Tag Archives: building a studio

Studio Planning: Inside the Creative Studio

I went to my new studio last weekend (forgot to take a photo, can you believe it?) and it has a roof, is painted on the outside, and even has its own doorbell. How fun is that? We’re about two weeks away from moving in and I realize that I need to finish my space design before it is full of boxes!

My favorite book for studio inspiration has been Inside the Creative Studio: Inspiration and Ideas for your Art and Craft Space by Cate Cioulacos Prato. Greg gave me this book for Christmas and it has been a huge help in making wish lists and designing the floor layout for my new studio.

In addition to the gorgeous photos of studios (or as we call it in our house now, studio eye-candy) this book is full of helpful tips, stories from artists about how they designed and built their studios, and even actual space diagrams. I found the tips from each artist to be especially helpful.

The studio interviews and diagrams are bookended by helpful articles such as “Clutter Out, Creativity In: 10 Steps to a more artful studio” and “For Your Illumination: How to choose the best lighting for your studio” and my favorite,  “101 Organization and Storage Tips.” 

Since we make artists books and paper is one of our favorite guilty pleasures, here are their 10 Best Solutions for Paper Storage (p. 60)

  1. Flat file drawers
  2. Shoe Cubbies
  3. A pretty (or industrial) trash can (for rolls)
  4. Umbrella stand (for rolls)
  5. Large size zipper bags (clip them to cascading skirt/pant hangers)
  6. Wooden clothes drying rack (for rice and tissue papers)
  7. Accordion files (Attach a scrap with the color to the front of each slot or write the name of the color with a permanent marker)
  8. Archival boxes
  9. Plastic protector sheets (magazine cutouts, paper motifs, small images on found papers)
  10. Portfolios for extra-large pieces of paper (You can slide the whole thing under the bed.)

Do you have a book that you can recommend? What tools did you use to plan your studio?



Studio Planning: Art Making and Studio Spaces

We’re on the last leg of a long journey towards our new home and my new studio. With any luck at all we’ll be moving in the next couple of weeks. In between packing (and wondering where all this stuff came from) I’ve been looking at books about studio planning.

One of the books I’ve been enjoying was lent to me by one of my students, Viveca.  The book, Art Making and Studio Spaces, by Lynne Perrella, features beautiful and inspiring photographs. Somehow the studios look both organized and yet creatively chaotic at the same time. Since my studio has, up to this point, been more chaotic than creative, I was interested in how other artists organize their spaces so that they are neat but usable.

I was thrilled to see Pam Sussman’s studio. Pam makes artists’ books and the photos of her 1,800 square foot studio show display spaces for her books as well as functionality such as a cart with wrapped bricks to move weights wherever she needs them.

My studio will be just a small portion of that space at 400 square feet, but I’ve been thinking a cart for my Kutrimmer might be just the solution for being able to cut different sized papers – move the Kutrimmer next to a table when I need the extra support, tuck it in a corner when I’m not doing any cutting.

Some of my other favorite studios are Sas Colby’s, with it’s big doors that blur the boundaries between indoors and out, Faye Anderson’s with her large workspace wall to tack up work in progress, and Melissa Zink’s with the rich wood tables, bookcases, flat files and apothecary cabinets.

I can’t do anything about opening up the walls, but a working wall to tack up ideas and artists’ books in progress sounds wonderful and a must add to my new studio. I’d love to add some of the rich woods, too. Most of my studio furniture is white, very functional, but lacking history.

This  book is certainly eye candy for artists. The studios themselves look like works of art. You may have to stay up all night redecorating your studio after looking at this book.



Studio Update: Let There Be Drywall

A quick studio update. We have drywall!

And chicken-wire. Sadly that will probably be the only chicken-wire in our yard. Despite lobbying for nearly 6 months I’m making no progress in getting Greg to agree that chickens would be a nice addition to our brood of four kitties. Fresh eggs for breakfast doesn’t seem to be enough incentive. I think I’m making progress on the a-puppy-would-sure-be-nice front, though. Stay tuned.

The front door is on the left. The closed door on the right is to the bathroom. (You can get to the bathroom via an inside door, as well.) I’m looking forward to being able to make cyanotypes and paper in the patio behind the studio and take all that wet, messy and wonderful stuff straight into the sink. No more trekking it through the studio.)

The bottom photo is a tradition Greg and I started nearly 13 years ago when we met. We take shadow pictures wherever we go. (It warms my heart that now my niece, Samantha, takes shadow pictures everywhere, too.) The thing in Greg’s hand is a tape measure. We seem to be measuring everything these days.

I’ve also started space planning and I’ll tell you some more about the books and software that I’m using for inspiration and planning in a blog post or two later this week.