Setting up Creative Space in your Home
Setting up creative space in your home is a challenge I’ve faced for years. Do you have a dedicated space for your creativity?
Where are you being creative?
Are you fortunate enough to have a spare room, a basement, an extra garage space, or outside space? I have some tips for you to organize your space for optimum creativity. No room at all? I’ve been there. I have tips for you too.
You may be surprised that with a bit of imagination, you DO have creative space after all.
I am grateful to have now carved out creative space in a small garage. To the right is a photo of my space.
Here are eleven ways to set aside creative space and make it more organized so you can keep your materials together and be ready to create within minutes.
It can be challenging to find space to be creative at home. I spent my formative adult years in a New York City apartment. Now, I travel each summer and take art materials with me, finding creative space in hotel rooms and small spaces.
Many of my students tell me that they postpone their journey to creativity and self-expression because finding space to be creative is daunting.
Furthermore, the idea of having a messy art space amid an active living area is a turnoff. Plus, setting up and breaking down creative space feels like too much time investment for the bonus of creative time. I have experienced all these obstacles, and I’ll give you some ideas to help you find creative space and free your artist.
Re-think your room functions.
If you are fortunate enough to have a bonus room, garage, basement space, or a temperate climate, you are well on your way to having creative space. Name and claim a portion of this space as YOURS. You only need the proper setup, storage solutions, and possibly better lighting.
Transform your area by cleverly using storage.
Proper storage can transform clutter into organized tools at your fingertips. Just as you re-thought the function of your rooms, you can create a closet or storage area with the innovative use of space.
If you have a basement area, you can create a closet at the base of a staircase. Similarly, you can build or erect shelves in a bonus or garage space.
Using pegboard can also open up your space, allow you to de-clutter, and keep your materials organized.
It’s easy to find and hang, and there are several innovative ways to organize your art materials on the pegboard. If you feel cramped or cluttered in your space, that can negatively impact your well-being. When I feel organized and have a place for everything, it makes me feel honored and valued, and my creativity can flow.
Invest in Organization
For example, stores such as Container Stores have starter kits for arts and crafts—a rolling storage cart with compartment trays and bins. Several rolling carts in my space fit under my tables for greater space maximization.
Having an art tote also makes your materials portable and accessible. You can buy several totes and store materials there. Within your tote, you can organize cans to hold paintbrushes. It’s also easy to organize your art journals within the tote.
Having a tote keeps your basic supplies and materials at your fingertips.
You can keep your tote in a drawer or a bin under your bed. Or it can liven up a corner of your living space, announcing that a true artist lives here.
Michael’s, JOANN, and other art material stores have wonderful containers for organizing. I particularly love plastic, stackable containers that fit easily on shelves and have room for materials as large as 12×12.
Use a limited palette.
Over the years, I have evolved to use fewer colors and create my palette. You only need a few colors. A good red, blue, and yellow shade can provide you with many options. Mixing your colors is fun and keeps your painting harmonious.
Similarly, a few good brushes that you clean after each creative session will keep you for months. Other curated materials you most love can fill in the rest of your tote. You will need some shop towels or old rags. These can fit easily inside your tote.
You don’t need a lot of supplies.
One Soul Artist in our Tribe challenges herself to create using only a limited number of colors and tools. She makes heavenly art pages and simplifies her process keeping her space uncluttered and organized.
Re-purpose other storage items.
You can use a toolbox or a fishing tackle box as wonderful art material storage containers.
This artist uses photo boxes for storage in the photo at the left.
Similarly, plastic totes, shoe boxes, egg cartons, yogurt containers, coffee cans, and tea tins can all be re-purposed into organized holders for materials.
Store materials in an ottoman.
Using an ottoman for art storage is functional. And it will provide you with a sitting area in your studio space. Some ottomans in fun, vibrant colors can work within your studio space’s theme.
If you have an outdoor area in a temperate climate, you can buy an inexpensive adjustable table at Lowe’s or Home Depot to set up your creative space. These tables sell for about $50. I love the adjustable legs because you can find the most comfortable height for creating art. I buy risers for the tables in my studio to raise my non-adjustable tables to a comfortable level.
Store your most loved materials in a tote. Grab your tote of materials, go to your outdoor area, and be ready to create in minutes. I use an outdoor area most months of the year, and it is one of my favorite creative spaces. In addition, using materials such as sprays and alcohol inks are best done outside.
No space at all?
I have often been in a space where I only have a kitchen table, countertop, or a bit of floor. In that case, protect your creative area so you don’t stress about a spill. For example, you could use a painter’s tarp, a garbage bag, dry cleaner plastic, cardboard, or freezer paper. Anything that provides a layer of protection from the paint will work.
If your materials are in a tote, you can go to your space and be ready to create in minutes. You can store your tarp or protective layer right in your tote.
Art journaling keeps your creativity in one place.
When space is limited, your creativity can still blossom in an art journal. Art journaling allows you to find creativity in a private, contained space where you can let loose and explore with colors, shapes, lines, and words. Virtually no space is required, and you can create beautiful pages simply with markers or pens.
You can doodle, add meaningful words or sayings, and add interesting marks. Whatever choice you make is perfect.
All of these methods and creative paths are fun to experiment with, and they are perfect – because your art journal is YOURS, and it can evolve as you do.
What’s the biggest challenge you are having right now in your creative space? Please get in touch and let me know.
If you want to explore greater self-expression, I recommend taking the Soul Artist Experience course. Soul Artists find greater meaning, purpose, joy, and self-actualization. And we share tips and ideas in a supportive community.
Special thanks to Teresa Henke for sharing her art storage photos and ideas.
Discover more about my journey through my book on Amazon: Vision Quest; A Journey to Happiness by Jane Ramsey.
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