Sunday, 31 January 2016

6 Ways to Refresh Your Workspace for the New Year

My art space will by no means win the Studio of the Year award, but it is large, comfortable, with everything I need within reach and the place where I spend hours and hours creating or just relaxing with a good book. But as Beth Caird writes, updating and re-organising your workspace or studio is a great way to get excited about making new work.

De-cluttering your world can really help de-clutter your mind, freeing yourself to think through your brilliant ideas with clarity. A good re-organization can be as simple as clearing your computer desktop and changing your background image, to completely re-arranging the furniture in your studio. Below are some simple tips that have been tried and tested to make your workspace feel refreshed. Let us know in the comments below your favourite ideas for updating and transforming your workspace.

1. Try the art of tidying

After you call it a day, make sure you leave your studio workspace clean. When you return the next day, you’ll have a nice, clean area to work that doesn’t overwhelm you with nonsense. You wouldn’t want to wake up to make breakfast in a messy kitchen, so try and apply the same thinking to your workspace. Make it inviting even if you’re the only person who ever gets invited.

2. Go green

As the artists who create the oddles of plant-based Redbubble works can attest, plants and succulents are the unsung heroes of workspaces. Surround yourself with a couple of low-maintenance indoor plants. They naturally oxygenate the air you breathe, and breathing is a pretty important part of creating art, so that should be reason enough. Plants effortlessly refresh and renew tired corners and drab desktops while instantly making you feel closer to living and working inside Jurassic Park (minus the blood-thirty reptiles), so it’s a win-win.

Spiral Notebook


3. Create a visual pin board

Make a place where you can collect visual inspiration. Maybe use a cork board hanging above your workspace, or, if you want to get all digital, a Pinterest board. Whatever you need to do, investing in a functional visual inspiration pin board can help you work towards the kind of workspace you want. Do you like sofas or couches in your workspace? Do you prefer a warm rug? Having a visual map of what you desire in a workspace can help bring it into reality.

4. Accept when you work best

Do you come to life and make your best artwork at 2am? Do you regularly pull all-nighters? Or are you much better after a coffee in the morning with an 11am caffeine buzz? Once you know when you work, you can update your workspace easily. Do you need bright lamps and better overhead lighting for late night work? Or do you need to blacken your windows like a reclusive genius so you can focus during the afternoon? While you’re at it, considering investing in a good standing or sitting mat, as well as a wrist rest if you’re drawing digitally or spend long hours on a laptop.

5. Invest in a good chair

If you’re sitting at your desk for 6-7 hours on average during your studio days, it’s worth splurging for an ergonomic-lumbar-supporting-top-of-the-line sitting device. Or at least one that’s just plain ol’ comfy. Listen to your body when you’re making artwork and try and find your perfect chair fit. Your shoulders and back will thank you later.

6. Storage

A necessity in any studio is lots of storage and it goes a long way in keeping your studio tidy. I have lots of cupboards and shelves on three sides of my studio where I keep not-so-often used items, store unsold paintings, art books and reams and reams of watercolour paper and stationery. All it takes is a little bit of discipline to pack things away every now and then. lol!


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