I love to see inside people's homes. I'm a snoop at heart I guess. I like homes, I like decorating, and I like to get a peek at how people live. As an artist I especially delight in seeing other artists' studio spaces. I think most of us have this dream of a huge open studio in a beautifully renovated old building with tons of natural light streaming in through enormous windows. And then there's reality. Many of us work wherever we can carve out a little bit of space for ourselves. Whether it's a spare room, an attic, a basement (like me!), a corner of the family room, or the kitchen table once the dishes have been cleared, that's our space. I've wanted to do a proper "studio tour" for awhile as a way to share my space but I kept putting it off. I wanted it to be more finished, I wanted it to look better, be cleaner, have better furniture, maybe even have walls. I wanted appropriately amazing before and after photographs! But I decided this was ridiculous. This is where I work. It is what it is and I (mostly) love it and definitely appreciate it. It gives me space to do what I love so it's serving it's one true purpose. So when I got the itch to tidy it up on a nice sunny day earlier this week I decided it was time for a studio tour. I didn't do a thing to it except put junk away, vacuum (lots of spiders gave their lives for this), and move some random boxes out of the way. Welcome to my studio!
My first space was a "craft room" on the second floor of our house, mainly used for sewing, crafts, and Christmas present wrapping. I loved spending time in my room. And, like all people inclined to craft and make art, I loved even more that I could leave everything OUT instead of hauling it back into a closet. Once my son (my third child) was born he inherited my room and I was left with an armoire in our living room. But when I started working more seriously as a designer and illustrator I needed a different kind of space. Working hodgepodge all over the house wasn't going to cut it. I decided to carve out my studio space in our unfinished basement. I took one corner by a largish window (I'm lucky our basement has windows) which overlooks a pretty little shade garden (and our air-conditioner!) I had a lot of ideas about what I wanted my space to look like and I collected images on a pinterest board. The first thing I did was paint the concrete walls and floor white.
My husband helped with some electrical upgrades (more outlets, an overhead light). Most of the furniture we already owned: a desk from my first apartment, an old family dresser, cheap bookshelves from my teenage bedroom, and a hutch from my husband's grandparents. I did purchase some new pieces from IKEA as well: a "flat file" cabinet, a new desktop with trestle legs, a rolling cart, and a cool desk lamp (see source list below). I re-used curtains from my previous craft room, put down an old rug, hung peg board for storage, and made a huge bulletin board from a large piece of insulation foam covered in linen (see tutorial here). I also added as much lighting as the circuits would allow and hung clear bulb string lights from the ceiling beams. I recently purchased a sweet new desk chair after my cheap one started giving me hip pain, as if I needed another reason to feel OLD.
I spend most of my daily work time down here. I do all my digital artwork on this computer, I fill my Etsy orders here, print things, and work on sewing projects. Down here in the studio I can find some quiet for things that require more concentration. I can also hide away when the kids are home and avoid the constant bombardment of "Mom? Mom! MOOOOMMM!" The only thing I don't do very often down here is painting and sketching. For some reason I typically do that upstairs (mostly in the kitchen), usually because I tend to do those things in the early morning, in the evening, and sometimes on the weekends. And I kind of enjoy doing that with everyone else bustling around me.
There you have it! My humble studio! I of course always have plans for this space, you know, little luxuries like walls, heat. Someday I might get that dream studio but for now this is pretty great. Thanks for stopping by!
Linnmon Tabletops (white)/IKEA
Finnvard Trestle table legs (white)/IKEA
Raskog utility cart (turquoise)/IKEA
Alex drawer unit/IKEA
Ranarp Work Lamp/IKEA
Cube shelving unit (white)/Target
Leather Office Chair (white)/Wayfair