanted and got this beautiful, quirky area rug. Why do homes have to be so serious, anyway?
This is what we ended up with, and I absolutely love it! It's bright, it's functional, it's fun - it's literally everything we wanted in a creative space. (I almost tidied my husband's desk for this photo, but that didn't seem realistic. So I left it as it was.)
One of my favorite features are the shelves on the wall. I looked everywhere for shelves, and absolutely nothing was meeting my requirements. So we brainstormed again and came up with something pretty unique: the shelves are made with stair treads and black brackets we got at the hardware store. Basically I've realized, if I can't find exactly what I want, I can make it. If you're like me, step out of that box and see what cool things you can make on your own!
Here's a closeup of my workspace, featuring my adorable studio assistant, Gyda. And no, my desk is not staged - aside from having my drawing out. Part of my art ritual is to clean up at the end of every drawing session. It helps me close out of my work brain and transition into something else. I also cannot create in the midst of chaos. I know some people can, but my brain freaks out if I don't have a clean work area.
You might also notice an almost complete piece sitting on my desk! "Dinner with the Other Parents" is finally done, and I'll be sharing my process with you next week along with the final version. So be sure to look for my blog post next Monday!
I hope you enjoyed having a peek into my art space! I'm so happy to finally have something that reflects mine and my husband's needs as well as our personalities. I've learned that designing an art studio all boils down to fostering a space that gets you in the right mindset to create. It doesn't have to look a certain way or be just like someone else's. Let your uniqueness shine through even here.
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Thanks for reading and happy creating!