A short while ago the wonderfully outspoken Ricë Freeman Zachery (her blog Notes from the Voodoo Cafe is in my blog roll) and a friend of hers started a flickr group on real life studio's called The Everyday Studio. If you don't know about it yet, check it out here and if you want to: join and upload your own studio pictures. I don't know about you, but I love to look at other people's studio's.
The group is meant to be a response to all those too good to be true studio's you see in magazines and books that look really good and exceptionally pretty, but you wonder how anybody can get any work done with them being so neat and clean and tidy. It just does not seem realistic.
Of course I put up photos of my studio on this group too, even though some of them are a little outdated. I plan to do a post on my studio some time in the future and take new photographs then, but if you want to see the older pictures just go to my flickr set here.
All this looking at other people's houses and studio's got me to thinking about mine of course. Especially the way Ricë herself seems to have dedicated her entire house to her art and writing was really inspiring to me. In my house there are signs of my artsyness just about everywhere, but when it comes to the actual work I usually keep to my studio. I love my studio, no doubt about it, but sometimes even this luxury does not seem luxurious enough. I notice this mostly when doing my (art) journaling. I usually write downstairs and do the rest in my studio upstairs (my studio is originally the master bedroom of my house).
The funny thing is that I have art supplies downstairs for art journaling. I just never use them. And I have been thinking why that is. The answer can be found in the next photograph.
This is my dining table (on which I never dine by the way). It is in the kitchen. The art supplies are right there. But can you see them? No, neither can I. The wonderful thing about my studio is that everything is in the open. If it's stuck in boxes somewhere I don't use it unless I plan ahead. So on the above picture you can see, if you look very closely, one tin of watercolor. My journal is lying closed on the table (bottom left corner) with my tote of pens and stuff on top of it. So I can write and I can draw a little, but when it comes to pasting things and cutting up papers and stuff I need to go through a lot of trouble (or what feels like a lot of trouble). See, all the rest of the supplies are in the blue boxes. The boxes are closed and I never take them out, because I always feel that when I have done so I need to clean all the stuff up again after I'm done and put the boxes back in their neat little pile.
Looking at Ricës house made me wonder how I could learn a little from her. I mean, I never use this table for entertaining. I hardly ever sit at it myself except to write in my journal in the morning. It's mostly just standing there. On the rare occasion I have visitors we never sit at it and I even eat dinner in the living room (yes, I'm one of those eat-on-the-couch people). I live alone, so why not make a little more effort to even more adapt the house to my own preferences (and it's pretty adapted already, trust me, haha).
So I decided to start up a second workstation, next to the one upstairs in my studio and dedicate it to art journaling alone. That way I don't have to alternate between my seperate pieces and the art journal at my main work table and I can just leave the journal open and have everything I need at hand. So, after some rearranging and moving some stuff away from the dining table and other stuff on to it, it now looks like this:
Now, let me first tell you that this didn't take any money, except five euro's for the table cloth, because I wanted to keep the wood safe from acrylic paints. But other than that it was cost free. I just hauled some stuff from upstairs, I opened the boxes and use the lids now as boxes too and I got the smaller sets of watercolor pencils, crayons, etc. from upstairs to play with downstairs. I also got some of the cheaper papers and some ephemera and some decorative tapes from upstairs and of course some magazines to cut up.
Because the picture was just taken after I finished this little make over it still looks really tidy, but the idea is that I can leave the journal there while working on it and so can easily get to it in between chores or other stuff without having to clean up or go through any trouble opening boxes and closets.
This may be the first step into turning my entire house into an art studio! I already have ideas in my head for a real little sewing room upstairs! ;-)