Sunday, June 6, 2010

Artist Studio Declutter

Please join me in welcoming the virtual tour group following 27 Things to Feng Shui Your Home author Tisha Morris.


Yesterday, June 5, the tour was hosted by Yvonne Perry who published her book review for 27 Things on her writing blog at http://yvonneperry.blogspot.com/

Today I have the distinct pleasure of presenting Tisha Morris's expert advice on how to handle an artist studio declutter.  Take it away Tisha . . .

How Does an Artist Keep Her Studio Decluttered?

One of my readers posed this question: What does an artist do to keep her studio clear? After all, the lives of artists, writers, and other creative people collect all types of “special flotsam & jetsam in the name of the creative process.” According to this reader, there are so many items that need to be kept that are a record of process. How do we decide if our ephemera is worthy of that?


Great question and being a former Interior Design student and one who paints as a hobby, I can totally relate!

In my blog article, What Your Home Says About You, I note that artists tend to be more right-brained – the non-organizing part of the brain. And as I pointed out, is having your home, or especially your art studio, a little messy such a bad thing? Of course not. It’s all part of the creative process, right? Or is it?

We all have a different standard as to what is too messy or too much clutter. You know when your home or studio has gotten out of control. You feel scattered, cloudy, weighed down, or creatively stuck. That’s when you know it’s time to take action.

First off, the size of your studio space will ultimately dictate how much art and supplies you can have on hand. When it comes to art, you can fill a warehouse space just as easy as you could fill a small corner of the kitchen. For example, when I decided that I wanted to convert my art studio space from a whole room to a corner in order to do yoga, I had to downsize the amount of art materials I kept. So designating how much space you are willing and wanting to take up is the first step.

Next, organizing units are essential. If you don’t already have proper storage, then these can be purchased from any art supply store. Have proper storage and organization in your studio so that you will at least have a standard for organization and have a place for everything. That way, when you know your space has gotten too messy for even your right-brain, you have bins and drawers to put stuff in.

If you then have too much stuff to fit into your organizing units, then it’s time to downsize. This is where the emotional aspects come into play – what to keep and what not to keep. If you keep items for inspiration, such as photos, cards, images, etc., then go through them to see what still resonates with you. You may be surprised how different you may feel about some of the items. Discard any items that you don’t absolutely love or that no longer inspire you.

What about your own past work? This can be very difficult. It took me several different clearings to finally dispose of my interior design projects. I had kept what I needed for purposes of including in a portfolio. For boards that I knew I would never need or use again, I took pictures of them before eventually disposing of them. It was difficult knowing how much time had gone into them. But honestly, I haven’t missed them since. In fact, I feel much lighter once I got rid of them. Every time I would see them in the closet, I was subconsciously reminded of the long hours I spent on them. I still keep a small portfolio of photos I took of my projects for nostalgia.

When your designated space for past projects gets too full, then it’s time to go through them to determine what needs to go. For me, I periodically dispose of my pieces of art that aren’t that great, meaning that I’ve improved since then. For pieces of art or art supplies that you no longer want, consider listing them on freecycle.org or craigslist.com. Taking pictures of your work is a great way to track your progress without being overloaded with projects. Clearing out old projects will also make room for new ideas and creativity. So don’t get too weighed down in your past projects. Instead, let creativity flow through you and your studio.

Guest Blogger: Tisha Morris, author of 27 Things to Feng Shui Your Home.

Photo credit

Tomorrow June 7 sees the tour with The Shift Guru, Barbara Joye, featuring her Q and A interview with Tisha on http://shiftguru.wordpress.com/ . Follow Barbara Joye at @theshiftguru.


Don't forget to purchase your copy of 27 Things to Feng Shui Your Home, by author, Tisha Morris, available now at Amazon.com
ISBN: 978-1-59652-567-2
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company 2010
Price: $9.99

Also available with Barnes&Noble book sellers, Borders and Indie Bound.




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