Thursday, June 10, 2010

Organizing your Studio or Kitchen

What's in your kitchen? I purchased this little gem for $1.00 at the thrift store. It works great for the little beaded rings that I am making this month. It is a pickle or relish dish. There are three sections and the whole thing is only about 5" or 6" diameter. Sweet! Portable workspace.

Speaking of kitchens...

I was thinking about all the artists who talk about how neat and tidy many of the featured studios in the magazines, on blogs, etc. are and that they can't be that clean all the time. They are absolutely right! But, if you think about it that is probably true about all of the kitchens you see in photos. I then got to thinking about all the other analogies to the kitchen set-up and how they can apply to how you look at your studio as you are organizing.

In the kitchen you have specific areas designated for specific tasks such as an area where you mix ingredients or prepare food to be cooked or baked, an area where you cook or bake, an area to prepare and/or serve the food, an area to eat which may be in another room or the kitchen, an area to clean the dishes and an area to store everything. That is a good way to approach the set-up of your studio. Think about the tasks you will be doing as you create and designate areas for those tasks. Do the main areas make sense like the kitchen triangle area between the stove, sink and refrigerator? What are the steps you take and how can they be made more efficient?

In the kitchen you store items according to need/frequency of use. Some items you use each and every time you cook. Items such as a gravy boat, pitcher or wok just as an example may not be used as often and are stored in an area you can get to like an upper cabinet, but not within arms reach. Your favorite spices are closest and within easy reach. The same should be true with your studio. Items you use frequently should be convenient and within easy reach. Likewise, items used on rare occasions can be stored on a top shelf or in the back of the cabinet. Keep this in mind as you place equipment and supplies (and gadgets) back into your studio.

In the kitchen generally you clean up after the meal or when you are finished baking. It may just be a quick swipe with a dish cloth, placing perishables back into the refrigerator, and placing the dishes in the sink or dishwasher to be dealt with later. Everyone handles these situations their own way. How can you use this logic in your studio?

In the kitchen you sometimes have to take the time to do a thorough cleaning and reorganizing. I think you know where I am going with this by now. Because our studios hopefully get used a lot and have to hold a lot of things, we sometimes have to take the time to re-evaluate what we have. In the kitchen maybe you decide you never bake pies so why are you hanging onto the pie dishes. In the studio you may be hanging on to things you wanted to do a couple of years ago but have lost interest. Just as our interests and the products change, so do our tastes and our needs. There are tools out now that may make some of our older tools obsolete. Updating and purging are going to have to be done occasionally.

It has been said by some that you can't be creative in a neat and tidy studio. However, my feeling is you can't be creative if you spend all of your time looking for that one thing that you need on a project you are working on. There are some very creative chefs that would be going crazy if they could find what they needed at once. It is very frustrating and can drain the energy. How you determine what goes where is ultimately up to you. Everyone is different. Some like things out in the open, even in their kitchen, where they can see them. Some prefer to have everything behind closed doors, out of sight. This is your studio and no one is saying you have to do it a certain way. It is up to you to make the decisions and take control. There is such a thing as organized chaos. Everything doesn't have to look unlived in. The only thing that matters in the end is whether you know where things are, whether you are pleased with how the area looks, and whether you feel energized and creative in the space. Make your creative space yours!
One last word while I am on the subject of kitchens in comparison to studios. Check out some of the kitchen storage pieces! Many of these will adapt quite well in your studio. A few have been shown in previous posts such as the spice rack. Other items such as towel racks, canisters, bowls and even pitchers could work for storage in your studio. Look at them as though you don't know what their intended function is and feel free to use 'artistic license' with them.


PRISCILLA MAE et al (Meg Mitchell) said...

You always have such great ideas. My studio is generally pretty well organized but I do reorganize my studio space at least once every six months just so I can sit in a different area and have a fresh perspective. I love change and each time I do the "big move", I get rid of stuff I'm not using.

Leanne said...

Great idea! I love using items in different ways. I think you have great comparisons between the kitchen and studios. Thanks for linking to We're ORganized Wednesday.

Gail said...

Hi Connie, I am enjoying reading your articles. Your relish dish reminded me of the containers I like to use to keep my crazy quilting items in for a project. It is just like the containers they put TV dinners in, you know that aluminum divided tray, only mine are clear plastic with a lid, they are very useful and the lid keeps things clean and makes them very portable for going to craft with others. Ok I am off to read more, very good comparison to the kitchen, too.