Saturday, February 22, 2014

Studio Clutter: De-Stash or Not?

They say nature abhors a vacuum. My studio is a good example of that, although the culprit is me, not Mother Nature. I'm a terrible packrat when it comes to art supplies. It's amazing how fast a space can fill up in just six short months when the impulse to stash goes unchecked. This was made apparent to me a few days ago when a friend asked me to send her some interior shots. Here's my studio as it appeared back in August, and how it looks now:

August, 2013
And now

 The studio seemed so big when it was empty!

August, 2013 -- how tidy!
February, 2014 -- not so tidy!
My "reading nook" is the only area that remains more or less uncluttered.
The moral of this story is (1) Art supplies reproduce like rabbits, and (2) No matter how big your studio is, it will never be big enough.

I suppose the answer is to set aside time to rigorously cull out everything but the essentials. But when I've done that in the past, in other studio spaces, I've regretted get rid of something because inevitably I've found myself needing it later. Instead I devise ways to pack the most into the least space.

Today you'll find storage tubs filled with mixed media supplies under both work tables, the mat cutter sandwiched between the book cases and the wall, rolls of paper hiding behind the armchair and sheets of foamcore stacked in a sliver of space next to the refrigerator. It's amazing how much stuff can be stored in nooks and crannies. My studio may never again look as spare and clean as it did six months ago, but who cares? It's my haven and happy space. De-stash? No way. Sorting through it all would be drudgery. Finding oddball places to house it...that's creativity, baby!

Text and images ©2014 Lynn Edwards

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