Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lost Coast Studio Saturday: Organizing Part 1

A little while back, I solicited comments regarding topics you, dear readers, would like to see me address here at Lost Coast Post.  Jackie wrote in and asked about how I organize my studio.  So I wandered my studio space and took a few pictures.  For me, there are some basic rules:

First and foremost, 1) Arrange items from most used to least used in a spiral moving outward from my studio table.  I am right-handed so directly to my right is a bookcase that holds the things I use every day: adhesives, scissors, baby wipes, scratch paper, paints (in my dominate color palette) and so on.  I never have to leave my chair to grab the essentials.  The shelf above this holds all my spiral-bound sketchbooks which I use every day.

My focus in the studio does change from time to time so if I notice a trend towards not needing a particular supply close at hand for an extended period of time, I rotate in what I have been using and move that little used product out of my immediate space.

2) Out of sight means out of mind, so whenever possible, label everything & store in a visible manner such as clear boxes, open files, decorative yet useful displays.  Also immediately to my right, is an old wooden cassette tape holder (screwed into the wall) that now holds all the inks I use the most.  As you can see, I also label my ink pads on the outside so I can know in a glance what pad to grab.  Lesser used inks are on a display directly behind me.

Here's another example of storing stuff out in the open.  In this case, it's my Prismacolor pencils, organized by color in teapcups and mugs on a lazy susan.  I've also included commonly needed pencils & pens on this display.  I haven't been using colored pencils very often lately (I keep the most used colors in a cup right at hand) so this is a couple of steps away from my chair.  I can easily move it onto my table when doing pencil work.

Long ago, I let go of the notion of a magazine-ready pristine oak cabinets or vintage storage here.  And I also let go of worry that guests would see all my supplies.  If it works for me, I do it and although that means my home won't rate a Martha Stewart spread, it does mean my studio is as comfortable and functional as possible.  Case in point, hanging on the wall that transitions into my kitchen, this old shoe holder that now is home to all my most used hand carved and foam stamps.  Again, I can see instantly what I need and where it is.   

We'll explore my studio some more in Part Two of this topic so stay tuned!  Thank you Jackie for the great question! 


lee said...

great tour and good tips

Scatter said...

Thanks to you and Jackie! I'm one of those out of site out of mind types too. *runs to kitchen to rescue unused lazy susan*

Andria said...

Ooh, I love peeking into people's work spaces, and I love the transparency of your organizational systems. Thanks for sharing!

Emie58 said...

I love seeing pics of your studio... mine is in need of major reorganization!

Terri Kahrs said...

LOVE that you're so organized and that your studio is, indeed, a "working studio" that really works for you, Michelle! I've really enjoyed this tour and have actually icked up a couple of tips.

I, too, use a lazy susan on my worktable. The cups are filled with my favorite Prismacolor pencils, tools (scissors, exacto knives, etc.) and my favorite watercolor pencils too. Truly helps to keep everything in reach when you're in the zone. Can't wait for the 2nd half of the tour! Hugs, Terri xoxo

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