Studio Clean-Up (is it an achievable goal?)


It seems like my studio constantly needs cleaning. The desk is covered with supplies, half finished projects, samples that took a turn for the worse . . . . you get the picture. And the floor contains stacks of boxes and piles of flotsam. I admire those artists that maintain an organized space and clean after every project. I don’t know many of them . . . . but I do admire them.

I dream of a studio that is well organized and inspiring. I dream of a cleared desk ready for creativity to bloom. I dream of a studio that is airy and welcoming . . . . . well, a girl can dream, right?!?

It seems that I am forever “cleaning” my studio. I never actually complete the task. I would draw an analogy to the mythical character pushing that rock up the hill, Sisyphus, only to have it fall back down and have to start over. However, I confess that my lack of follow through is self-inflicted. I usually get sidetracked by something I find in the mess . . . . oh yes, I remember . . . . I wanted to try . . . . . and yes, I love this technique . . . . . this piece is almost done I just wanted to add . . . . . . sigh! So the cleaning process comes to a complete halt and the mess becomes deeper.

Well here I am again, needing to clean. The fact of the matter is, I have too many things . . . . most of it is not being used . . . . and I am slowly realizing that I can’t live my creative life constantly playing the “what if” game. Am I a hoarder?!?

And then I walk into a store and see a wall of color, texture, patterns. It could be a store selling yarn, beads, papers, fabric, etc. my heart races and I stare in awe! Hell, I have been known to stop and stare at the colors chips at a paint store! I am not sure whether there is a medical condition associated with this response but I call it “pure joy”. Others may call it an obsession. Does it happen to you?

But what do you do? My initial response is “I gotta have it all”. This phrase bounces around my brain maniacally (think evil cartoon character with clenched fists threatening to take over the world)!

It seems that regardless of the type of store, when there is a display of colors, textures and patterns . . . . my heart goes pitter-patter and I want it all!!! Okay, I am starting to think I am a hoarder.

Recently a dear friend of mine (and a well organized artist that I admire) suggested displaying all my supplies in a beautiful way . . . . . . so that they give me joy. It doesn’t get me off the hook for purging a few things and I accept that. But I really love this idea.

Pulling like items together for display serves multiple purposes – you see right away what you have, quickly assess what you use, don’t use, may not even like any more or it could ignite a flame of an idea, that had gotten lost in the mess. Either way, take the time to go through and pick favorites. I have found that it is a great feeling to give supplies away to a good home where you know they will be used.

I have started to do that. I have a long way to go and I suspect it will become an on-going project that evolves over time. And I am okay with the notion that my studio will never be ready for a photo shoot . . . . as long as I make enough space to work . . . . . . and can admire my projects and supplies on display.

seed bead storage

Seed beads organized by size and colors

paints displayed on pegboard

Paint tubes hung

journaling pens organized

Pens for journaling organized


lampwork collection displayed

An extensive collection of lamp work beads

lampwork collection favorites

Some favorite lamp work from Jari Sheese!


displaying some of my polymer work

Some of my own favorite polymer clay work

art journals organized

Some of my art and travel journals

Its baby steps, but I enjoy seeing the progress. And it does give me joy. So how’s your studio space looking? Any words of wisdom from my artist friends out there? And no, I am still not ready for a photo shoot of the studio!!


This entry was posted in Art Journaling, display materials, jewelry, polymer clay, studio organization, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Studio Clean-Up (is it an achievable goal?)

  1. KatharinaK says:

    Wow, I loved your honesty. I love the new displays!!!


  2. Christina says:

    Hey, girlfriend, I can tell you are making progress. I love that you allowed yourself space to display your beautiful polymer creations. Keep up the good work!


  3. Leslie says:

    OMG! That’s me too! I’m hoping to straighten up this year – maybe next – at least I’m thinking about it. LOL


  4. Vicki Colburn says:

    I don’t have a studio. That is how I have solved this problem. Truthfully, my shit is oozing into a guest room….we rarely have guests.

    On Monday, August 1, 2016, The Flying Squirrel Studio wrote:

    > The Flying Squirrel Studio posted: ” It seems like my studio constantly > needs cleaning. The desk is covered with supplies, half finished projects, > samples that took a turn for the worse . . . . you get the picture. And the > floor contains stacks of boxes and piles of flotsam. I admire” >


  5. gilian says:

    Working space always needs clean up. 🙂 same here! I admire those who have white pristine workplaces. Haha


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