As it is the Lets-Get-Organised month on the blog I cannot skip a good tidy up. Artists are infamous for being messy! But if you ask me, I think it is all hearsay. Who doesn’t love their boxes, folders, drawers, baskets and bins? All together it can still look a tad messsy, I must admit but WE know where it all goes, don’t we? Let’s tidy up the studio!
There are many ‘organise your studio’ articles online. They often vary from the beautiful to the ridiculous. Although it might look cool to stick your brushes into a great big plant pot, I doubt it is very practical. And adding magnets to your paint bottles so you can hang them upside down from a metal shelf? Well erm…yeah.
So what do I do? Well, let me show you.
Where and how to store your brushes? There are as many options as there are brushes. Think pots, tins, jars, glasses, mugs, vases. Think drawers, cutlery trays, cutlery baskets, boxes, pencil cases, pencils boxes and more. I store my brushes in empty mugs and jars.
Pastel and Pencil Storage
Mmm, you might have noticed a very recent blog post about my newly acquired pastel drawers. I am over the moon with them. They look neat, are easy to use and don’t take up much space.
There are a million-and-one solutions for storing paint tubes. I have put them in this metal stationery drawer unit. I find it handy as I put it inside a wheeled trolley which sits right next to my easel.
I have organised the paint by colour, and labelled each drawer accordingly, so that I don’t have to search long if I am after a certain colour. I make sure that I don’t pile up the tubes, again so I can grab a tube quickly without having to dig around in the drawer. Not having them piled on top of eachother also helps to avoid a tube piercing another tube. I have had times when I dropped a tube a little too casually into the drawer and the corner of the metal tube fell onto another tube – and piercing a hole into it. Not good! I am more careful with putting my tubes back now.
Others store their paints in boxes, crates, artbins and more. I am not sure many artists are as neatly organised as Nicholas Jainschigg, but hey, you never know, it sure does look fab:
Paper and Drawings
Storing sketches, paper and drawings requires a flat solution. These things need to be stored flat to avoid creasing and smudging. You can buy a huge variety of folders to carry and store art works flat.
I have two of these marbled folders and have had them for decades. They last forever and are used to carry drawings to the framer, to a life drawing session, classes or just to store things in the studio.
*To carry your art works rolled up, these tubes are super useful. Throw over your shoulder, so much easier to carry than big bulky folders.
The seriously impressive flat storage: a planchet chest of drawers is ideal. But they are pricey. No doubt cheaper versions can be organised with some creative thinking at Ikea or a DIY store. But these beauties from Jacksons are probably hard to beat.
Bits and Pieces
If there is any shop that is a ideal for boxes, drawers, pots, jars and who knows what else, it is Ikea.
I am eyeing up one of those trollies. My current trolley is on its last legs. It holds my paint tube drawers (see above) and on top I have my palette. So I haven’t found the perfect solution yet but I am on the hunt. One can never have enough boxes. For example, I use boxes for all sorts of tape; parcel tape, framing tape, masking tape etc.
More handy bits
Little buckets on a rail are good for anything. These are intended for plants but you can hang them over anything, like a door, or a rail, or on your easel perhaps. Ikea has a similar set of buckets on a rail which I use. l I find them really useful for pens, brushes, bits and pieces.