Getting Ready for Art: Organizing Your Artist Space

Many people think that you don't need to be organized to create art. For these people, art happens naturally by grabbing canvas and paint and "doing it". However, if you ask any artist, you'll find out that this isn't always the case. I know for a fact that if my studio isn't clean and tidy, all my tools and materials organized and out where I can reach them when I need them, I cannot work on any project. A disorganized workspace tends to stifle my creativity and leaves me feeling like I cannot do anything. Recently while perusing amazon.com, I stumbled upon this book, Organizing Your Craft Space, by Jo Packham. What prompted me to purchase this book was the idea that it focused solely on how artists, from scrapbookers to quilters, can organize their space to maximize their time spent on creating their art. I also liked how it went into a multitude of art styles, rather than focusing on just one art. If you've always wanted to organize your art space or create a perfect place for starting a new craft, then this book is for you.

Organizing Your Craft Space begins by assessing your art space needs. Packham includes many lists and questions that cover your available space, what tools and things you use to make your crafty items, your color preferences and objects that might help store your items as well as look pleasing in your space. She explains that these questions are central to uncovering what is the best fit for your artistic needs. She even recommends that you keep a space journal and fill it with diagrams of your room, all the items you use in your art and any things you need to purchase for your room (like plastic containers, furniture or tools). Keeping a journal of this sort gives you a written record of what gives you the freedom to create and what sorts of things and colors you want to fill your creative space. She also defines the different types of storage styles and suggests many helpful tips and tricks for keeping your space free of clutter and trash. For artists whose craft space aslo doubles as a guest room, Packham gives advice on how you can accomidate both in the same space with minimal effort.

The rest of the book details storage and organization by art type. These chapters include stained glass and mosaics, rubber stamping, scrapbooking and other paper arts, beading, yarn crafting and quilting. Packham discusses various needs and organizational styles that can be used to suit each craft-form. She starts out by listing a few short questions about the art and materials you use and then goes into explaining how these items can be stored or contained to maximize your time spent creating art. Each chapter includes an over abundance of pictures that show different ways to contain and organize your craft space. At the end of a section, Packham showcases one or more guest artists and their real-life working spaces. She tells us about their space, challenges and solutions, as well as showing us what these artists use to contain their tools and the methods they use to keep them focused on making art.

This summer I'm going to create an artist studio journal and see what I can do to give my space a face lift so that it continues to support my crafting needs. While I've already got most of the furniture and workspace already set up in my studio, this book gave me more ideas on incorporating ornamental containers to store my crafting things. I've also received many tips on how to make the space fit my personal colors and atmosphere just right so that it supports my creativity and desire to make art happen whenever I want to be crafty. Like most craft-related books on the market, Packham writes for art women but don't let this fool you. There's a lot of information that can be used for artists of all ages, men and women alike.

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Good book. It's not about UFOs...

I often wonder how much time and effort people waste looking for a craft knife or sticking their latest masterpiece to the table because they forgot about the glue they spill earlier. I like the idea of using a journal to monitor how one utilises a space too. I am too mean to actually buy the book, however I will borrow it from the library so thank you for the review inno..:)

office tweed and you

Sard,

Glad you liked this. You may find, upon borrowing the book from the local library, that it may be a bit girly. Then again, it does occasionally mention wicker and tweed throughout the pages... so who knows... you may learn how to outfit your artspace to fit your ecclectic tastes or you may find yourself in a spur-of-the-moment office tweed redecoration project this summer.

And yes... keeping a record of your "space" and what you do with it can be very enlightening.

/inno

great book

This book is on my wish list.. I have seen it... and I want it... .thks for the great recommendations.!

Sweet

Bonnie,

I'm glad you found my review worthwile. I do hope that you are able to take away some neat studio design ideas from it. I will say that I had a hard time reading the book beccause there are so many pictures that gave me so many ideas that I'd spend more time flipping around to the different sections.

So many ideas... so little time!
/innowen

i'm having a great time re-inventing my studio!

i was having a lot of designer block, and finally came to the conclusion that i wasn't organized to fit my 'chaotic' way of thinking and in the end my way of creating. after reading the book, and then referencing it many times afterwards, i've realized that i need to totally re-organize my space to fit the way "I WORK" - not the way someone else might work. i highly recommend the book to anyone setting up a new studio or doing a total renovation of an existing space!

the irony of it all

Well, I obviously needed this book! While decluttering, after reading the books, I found another copy of this book in the clutter of my studio. The irony of it all. I offered the duplicate up free to the first to respond on the group of artists I'm in, and about 15 have responded so far. Obviously, a lot of us really need help.

Organizing your Craft Space and Where Women Create

Hi everyone! Im new to DIYP, and have to say this place is an inspiration in and of itself. When I saw the cover of my favorite book pop up, I just could NOT keep my mouth shut. I was really torn about getting it, but you know, it was the best darned purchase I ever made. Not necessarily because of the organizational ideas, and how to bring out who and WHAT you want to be when you "grow up" per se when you get your area all set up the way you want it, but her companion books, and magazines, I have now also been introduced to, and honestly they have changed my life, and in the short time I have been reading them, I have grown so much, its amazing. Where women create is another amazing book, and is the companion to this one, and they have now created a magazine, I believe quarterly, based on the book. I am promosing myself my studio and art will be in that magazine!!! It's lead me along the lines to Stampington Press' magazines and special released and altho tey are pricey, they are worth every penny, and not mags you would tear apart, but keep as works of art and reference. I do so hope you enjoy every page in that book as I have, and take away a bit of joy, color, flambouancy, "joie de vivre", and even if you don't organize your "ephemera" ( I just love that word alphabetically, You've come away with some wonderful new techniques and ideas to make your creative space a bit more YOU.
( and no, they didn't pay me to say any of that, DARN IT!)
Blessings all!