Creating a Workspace

The biggest problem I’ve come across, personally, is not having enough space. Organization, too, can be quite a challenge, when you have little room to store all of your art supplies, paintings, drawings, etc, and then of course you need a digital workspace that is functional as well. Storage is different than accessibility, so again, there’s a challenge there. How can these challenges be met in a way that keeps everything neat and tidy, while still within arms reach and ready to go at a moment’s notice?

I’ve spent a lot of time looking around for workspace ideas that will work in small spaces. The biggest tip I could possibly give is: Build up! Utilize shelving space, desk organizers or hutches, and make sure that every nook and cranny is used! If there is an inch or two between your desk and your wall, that’s storage space for unused canvases, an easel, a box of colored pencils or other small/thin art supplies that don’t fit anywhere else. Oh, and baskets. Never underestimate the value of baskets! I like the shelf sets that fit specific size baskets or ‘drawers’, which are a perfect setup for any odds and ends that just don’t quite fit elsewhere, but you still want quick access to.

Traditional media and digital media (with very few exceptions) do not mix. I simply cannot have my computer, my Wacom tablet, my iPad and keyboard out while working on an acrylic or watercolor painting, or inking with my india inks and nibs. That is, not unless I want paint or ink all over my keyboard or tablet. So I keep my digital paraphernalia in a small secretary’s desk, which houses all of my electronics perfectly, each in their place with the cabinets closed up for when I’m working on a painting. Pens and pencils are, I would say, the only exception to this rule. If I’m working on some lettering or drawing in my sketchpad, I’m okay with having my computer out, although I’d still say be careful with pencil shavings and eraser bits.

Having a nice, cozy workspace does not mean you need a lot of space, or an expensive set up. Just make sure you’ve got everything where it’s easy to get to, and make sure you’ve got a comfortable chair (who needs a backache, right???) since you’ll be in it for hours at a time. Keep your workstation clear and you’ll find it SO much more comfortable and conducive to a productive workflow! Oh hey, and if anyone has any tips for me (things that you’ve found helpful in keeping your workspace neat, tidy and practical) let me know! I’m always looking for ways to improve both my art and my workflow!

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