My Studio Workspace

So this is my workspace. Of course, I spend a whole lot of time sitting on the bed with all my supplies around me (I find that the comforter provides amazing little places to neatly hold different groups of beads or other small items and gives me ample "counter" space to spread my tools on), but I still use the places to store my supplies, photograph my items, and generally feel inspired and/or organized (depending on the day).

I keep all my beads (except the teensy seed beads) and some of my other smaller supplies in those great drawers I got from The Container Store. I would much rather have a card catalog, but this was infinitely cheaper and I suppose it works just as well, even if it doesn't look as good. I've put those fabric storage bins you can find at Target on their sides for some taller storage and I tend to use it for finished pieces that I've yet to photograph and storage for larger supplies below. As you can see, it's not super-organized, but it does have some flow and works well for me. For now.

I keep a lot of random stuff in this Target shelf unit. It sits on top of a dresser because that's where it fit. I find I keep some photo props in there as well as ribbons, buttons, small baggies, a shoe box turned pull out drawer for jeweler's pliers and such, and a basket full of makeup I never use.

This drawer was a wonderful idea! After a couple months of living with this ginormous dresser, I realized that there was one drawer no one needed. And then I remembered I had these great stacking divided cardboard boxes. Perfect for jewelry. I'm still trying to figure out how I want to keep the more crushable pieces I can't fit in one of the holes, but for now it works to just lay them on top gently. I place all the photographed pieces and my smaller sculptures in here. Then, if something sells, I can just pull the item out of the drawer without hunting around for it.

This is my lightbox set up. I made this (super-easy!) lightbox using a cardboard box I'd received in the mail, some tissue paper, poster board, and duct tape. I just needed a box cutter to remove three sides of the box. Then I duct taped tissue paper into the windows and cut a piece of poster board to fit neatly inside across the back and down over the bottom. Took me about an hour and cost less than $5. I highly recommend this if you photograph small objects for sale. The lighting is a tad iffy, but I hope to improve on that as we update the apartment. It's hodge-podge right now since it's my first, so I was just taking hand-me-downs from friends and family in furnishing the place.

There's some great wall space up above the lightbox that's fairly unusable since you can't reach it over the photography area and I'd rather not hang art there in case it falls and the heavy frame crushes something. So I use it for inspiration. I've posted some goals and reminders about why I do what I do (and don't do what I don't do). It's nice to even have some reminders up there about taking a break, spicing up my work with new materials or methods, and finding passion in my work.

But, despite all this, I find my workspace to feel crowded and cluttered. Just a year ago that would have inspired me and kept me excited. But now I find myself wanting things in their places and enjoying tidy spaces. Since we're moving mid-June, it's the perfect time to reassess what I need from a studio and how I can achieve it. I've created this lovely diagram, though a work in progress, of the areas I might like in my new space when we move. The corkboard is an inspiration space I currently lack and feel very strongly about adding. The shoe wall is a dream I doubt I'll achieve for many years to come.

What do you think? What's necessary in your workspace and what do you wish you had?

PS - it occurs to me that I didn't give you a photograph of one of my most innovative solutions in my workspace! I found that the walls were empty, but the floor space was gone. I had no more drawers or cabinets left! But I needed a place for packing and shipping supplies. A quick Target trip and $5 later... I hung wide mesh hampers on my wall using those removable hooks (just press one of the mesh holes right onto the hook). Then I piled all the tissue paper, packing peanuts, and bubble wrap I had. I hung a hinge-lid shoe box on the wall with removable tape strips and use it to hold tape, ribbon, and small decorative pieces I can use when packing orders.

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