My studio has a personality of its own. It can be a monstrous clutter from one end to the other or, at times, the very model of simplicity. – Harley Brown
Welcome to my studio. This is where the PAPERCUTS magic happens. It’s also my bedroom…
For the last year or so, I’d been working out of an warehouse-y space that was absolutely amazing, if a bit cold. I felt super fortunate to get to work out of that space, but also found myself constantly wanting to work on a project that was still at the studio, or needing an art supply that I’d left at home. I was happy to transition back to working from home,, but since our apartment is small, that’s meant downsizing: a difficult, but satisfying challenge.
An artist’s studio should be a small space because small rooms discipline the mind and large ones distract it. – Leonardo da Vinci
Gather and hoard your inspirations as you live, then recapture them as needed in the studio. – Nita Engle
The size of our space isn’t the only challenge, though. Since the space must be both my creative workspace as well as a bedroom, It has to be relaxing enough that my boyfriend and I can fall asleep at night, but not be so boring that I fall asleep during the day. I need access to all of my tools and supplies, as well as inspiration and space to work. It’s certainly not finished, but the process continues to evolve, and I’m pretty happy with its current state.
This is my work table. This is where I stand while making Art Journals, as well as sorting paper for Paper Packs, designing and assembling frames, and also frequently where I work on pages in my own Art Journal.
Beneath my work table are hundreds upon thousands of book pages: all sorted by color, subject, size, or the project which it’s intended for. Inside the filing cabinet, they’re sorted even further, so I can easily find illustrations and ephemera of the same subject, from a variety of vintage sources! Talk about an evolving process: PAPERCUTS’ book page stash, and my sorting system has grown quite a bit from the initial underwhelming shoebox of paper I started with 8 years ago!
This is the place of creative incubation. At first, you may find nothing happens there. But, if you have a sacred place and use it, take advantage of it, something will happen. – Joseph Campbell
The paper organizer shown above (which is an old CD organizer from the thrift store) contains all of the neutral pages that go into PAPERCUTS’ Recycled Art Journals. All of the pages are pre-cut, so I can focus on picking out just the right combination of colors and textures to go into each one-of-a-kind Art Journal. The brown bins shown below (from Orla Kiely, one of my favorite designers) hold all of the specialty paper, which is sorted by color. Other bins hold journals that are currently in-progress. At any given time, there are dozens of book covers that are patiently waiting to be matched up with just the right illustrations and bound.
The studio is less important than other things, like the burning desire to paint. If you don’t have this disease, you can’t catch it from a nice studio. – Warren Criswell
I did have to make one tough sacrifice for this space, and that was giving up my closet space. I got rid of some of my dresses, pulled the closet rod out of the closet, and converted the space into a walk-in office/warehouse/photo studio. The rolling cart shown above can roll into the closet or out into the living room as needed.
Having a designated space in the closet for both packing up mail order AND for taking photos is a dream come true. It’s totally worth the loss of closet space. Best of all: since I can close the closet doors and shoot photos with just my photo lamps, (with no interfering outside light) I don’t have to adjust my camera each time I take photos – I can edit and list more items in one night than ever before!
I always prefer to work in the studio. It isolates people from their environment. They become in a sense… symbolic of themselves. – Richard Avedon
All art is solitary and the studio is a torture area. – Alexander Liberman
There are birds throughout my studio, which seems fitting, since I seem to like building a “nest” as much as I do a studio. I have created a space that feels comforting to me – for artists, I think our spaces, our environments must support our work, metaphorically as well as literally. In order to create, we must have a place where we can thrive and grow, where we can experiment and imagine. We must have a place where we can be both delighted and frustrated with our art, with ourselves, with the Universe. We must have a place where we can make discoveries as well as mistakes.
Things don’t get tough in the studio. Sometimes things get tough outside the studio and going in the studio is a relief, a sanctuary, therapy. – Mark Kostabi
In the center of my studio space, on the high shelf, are seven Art Journals that I have written, drawn, sketched, cut and pasted in over the last seven years. Each one contains a tiny little piece of my journey. Each memory, each moment of self-reflection, each page represents a brief moment time in my life as an artist where I “pressed pause” and stopped, usually (but not always) in my then current studio space, and put something into my Art Journal. A moment of reflection, of inspiration, of observation, of remembrance – each preserved for the purpose of being re-visited and re-examined at a future (now present) date.
The studio, a room to which the artist consigns himself for life, is naturally important, not only as workplace, but as a source of inspiration. And it usually manages, one way or another, to turn up in his product. – Grace Glueck
Welcome to my studio. This is where the PAPERCUTS magic happens.