Random thoughts and bits of life of a coffee loving artist

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Starting with a clean slate

Desk - Where I live 12 to 15 hours out of my day.
With the New Year basically around the corner, I found myself in desperate need to completely reorganize my work area. It had been a long time that I had such a strong desire to change something about my little space but not only did I feel the need to do this but to have it completed before the end of 2017. With me working from home, my side of the master bedroom is basically a library/office/art studio. Of course, my biggest challenge would be how to rearrange things and make things work with such a tiny footprint (4ft 3in x 4ft 2in). The task would be made even more challenging with the fact that I would not be able to move any of the electronics (computer tower, monitor, modem, etc.) and the fact that the desk was secured to the wall in a corner.

Brainstorming and Advice 
Work space inspiration
Looking at various images of art studios and mini office spaces, I was getting inspired but at the same time finding 2 issues - 1) Most art studio spaces either have a lot of wall space or take up an entire room 2) Most small office spaces were up against a flat wall and not in a corner. I was also finding mini art studios that were set up in micro-houses and even small garden sheds. Even with those issues, I was seeing quite a number of inspirational images. So as I tried to figure out what I should do, I contacted my long time friend and fellow artist Stephanie Law and asked her for some advice.

Me: Hi there Stephanie, have a bit of an odd question for you. Trying to figure out how to reorganize my work space since it's a small space and was wondering how you have yours organized.

Stephanie: Anything specific?

Me: I'm mostly trying to focus on my desk area which is mounted in a corner with a shelf above it since that's the only space I really have. So I'm wondering how you have yours organized since I think you have just as much or more art supplies you work with then I do. 

Stephanie: I basically put everything away if it's not in  current use
So I only have the specific brushes out and my paint. 

Me: Hmm I might have to move the containers of house paint off the desk then. I have most everything in containers that I can see their contents but I have a collection of house paints over on the right side of my desk that I commonly use for some of my wood projects.

Stephanie: Yeah I don't have anything on the desk not in actual use in the moment.  All in drawers elsewhere

Me: I'll take that into consideration then. Thanks for the input though! You've helped me a lot.

Stephanie: You're welcome!

Her words made me think as I looked at the disheveled chaos that I had going on. Art supplies were scattered about, what little storage containers I had things were in less then optimal locations, and there was a certain layer of just scattered debris which made work and inspiration difficult. Her words made me realize that I needed to teach myself to actually put things away when I was done. This meant that I needed to make sure that I had suitable storage solutions for limited space I had to make sure that supplies were up and out of the way but still accessible without me having to dig for things. 

Rearranged, reorganized and cleaned
And so it begins
My first step was to remove everything from the desk and walls so that I could give the area a much needed dusting and cleaning. Around this time after taking down a large framed piece down that I had hanging, I discovered that it was only being held to the wall by 2 thumb tacks. Considering the fact it had been hanging that way Well that was certainly something that I needed to fix quickly. So quickly I tracked down nails and a hammer to give it a better spot on the wall. Since I was rearranging things on the walls, I also ended up hanging up 2 of the skateboard rehabs I had done so I would no longer have them as tripping hazards. Having a long strand of rainbow LED lights that I was previously using as decoration at my desk, I taped the strand under the shelf in order to provide lighting underneath. 

Some of the other changes were rather simple but had a surprisingly positive impact. One of them was moving my brushes, tools and color pencils from one shelf to the other and giving the figurines and such I had on display over to the shelf that I had the pencils on. The second simple change was getting 2 containers to help keep paints and other supplies organized and out of sight so they weren't all over the desk. Once I was able to get everything into their new positions, I took a seat at my desk and couldn't help but take a satisfied look around. I'm so thrilled with the result. Now.. how long will I be able to keep it in this state? 

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