During these years, my focus has also changed from scrapbooking and card making to lampworking and jewelry design, so many of my paper supplies have been sitting around, gathering dust and taking up much needed space, while the ever increasing flow of new bead supplies have been piling up wherever they can find the room. I had always intended to get my studio whipped into better shape, but life always seemed to get in the way and/or I have been so busy doing local shows, cranking out beads, and filling orders that I never seemed to find time or energy to get the job done properly.
Ironically, I'm the sort of artistic personality that thrives best when working in a clean, organized space—so having cluttered chaos constantly surrounding me each day has really affected me creatively (although some of my fellow artists do better in this kind of environment! LOL). I finally reached my limit when I got to the point that I could barely keep track of where my things were and would get constantly frustrated when I knew I had something here, but couldn't find it when I needed it (usually finding it a few days after the fact, of course!). And with my taxes still needing to be done and not a spare inch of table top available, I knew I needed to carve out the time and get this business taken care of once and for all!
I started with my main work table, which looked like this about a week ago and was so cluttered, it was being used more as a "sorting" area for projects that were in various stages of completion:
Can you even tell where the table is underneath all this stuff?!?? I'm so embarrassed to show this, but it's the truth of how bad things had gotten and if any of you have similar work spaces you're trying to deal with, I hope these next photos will help give you the inspiration and hope you need…
To keep things from overwhelming me, I recalled this bit of wisdom:
Question: "How do you eat a bear?"
Answer: "One bite at a time!" ;-D
So my game plan is to tackle just one small section of my studio at a time—removing everything in and on it, giving it a thorough cleaning, then only putting back the items that really make sense for how I currently work, and selling or donating anything that no longer fits my creative lifestyle.
This is what things looked like after a good scrub and a refresher coat of glossy black paint—aaaaaaaaah, there's nothing like starting with a fresh, clean slate!! These taller cabinets used to be part of the giant double-sided work island in my old studio and had a much larger tabletop, but I couldn't fit it into my existing room, so I used this old door instead. I had been carting it around for years and previously used it on top of a pair of old sawhorses for my girls to draw, do homework, etc. while I worked, but it works out perfectly in this new configuration. (Tip: the hole where the door knob used to be is also perfect for threading wires and cords if you wanted to place a computer or other electronics on it too!)
And this is what is looks like now, with the stacking bins and organizer trays filled with favorite items I plan to use for my jewelry and mixed media projects. Now everything is right at my fingertips—which hopefully, means much better productivity and the only time I should feel stressed over it from now on is trying to decide what to use with my new designs! :-)
Here's a close up of the stacking bins…
Not just utilitarian, but pretty on the eyes too—because inspiration is half the battle, right?! When the weather warms up, I plan to give these a fresh coat of white spray paint. Now I'm raring to get started on "Phase 2" and can already feel the creative juices starting to percolate as I begin to feel the freedom of having a more organized and functional work space again! *Ü*
How about you? Do you have an area in your life that is in need of a serious Transmogrification? Join in the fray with me and we can inspire each other!