Studio or Workspace?

I need to vent, are you ready to read? Ok, here goes…

How I long for a studio, at least that’s what I think I long for. It’s so romantic thinking about working in a space that’s all my own. Ahhh, the thought of being able to spread out, high ceilings, concrete floors, my favorite wing-back chair sitting across the room waiting for me to sit and view my latest piece. To hang my canvas on the wall and paint away (and not having to worry about getting gesso on the curtains or the carpet), sigh. Do you know what I mean?

Right now I crammed into a 6’ x 10’ space (hmmm as big as a cell in a prison) that houses a desk for my computer, printer, monitor, shipping supplies. Two bookcases full of books about art, photography and the like stand side by side next to my desk, and in front of those sits my electric guitar and its amplifier, that I play when I’m bored or uninspired to paint.

workspace 1

art projects and they like all get done.There is a window (thank goodness!), to the side of the window is my easel. Behind the easel on the other side of the room (so to speak) is my work table which houses EVERYTHING I need to do my work with and a “space” to do it in.  When I’m finished with a painting, or need perspective, I have about 2 feet 10 inches to do it in. Under the work table are boxes of frames for shows, storage bins for my work, other things like jars and cups for cleaning my brushes. Next to my table is a night stand that houses all of my brushes, palette knives, charcoal, conte crayons and pastels. Least I forget that above my work table there is a shelf where I keep paint, sketch books, handmade paper, ACEO paper etc. Behind that is the staircase leading to the basement (that’s why it looks like there isn’t a wall behind my equipment). Across from my space is the kitchen in all its glory. The hub of the house where eating, homework,

workspce 2

Now did you need to know all of that? Yes. Because I am outgrowing my “space”. Some of you might be saying, “Well you’re lucky you have a space, I’m stuck in the living room” or “ I’m stuck on the sofa” or “ I’m stuck in my bedroom” etc. Everything is relative, as they say and I am so stuck in this space. I could, IF I wanted to, make a space in the basement (it has no windows, and it’s not a finished basement and it smells kind of musty and it’s dreary down there) I wouldn’t use it. If I had a studio space out of the house, would I go there? Probably not. I’m the type of person that if it’s not in front of me to stimulate and inspire, then it’s not around at all.

Actually there’s no real solution to this situation, but I wanted to air this for you to think about where you work and if it “cramps” your style. Do you go into your workspace and dread being there because you have no room to move? I thought about down-sizing my materials, but like I said…out of sight…So, all of that being said, for now I am staying in my “space” and will continue to expand and grow out of it and complain, but I have done some of my best work in that cramped space and everything I need is there. What would I do without it?

What’s your space like? Is it inspiring or is it a dreaded cramped space? Let me know what you think and what you have to say about your creative zone. I would love to hear from you!



  1. onawhimsey Said:

    I did chuckle when I read your post! Not at you but with you because I so emphasise with you. My room is uh, 8 x 9 which is a small single room. Anyway, to one end I have an old bureau type desk where my laptop sits with shelving that houses papers, envelopes, crap. To the side of me I have plastic crates full of fabric three high and next to them a chest of drawers packed with fabrics and on the top of which are all my craft magazines, more boxes with cottons, cards, sticky tapes, glue sticks, more crap! In front of this stands my steedy ironing board that serves as an ironing board, craft table, painting board on which stands, depending on what I am doing, encaustic waxes, iron, stylus, paintings and lots of nonsense. Opposite sits my sewing machine on an old computer table under which I have wool/yarn, to the side crates of wool and completed pieces.
    BTW forgot to say that above my I have shelving on both sides of the room with plastic boxes full of ………………. more crap! Who would think when they just look up at my window from the drive outside? 🙂

  2. Pearl Said:


  3. Myfanwy Said:

    LOL! A room? I have the bath (our bath) in which I dye and it I want to make anything I have to stand at the kitchen counter and do it. You’d be surprised how much I have done this way.

    One day I’ll get a room ……..

  4. Mickey and Madeline Said:

    We are no longer able to distinguish our work space from our house, but I feel your pain.

  5. Lea Said:

    I SO empathize with you! I live in a 1-bedroom apartment with my 8-year-old daughter. She has the bedroom so that I can have my own space at night and all of her toys can remain mostly out of sight. Which means that the living room is also my bedroom, office, dining room, shipping & inventory space…
    My “studio” is what most people would use, in this 70’s era apartment, as the kitchen nook. It is about 6′ x 6′ and houses all of my art supplies, easel, drafting table, and chair. Some of my paintings are on my walls, the rest are strewn throughout the apartment as there is really no room for them at all. While I LOVE having my studio at home, I also long for a REAL space of my own!!!
    I try really hard to be grateful for what I do have, because it is certainly more than some. I don’t want to be caught up in the American ideal of more more more…BUT wouldn’t it be such a luxury to be able to have a bit of elbow room when I’m drawing or painting? Sometimes I just don’t want to create because it usually means I have to move stuff around just to be able to be in my studio space at all.

  6. ZudaGay Said:

    I’ve tried two times now to leave a comment and I keep getting interrupted….third time is the charm, right? I used to work on the dining table which is in our living/dining/office room. When our youngest got married a few years ago I took over her room for my studio. Danny bought me a fabulous workbench that has a magnifying lamp attached. It is sitting against the wall that has a window. And I have a chair that goes up and down with a touch of a lever….way cool!! As I sit at my workbench on my right are two full sized dressers stacked for storage. Behind me is my sewing machine and storage containers. To my left is my ironing board. I use my ironing board for my shipping area unless I’m sewing then it reverts back to an ironing board.

  7. Liv Said:

    Gee I feel like a queen because I have the spare bedroom as my work room. It’s something like 12 x 14 but it is still packed – sewing machine, serger, metal shelving, folding work table, old round table with a Dremel set up, thread racks, ironing board, boxes on the floor under things, stacks of fabric and beads, bookcases, and more. The closet doors are off so I can access the contents inside. I was actually trying to think of how I could jam a loom in there as well! Um…it’s not happening! So I still overflow the room with my lightbox on the kitchen table and the spinning wheel in the family room!

  8. susan Said:

    looks like a creative spot to spend time. Seems there never ‘is’ enough space for us right brained people!
    Sure enjoyed your blog post!

  9. Barb Said:

    Hey Brett. I am reading your blog down here in the cave. Yes, I am in the basement – tiny windows, concrete floor. The walls are panelled, though. The good thing is now that my son is in college, I can spread out into his space. I have yarn all over the place now.

  10. Kate Said:

    I’m totally amazed that you can work on your big paintings in that space. I was in a 9 x 12 bedroom and recently just made that room into a den; it has the TV and 2 chairs in it and made my whole living room into my studio. I love it! But I live alone so it’s way easier for me to just spread out all over.

  11. Brett I can sympathize with you. My space is no bigger than yours and Its looks
    as cluttered. Don’t do the basement. No windows is not an option especially
    if it is dusty. Nice blog. Great to see your working space.

  12. Chauncey Said:

    I would love to have a workspace full of windows and fresh air….. but I do my glass in the basement. One small window. I do have what was the guest room, got rid of the furniture… this way…no guests. I have my computer, sewing machine and camera stuff up there. It’s pretty messy.

    Good luck Vannie.

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