A Simple Art Studio Set Up Anyone Can Do

Whether you work from home, or you have a studio separate from your house, it’s so important to have your own space to be creative.

When setting up your studio, ESPECIALLY if it’s in your home, set it up so that what you need to protect from your paint mess is protected.

If you have to worry about getting paint on furniture or walls, it inhibits your creativity. I want to get completely lost in my work, and I can’t do that if I’m nervous about ruining something important.

It might be Dexter’s kill-room, or my studio with shower curtains hung up to protect the walls.

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I find that keeping my supplies organized helps me to keep my creativity flowing. There’s nothing worse than having to hunt something down in the middle of inspired fervor.

I have a large plastic Tupperware containers with drawers that are full of paints I’ve organized by color. I never have to guess where red paint is. I don’t use acrylic paint very often, but for large paintings I use it for the backgrounds to save $.

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For the most part, I paint in oils. I LOVE my oil paints. I’m making it a goal to own every color that Holbein Duo Aqua Oils makes within the next six weeks. These paints live in a smaller Tupperware container because there are not nearly as many of them.

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Save old clothes. Instead of throwing away stained or torn clothes, save them as paint clothes. Trust me, you WILL get paint on you, it’s virtually unavoidable. This is me, so glamorous in my painting “uniform”.

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Every heard of an assembly line? I find that the model of an assembly line works so well in my studio. I can tell by the space that a painting (or paintings) is/are in, what I need to do with them next.

I have tables against three walls so after I’ve completed a painting, there’s a space for it to dry, then there’s a space for it to be packaged up to go to it’s new home, and there’s a space for creating necklaces and allowing them to dry.

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Then, of course, you need space where all the magic happens.

If you’re painting, you don’t need an elaborate set-up. I have a table that I do my work on, with a table-top easel, covered in plastic. You can set this up in a small space.

Notice in the left hand picture, my brushes are on a slight angle, with the brush part facing down. You want to make sure that your brushes are facing down slightly so that when you clean them, the water can drip off of the brush tips. I see a lot of artists store them brush side up in a jar. If you do this while your brushes are damp or wet, the water will seep back into the ferule (the metal piece that attaches the bristles to the wooden brush shaft) and cause the metal to rust and the wood to expand and chip away. It will make the bristles come out and will really shorten the life of your brushes.

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If you’re a working artist (selling your art actively) it’s very important that you keep records of all of your sales and purchases. I’m working on getting better at this, right now my sales are written in a book and my receipts are in envelopes. This isn’t ideal. I’d love to get a filing cabinet for paperwork (like a catalog of my work, sales slips, receipts etc).

Last but certainly not least, make your studio a place that you WANT to spend time in. Mine feels like a second home. I have speakers set up, tons of snacks and a comfy mini couch type thing on the floor. I’m lucky enough to have a mini-fridge and microwave in a little kitchenette right outside my door.

If it doesn’t feel pleasant to be there, you won’t spend time there. Make it yours, make it comfortable and beautiful and more appealing than your living room at home.

Much love to all!

Categories: In the Studio, Lifestyle

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6 replies

  1. Very interesting. I am pretty much totally disorganised yet I know where (most) things are. I am about to set up my new study/den and the idea of it being comfortable is paramount. For me that means the light and the view. I love being distracted. Its a good job I don’t have to sell anything.


    • I’m usually SO disorganized.I have to really discipline myself to keep things organized. It’s so helpful.
      Yes – I HAVE to be comfortable, and the lighting is incredibly important.
      It’s so nice to have a space to create.


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