Organizing Studios aka Creativity Zone

I got up this morning to do a search on organizing my Creativity Zone. I've been searching the web for ideas, and I found a reference to the book Where Women Create and I think I'm going to order that book. Here are a few other ideas I found on the web

BUT! I realize that some of you visitors here are also artists, who also have spaces to manage, and tips for organization. Sooooooo....if you have some ideas that work well in your studios, workshops, dungeons, whatever you call it, would you please comment and leave your idea? Or better yet, take a picture and write about it, and then leave a link to your blog in the comments section here? How do you organize your space? Any ideas from all you wonderful artists are appreciated! Please don't send pictures of staged rooms that you don't actually work in. AND Horrible before pictures are especially appreciated. ;-)

The thing that really gets out of hand is the felted wool I've made from sweaters and blazers that I've washed in hot. It doesn't fold well. I need a better solution for that. AND I need a better system for those little fabric leftovers. Right now I've just got them in a basket (overflowing!).

The dolls in case above are a perfect visual image for organization. Aren't they charming? I'm really into dolls and presentation boxes right now. I have a little pocketboook case that I've been painting and intend on filling with some small dollies.


Stillwaters Music said...

Dixie, I love this subject you're writing on! I used to think I was the only one guilty of such chaos, but have discovered in the art world, it's almost part of the job description. Like a gardener, I like to get my hands dirty in the creative stage, but when it comes to organizing the craft supply room, I do believe that should be in tip-top shape ALL the time. Can't tell you how much time I waste looking for something! I have that book, and it is truly inspiring.
I have a quilting friend that keeps her fabric pieces organized in (new) pizza boxes all nicely stacked on one of those metal shelving units. :)

Denise Aumick said...

No-Organization-Here is my motto. My work spaces are horrendous disasters. It would take me hours, no - days, to even post a staged photo.
I love this dolls in boxes idea. This is fantastic. Please keep us posted on your progress. Oh, I'm just seeing the coolest visions in my mind!

Anonymous said...

I am sooo unorganized it is crazy. I can't wait to have a space to call my own. For now it is scattered a little here and there throughout my house.

The think I have been doing lately is using decorative things as storage....such as old suitcases and picnic baskets. Out of site and out of mind. Last year I bought a matching dresser and desk at a yard sale for $30.00. Mind you I spent days stripping it, but it is sooo beautiful, so now my sewing table is an antique desk and the dressed is used to store "things".....I also have a fabric treasure chest made out of wicker...and my most valued fabrics are in a suitcase that sits right next to my sewing table. My sister picked me up a standing sewing box that I can use to store extra threads and such. Do you have a town dump? Do they have a swap shop? When I lived in NH...they did and boy did I get the goods there. People throw away some of the best treasures.

Hope this helps...I will try and snap a few pics for you.


The Feathered Nest said...

Oh Dixie, Where Women Create is an absolutely fabulous book!! You will love it so much...but I do love to have a peek into someone else's workspace ~ they may have an idea that I can use in mine, you know? xxoo, Dawn

Anonymous said...

OOOh right up my alley!!! I love the little picture of the tiny dollies. will have to check that out. Thanks for sharing!!!

acorniv said...

I work in many mediums - antique paper, wood, fabric, metal felted wool, and recycled who knows what's. Each of these also has corresponding tools ( and I LOVE tools.) Especially with recycled fodder, there is a point where one has to accept that a well equipped studio of mixed media is never going to be a completely organized studio. At least not one where everything will be immediately accessible, let alone always visable ( my preference as I'm very visual and get ideas from what I see).

My solution has been to divide my supplies betwen large ( my former studio in my basement) and small/fragile (my current studio). This way, I have the fiddly things at hand at all times. These are the things, I find, that I get out and dither over which to use. The larger items tend to be the base of a project. I also keep infrequently used tools in the basement space.

I'm very fortunate in that I have a decent sized space (12' x 20') with a LOT of natural light. But that light comes at a price. I have wall space for storage only on one long wall. Everything else must fit below waist high or in an 18" high space around the ceiling.

For many people, the challenge is finding good storage units. I had some good pieces ( a large cabinet from a mid-century science class, and from the same period school, a rolling double sided book case, plus several vintage cabinets with small drawers). I also had a husband who was willing to build out my one solid wall with book cases. The rest?

Stores going out of business are a great resource ( my favorite are plexiglass cubbies which have been very useful, because they can sit on my counters and I can see through them, and still get light through them).

Thrift shops - Goodwill, for some reason, seems to be the best for this, at least in my area. My favorite find there was a gross of crystal clear baby bottles from a hospital. I filled these with my antique buttons and slid them, bottom end out, into my plexi-cubbies. I now have a gross of nipples to find a use for!

Ikea - this store periodically does a major purge - and dumps palletes of some item for next to free. They did it with all their solid wood furniture a few years ago. Terrible move, IMO, but I benefited - at 70% off, we bought enough kitchen cabinets to remodel our kitchen and have 5 left over for my studio. Then they purged a pallet full of 13" square two drawered boxes ( these were designed to fit into a cubby unit they still sell). I bought 2 dozen of them at 2 bucks apiece.

IMO, IKEA is the single best source for an organized studio, because so much of what they sell is modular and adaptable and even hackable ( hackikea,com is one of my favorite sites). Plus they have real sales. We used their Pax (bedroom) cabinets with sliding doors, in our kitchen - something we've been unable to find anyone else who has tried, and we think it is the best cabinet a kitchen could ever have ( NO doors to deal with!) That idea was inspired when they deeply discounted the frosted glass doors that just happened to match the kitchen ones we were buying. Go with an open mind and look in ever department ( I always begin in the as is room, which we call the Ikea dumpster - because sometimes it is (they used to even have a large bin of broken glass - free for artists). The only drawback is you have to have space to store what you are not quite ready to use.

Dixie Redmond said...

Acorn - lots of good information here. :-)

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden