When you make a decision to become an artist, or taking up art as a hobby, you are immediately making the decision to have a bit more clutter in your life. The more art you do, the more you collect around the house in terms of supplies and pieces of art. It is a common conception that artists are indeed messy, and they work away in rooms that are covered in paint, with supplies all over the place.
While film and television portray artists in that vein, have you ever tried working in a space like that? It is incredibly true that a cluttered room equals a cluttered mind. In order to have total focus and be able to concentrate on a piece of art, you should be organized and know exactly where everything is at all times.
Finding Your Space
If you want to take art seriously, or you want to take it up as a full-time hobby, you need to create an artistic space around your house. This isn’t an activity that you can just sit on the couch and do; it is a process that needs an artistic environment that complements your creativity.
When it comes to terms of art, you need a space with natural light, as it will not only lift your spirits, but it will also provide perfect lighting for painting, sketching, etc. This space does not need to be big, in fact it can be quite small, but it should be separate from the business of your everyday life. You can decorate it with your artwork or decorate it with works that inspire you.
As we mentioned before, the key to having clarity of thought, especially when it comes to the creation and development of art, is to organize your art supplies. Now not all of us will have a full studio available and maybe it’s just a small room. So how can you go about organizing a small space, especially if you have a lot of supplies?
The first thing that we recommend you do is clear everything out of the space. Just move it into a larger space around the house so you can start from scratch. It is hard to reorganize with so much clutter around, so clear it out. Once you have everything out, it is time to organize them in terms of their use. So, for example, place everything to be used for sketching together, all painting materials place together, all charcoal pieces together, etc. That way, there is going to be a place for everything. If one day is concentrated on painting, then you know where everything is.
Now comes one of my favorite parts: buying things for organization. This can be a very cheap purchase, and even though it may seem daunting it isn’t. The first thing to buy are small boxes; I often go to somewhere like Ikea for this, as it makes it easy to organize. Put your supplies in these boxes and label the outside. Once everything is in and organized, place it somewhere in your small space. Do this until everything is organized. That way everything has its place, and if you aren’t using items they are away without any disruption.
Labeling is so important because as much as we wish it were, our memory is not perfect. This way, you do not even have to open a box to look through it; you can just read on the outside what’s inside. In order for this method to work you HAVE to keep with the method and put things back where they originally came from. We can often get lazy and in order to avoid something like this just make it become habit and part of your routine.
What DON’T You Need
This may be something hard to grasp but it needs to be said: Do you really need all of the supplies you currently have? As artists, we are of the mentally that “I may need that in the future if…” and we don’t want to get rid of things, especially if they are filled with sentimental value. But if you have an extremely small space that you are trying to organize, it can be impossible if you have too many things. So in that case, it is time to try getting rid of the excess clutter.
In that first stage we talked about, when you’ve laid everything out in a bigger room, anything that you haven’t used in the past two years – get rid of! You can sell it online to make some extra money or donate it to a local school. By undertaking this process, you are keeping what you actually will use and create more space.