I’ve been asked a few times since I moved studio space last summer for some pics of the studio. I see artist’s studios on Pinterest that are filled with green-leafed plants, quirky finds and tastefully splattered paint. Mine is not like that. I have a lot of piles of cardboard boxes and some functional shelving. It’s very much a working studio. There’s a desk for designing and emailing, two printers – one a fancy art printer and one an everyday printer, a scanner, a big packing desk for making up orders, and a lot of stock. Here’s a quick studio tour for you:
A typical day for me involves many different elements. Three days I week I start by processing orders from my online shops, followed by a trip to the sorting office in Melrose. I’ll also pack trade orders ready to be picked up by a courier and delivered to shops. Other tasks include taking and editing product photos, scheduling social media, design work, ordering product, checking stock of materials like envelopes and cellophanes. And then, whenever I get a chance, I do research work in my sketchbook and develop drawings. Having a lovely space to work in has made such a difference to how all of those tasks feel.
In my previous studio space I had very limited space and storage. Moving in to this new room has transformed my working practices. I was determined to plan a super functional work space that would speed up my rate of work. The packing table has everything we need to make up an online-shop or trade order – tapes, stickers, envelopes, boxes, labels, postcards, leaflets, tissue paper etc. That’s where Jenny works her magic on the days she is in.
At the back of the room there are big shelves where all the product is stored, ready to be sent out to lovely customers.
I also have my trusty card stand which was the first display stand I bought, second hand from Ebay, back in 2011. It lives beside the cardboard-box-pile. I try to reuse as much packaging as possible in order to reduce the impact of doing so much posting.
One of the best things about the new studio is the lovely view from the window.
I also keep some little bits of prettiness and inspiration in the studio, such as things I pick up on walks like feathers and shells and acorns.
I am not a naturally tidy person, so keeping the studio in some sort of semblance of order is a constant battle for me. Buddy, the studio dog, doesn’t help matters by stealing the packing tape and trying to bring sticks in to eat on the studio floor. I like it best when he is asleep!
Buddy is also very good at letting me know when he thinks I’ve been working for too long! He places a huge paw on my lap, over and over again, until I give him attention or take him for a walk.
He’s also constantly vigilant for deliveries arriving. He loves to charge down the stairs to bark at the postie or to get an ear rub from a courier.
The studio is one of our upstairs bedrooms at New House. I quite often get asked how I find working from home – do I get distracted? How do I stay disciplined? Back when I started my business I found it really difficult to separate out work and life. I wanted to work all the time and I struggled to switch off. Over the years, though, I’ve learnt to keep the two things a bit more separate. I can close the door of the studio and not think about it again until the next day. I wonder how things are going to be once the baby is here, though. I think that will be a big challenge for my working life discipline.
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my little work space! Show me yours!