How about a tour of my studio today? And some random thoughts about my work space?
I keep a pretty neat studio these days. It’s light and bright and on the first floor of my home. In our old house, I used an extra bedroom as my studio space and it never felt like a “real” studio. It felt like…well, an extra bedroom. I don’t know why the room being downstairs made a difference. Maybe because I have a sliding glass door to our deck from the room? Whatever it is, I feel like it’s very much my work space. When I was unpacking the room, I tried to be very intentional about setting it up. I am lucky enough to have a third car garage, so I was able to keep my larger craft stash on shelves out there, keeping my office less cluttered. I have three, white cabinets along one wall and I designated each one to a different part of my business. One for crafting, one for art & illustration, and one of for business.
The “business” cabinet also has a shelf that I treat as boutique area. I often play shopkeeper and arrange and display my home decor and stationery items on that shelf. Although my business is primarily online, having a shop display keeps me grounded. It reminds me that I am store owner. I sometimes daydream that I might own a “real” stationery shop one day, in my cute little downtown, and having this display keeps that dream alive.
I have a loveseat in my studio and I just added a table to go in front of it. I try hard not to pile work on the table so I can use it to hold a cup of tea and some fresh flowers and as a cozy place for me to curl up and read or recharge when I take short breaks from painting or sitting in front of my computer.
I set-up a personal alter in my studio. When I get stressed-out or begin to doubt my work, I will often take a minute to meditate to stop the physical tension and get my head back in the right place. I light my altar candle and will sometimes pull out an oracle card to meditate on. Sometimes I will pull out my studio diary and journal about my feelings. If I can’t calm myself, I usually stop working and go for a walk or do some household chores. There’s no sense in pushing myself to work when I’m in a stressed or in vulnerable place. I’ve learned from experience that anything I produce when I’m in a bad mental state is less than stellar work. It’s almost if the residual energy sticks to the work. I would prefer to keep focused on love and light when I’m working. I want to believe that the love and light I put into my work will stick bring joy and hope to my clients.
It’s hard to work from home and find a balance between work and family so I printed out my logo on window decal paper and put it on the glass of the door to my studio. I feel like my family is better able to remember that when I am in there, I am working when they see an actual business sign! It also helps me get focused. When I walk into my studio in the morning, past my “signage”, I am reminded that I am going to work.
At the end of everyday, I try to take about fifteen minutes to clear my desk. I like starting my day with an open space. It ensures that I will be able to walk in, sit down, and get to work right away. If I am going to paint the next day, I will often set-up my desk for that. It’s inspiring to come into the room in the morning and be able to get started right away, with no prep work to do.
All photos in the post were taken by the talented, Trung Phan.