An artist's studio should be a creative haven. That’s why it’s so important to organize the room in a way that is most conducive to your workflow. While there's an array of neat products that can help you put things in order, there are also several economical ways to transform your studio into the one of your dreams.
Before you start tidying up, it's helpful to analyze your artistic practice within the context of your creative space. Ask yourself key questions: How can I make my process smoother? Where do I spend the most time working? Is there anything in the room that I wish was different? This can mean different things depending on the medium(s) you work in and the size of your studio. However, whether you're a painter or a graphic designer, there are a few universal ways you can improve your workroom.
Scroll down to learn five helpful tips that will help you get your art studio into shipshape.
Learn how to organize your art studio with these five practical tips.
Separate your supplies into containers
Once you've amassed an enviable collection of pencils, markers, and paint brushes it's important to give them a home. By organizing your supplies into separate containers you will save yourself time and energy in finding exactly what you need. For example, you can repurpose common household items such as vases or mason jars to hold your utensils. Almost any cup will work as long as it is sturdy enough to not tip over.
Or, if you need a solution that will keep your desk and shelf space free, you can stash your supplies in drawers. Flat files are ideal for artists who work with a lot of paper, as they come in an array of sizes to accommodate even large-scale materials. On the other hand, if you prefer to have your toolbox on wheels, you can arrange your utensils in a rolling cart. This way you can stay organized on-the-go.
Another great way to streamline your workflow is to label your supplies. Adding names to your storage will help you navigate a large collection with practiced ease. Plus, when it's time for cleanup, you can avoid the hassle of searching for the appropriate container.
Investing in a label maker will simplify this process, but if you'd rather add a personal touch, you can handwrite labels on scraps of paper and tape them to drawers and jars alike. Sorting supplies by color? Then consider adding a swatch of the hues you've bundled together so you can find exactly what you're searching for.
Take advantage of extra wall space
If you're working in a smaller studio, then you probably want to utilize every inch of space that you have. Free up your floor by incorporating floating shelves and trays. This is especially useful for mixed media artists that work in a variety of mediums. Store the art supplies you use the most often closer to your desk and place the lesser-used tools on higher shelf space. Even your door can become a useful station with a hanging storage unit.
Donate extra supplies
Whether it's once a month or once every three months, it's helpful to regularly comb through your art supplies for empty paint tubes, dry pens, and other unnecessary tools. You might come across a set of watercolors or colored pencils you don't use anymore. Instead of throwing it away, consider donating it to a local organization or school. It's a great way to streamline your studio and help someone else make art!
Organizations where you can donate art supplies:
- A Little Something—Based in Denver, this organization helps refugee women learn new creative skills.
- The Dreaming Zebra—Based in Portland, this foundation provides art supplies to children and schools.
Prioritize clean up
Organizing your studio is just half of the battle. Once you've arranged everything the way you like it, it's up to you to maintain it. That’s why cleaning up after every creative session is so important. Even if it feels like a hassle at the moment, you'll thank yourself for preparing the studio for your next artistic project.