One of the things I find marvellous about the Internet age is accessibility, not only is it easier than ever before to share art and delight in creation but now more than ever we can see the studio spaces where works are dreamed up, brought forth and given to the world.
I love looking at other artist’s studios. These spaces vary wildly in character, size and style matching the personality of the artists they belong to. Sometimes I find myself feeling rather envious of the lovely working environs of the creators I admire. Yes, I’m not ashamed to admit I have studio envy. Often I admire the space where the work is made as much as the artist’s work.
Studio envy can be a fickle thing. Sometimes it can be a negative force, a tool self doubt uses to reinforce feelings of inadequacy (“everybody has better working spaces than me”). I often remind myself in those moments that this marvellous view I’m seeing is one snapshot, a tailored view into someone else’s life. Not only do they probably have similar self doubt at times, you can guarantee that perfect studio space doesn’t look that tidy all the time creating can be messy work. Other times my studio envy can be channeled into a positive, seeing the loveliness as something to aim towards within my own studio and in the meantime being grateful that I get to see these artists succeeding and sharing.
Recently I had a big (and I mean BIG furniture shifting, culling of stuff level) Spring sort out of my own studio space, as I did this I felt both some envy for other spaces and a feeling of relief that when it was done it would be at least functional. I knew my studio still wasn’t perfect, but it’s a space I can create in and that’s the main purpose.
Flushed with the success of weeks tidying I posted a picture of my desk on Facebook.
You can imagine my surprise when not only did it receive a lot of positive engagement it also became the focus of some studio envy!
Life’s funny that way sometimes right?
So before I go making a studio mess to the level I’m embarrassed to share with the world. I thought I’d show you some snaps beyond that one pretty table (which incidentally doesn’t look nearly that tidy now) in the hopes that any envy it brings will be of the positive sort…
These shelves sit directly behind my main desk, roughly in the middle of the room (probably would’ve had a fireplace here in some other lifetime). As you can see they feature a sort of organised chaos, arguably a fair representation of my entire studio where my priority seems to be “squeeze it all in and hope I can find it when I need it”.
The sewing desk. I have three “desks” in total, the main table featured above, this sewing desk and a little single school desk – an original from my old primary school. This desk is where most of the sewing related tools live and on the rare occasion I actually use my sewing machine it sits here too.
The day I created this storage wall was one of the proudest moments in my studio’s history. Storage solutions gleaned from the marvellous internet morphed into a useful yet oddly visually pleasing collection on my wall. There are ribbon racks – pretty garden scroll brackets with dowels and strings holding the ribbons/tapes. Vintage coat hangers filled with extra tape rolls. Rolls of fabric, dowels and other tall things are held in the corner with a leather belt (not quite the naughty corner but out of mischief). And finally the half hanging baskets, originally I saw this idea being used for toy storage, they’re perfect for raffia and balls of string.
All around my studio i have tried to use interesting storage containers and decorate shelf edges. Often my studio envy focuses upon the pretty items and perfect storage pieces (like wooden curiosity cabinets – oh how i would love one), so by gradually filling my own studio with little pieces of loveliness I add to my enjoyment of the space. Each piece tells a little of my journey too now I think about it.
(click on these pics for more description)
The final element in my rambling studio tour is this shelf. I call it the inspiration shelf, I’m gradually filling it with pieces that call to my creative soul. Of course there are plenty of similarly yummy items around (including my wooden mushroom collection, more on that later) but this shelf represents a conscious effort on my part to focus on things that bring me joy – something of a theme of mine this year. Favourites so far include my flamingo feather, crochet doily, wonders by cart before the horse and a little brass bowl I found last week.