Working a Tiny Studio

Working a Tiny Studio

I was not a "tidy" child. I didn't make my bed or put my clothes away unless that was a condition of having a friend over. My carpet was a minefield of orphaned Barbie shoes waiting to shotgun noisily into the vacuum when you least expected it (causing my sister much distress). I was a magpie, happily feathering my nest with pretty little stones and scraps in painted boxes scattered all about.  

Nowadays, I still like to collect pretty little things. But I also enjoy finding good ways to organize them and I keep my bedroom VERY tidy. Maybe that is because it is also where I make my art.

While some artists prefer a "creative mess," I find that too much clutter is a stumbling block. My imagination and productivity work best in a clean, aesthetically pleasing space. And if it's super tiny, then it just has to be carefully planned.

One of my first rules of organization is what I call "prime real estate." Frequently used items need to be in the easy spots. For example, the top-most drawers under my curtained table are not as easy to open and see into, so they hold less-used items. The fabric storage under my bed is located on the side facing the windows so I can see it in natural light. I have pretty containers on my cutting and sewing table to hold scraps and threads so I'm not constantly reaching towards (and missing) the trash. This might sound like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how often I realize that I've got items taking up prime real estate that I hardly use!

Something else I've invested in is a height-adjustable table and tilting stool. While these are both streamlined items that take up less space than traditional office-type furniture, they are also better for my health. As I get older, my shoulders, hands and back need a lot more TLC than they used to. These items allow for changing position more frequently and better spine alignment. Putting them close to the window and adding light when needed helps prevent tired eyes.

Everything I do making dolls involves long hours of intricate work with my hands. Another investment that helps alleviate the repetitive stress of cutting tiny fabric pieces is my Cricut Maker (seen below on the right). Not only does it allow me to use my graphic design skills to create new patterns but each cut is precisely the same. This makes a big difference when sewing small!

In addition to this space, I have a storage chest in the hall full of wigs and shoes, and I've taken over one of my kid's closets as my "warehouse." But this tiny studio space is where I do most of my work AND sleep without going crazy. Aesthetically, you can see that it is a calming place. The palette is soothing and clean and there is enough concealment of storage that it is not visually overwhelming. Would it be nice to have a dedicated studio space that was larger? Heck, yeah. But I appreciate what I've got and take to heart that you can do what you love from anywhere. ❤️