Monday, February 11, 2013

Book review: Inside the creative studio / Cate Coulacos Prato

Title: Inside the creative studio - inspiration and ideas for your art and craft space
Author: Cate Coulacos Prato
Info: 160 p. - 2011
Rating: 7.5 / 10

If you are anything like me you love to look at art supplies and studio spaces. (There's a reason I have an entire board devoted to those things on Pinterest!) I like seeing where people work, how they organize their materials and how resourceful they are in their use of space.

So...if that is your thing too, then you should definitely check out this book, that was gifted to me by a friend,  because it's full of eye candy and inside views of the working spaces of all kinds of artists in all kinds of styles. If you can drool without envy you should really enjoy this. ;-) I know I did!

Next to the inside looks into the studio's, there are some general tips and ideas about organizing and every studio comes with a floor plan, which gives you a little extra insight into how the space is arranged. Because the styles and users of the studio's were so different it would be hard not to find anything that would fit you and your preferences. 

Still, I'm not sure if I would recommend this book to someone who is trying to set up a studio for the first time or who is just a beginning artist who needs practical advice.

That's because there are several things about this book that I found a little lacking.

The biggest thing is that even though the book pertains to be made for studios of every size, including really small spaces, about 95 percent of them are pretty darn big. It's not that there are no small studio's at all, but they are a tiny minority. And most of us cannot afford to have a space built in our backyards or take over the biggest room in the house. (Yes, I'm one of the lucky ones that can, in fact I've taken over my entire house,  but I know how it works when you have to share your home with a family.)

Another thing that annoyed me was that quite often there was a reference to something in the text that made me curious as to how it looked, only to find there was no picture of it. And it's not like there's a huge amount of text or anything, so why put it in?

The way the chapters were ordered and divided made no sense to me. Any studio could have pretty much fallen under any chapter. It seemed a little artificial and forced to do it as if those studio's really fell into different categories.

Absolutely silly were the so called 'interviews' at the end of each chapter, which weren't interviews at all, just a paragraph and some pictures of some artist's space. They didn't add anything to the book (well, some pretty pictures).

Before you think this book is no good, let me say that I absolutely loved it, but you must take it for what it is: inspiration. Nothing more and certainly nothing less. You should pick up some ideas here and there, no doubt. And of course a studio is just as personal as the artist, so maybe it's impossible to write a consise guide for setting up one.

One last note...don't even dream of ever keeping a studio as clean and tidy as they are in these pictures. You know that's the work of stylists, right? ;-) 


  1. Hi Caatje... thank you for your very honest review... I have actually never heard of this book... but I do love that it is packed with inspiration... will check it out... thank you for sharing...

    Jenny ♥

    1. It really is a book to swoon over! :-)

  2. Thanks for the review, Caatje. And even more than that, thank you for calling attention to your Pinterest page...I've never taken a look at it before! Can't wait to spend some more time exploring your pins.

    1. Thanks Andria, I hope you enjoy my boards!


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