Friday, October 14, 2011

View of a Working Studio

Jane Davies here, with a view of my studio.
I just got Cloth Paper Scissors e-newsletter offering a new publication called "Inside the Creative Studio: Inspiration and Ideas for Your Art and Craft Space". The e-newsletter asks: What makes a Dream Studio? My answer: make it work for YOU and your own style.

I have seen some artists' studios that look just like any dream studio in a magazine, artists who are both organized AND productive and creative, and sometimes I long to be one of those artists. HOWEVER, I am not one of those. And for those of you who are a little more like me (not totally disorganized, but definitely not a neatnik) I am writing this post to suggest that you do not need a "Dream Studio" to make art. You can get some very useful ideas from CPS's fabulous publications on studios, and Inside the Creative Studio sounds like a great resource (see Sue Bleiweiss's book review). I have gotten great tips myself. But don't let gorgeous photos of beautiful studios discourage you from making art on your kitchen table, your corner of the bedroom, your studio with stuff all over the place (that's me), your dingy basement, or the living room floor. You are who you are. Organize to suit your own style of working, your own level of sustainable organization.

As good as it gets for me (photo-shoot ready):

What it usually looks like:

The other worktable:

My Own Dream Studio

I love my studio and feel so fortunate to have it; I have a harder time loving my own messy, somewhat disorganized habits. But if I if I set up my studio to be really neat and tidy, I can't sustain it and always feel like I'm failing. My striving for a workable solution is an ongoing process, balancing my own relaxed attitude towards neatness with the need to find a tool when I need it.

Thanks for taking a look. Embrace who you are and what you have, and accept whatever workspace you have as your dream studio!


  1. I think it is so intriguing to see inside an artists studio. Thank you for showing us how it really looks, which I so appreciate. I am organized, but my studio is quite messy when I am in the thick of it. I think that whatever works, is what you should do. Love those boxes on the vertical part of your desk for paint.

  2. I am SO glad to know that I am not the only one in the SBC that functions in chaos! My studio is a total disaster when I am working (and sometimes when I am not)! Thanks for sharing the view from your studio.

  3. it is becoming boring looking at neat and tidy everything from kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms studios etc. the cult of perfectionism is a magazine obsession along with skinny models and perfect white teeth. My experience with perfectionists is their living and working space is incredible, procrastination long and production brief.

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  5. try again... sorted the long link

    You might enjoy the fact that studios like ours can actually become art itself.

    A post on Art Propelled about an exhibition with the work of Joe Fig.

    and on his website
    Sandy in the UK

  6. I love your cubbies. You can see all the colors of your paint tubes while they are off the table but handy!

    I don't know if there is truly a thing as a neat WORKING studio.

  7. thanks, Jane, for showing us your studio! maybe all of us Sketchbook Artist should post pics of our studios. It would make a fun feature...

  8. Thank you for being open and honest about your studio. One thing it looks like you create and work there as apposed to the magazine slick shots in the books and magazines. I would love to see more studios that show the working of the area, chaos and all! Not feeling alone in my chaos, feels great!

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your studio! I love your work space with the cubbies above it. That would be so handy.

    I love my art space but it is certainly not magazine worthy. I work in a corner of our unfinished basement. It is nice to see where artists work and especially love to see ones that trully look like a working space.

  10. Jane, thanks for the peek ... And for giving me an idea of how to reuse a little wooden set of shelves!

  11. Ah yes - but nobody's studio looks the same in practice as it does for a photo shoot. What we are looking at in the magazines are dreams... even for the artists who live in them.

    I do like my workspace to be clean and orderly - I hate wasting time hunting for things that are buried. Perhaps that's why I've had a number of unproductive months - my studio is buried in class supplies.


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