• Terry Farrell

Design can be chaotic, your studio doesn't have to be

Updated: Feb 8, 2019

Liking, loving and working in your studio is important. Does it feel good to be there? Are you motivated to work when you are there? Is it pleasant to guests or customers? If not, lets work on that.

#studio #cleaning #organization

A corner in my studio!

There is a lot of work on the walls, neatly organized display areas with visual interest. But also the needs of a daily studio, such as supplies, canvases half completed, easels, idea boards and more. Organization is the key.

My studio is a place I enjoy being. Music is necessary. It is important that it is a place customers and students enjoy stepping into. Not to toot my own horn or anything but, I love the look on peoples faces when they step into my studio. Their expression, the verbal Awe or Wow as they turn taking it all in. It is a pleasant place to be. There are psychological studies of chaotic environment in your surroundings and the effect they have on your mood, anxiety and sense of peace. An important part not to be forgotten. Now lets look at a few ideas that might help your studio or things to consider for your future studio.


How to store your supplies for quick and easy access? You need them daily to work with, make it convenient. A rolling cart works well. If you have guests coming or an open studio invitation, just roll it into a closet. Even a second hand old kitchen cart. I have one I purchased with 3 shelves. On it are containers that can be removed to the work table easily. Like:

Cans of pencils

Containers of brushes

Water containers


My favorite tin of colored pencils

Markers and pens

Add what ever is necessary for your daily routine.


I have lateral files in another room, organized and labeled. My lateral files contains;

Various types of computer paper sorted by size and color

Different drawers contain different types of art paper and sizes;

Watercolor, drawing, Bristol board, poster, newsprint, sketch etc

Students work is sorted by weekday (I teach students in my studio)

Artwork on paper that is alphabetized by subject matter

This helps to locate everything quickly when it is needed. Ever been looking for a piece you wanted to show a potential customer. They want a particular subject they are interested in purchasing. "Oh I have something you might be interested in." Then you cant find it. Has that ever happened to you? Well it has to me, so I work on keeping it organized for just such that reason.

There is a traditional small rolling file cabinet with a printer sitting on top. I have my office supplies in one drawer, important papers and receipts in the filing drawer below.


For me worktables are absolutely essential and I have two. They need to be available for many different projects. Also I have served great meals in the studio. I keep one with interesting art, brochures, business cards and postcards on it. Occasionally a vase of beautiful flowers. Which all can be cleared in a moment for a full studio. One table is ready for work, for me or with a student to just sit down and start with the basic supplies that are on the worktable.

I'm considering building a long dramatic table for the center, so that I just have one. Instead of 2 six foot tables.


I like the formality of a nice white pedestal with a sculptures on it. Just like interior decor my studio as a since of design and functionality.


Currently my canvases stand sorted by size against a wall. There are great racks out there, ready made to purchase and plans of ones to build. Good old Pinterest. A great site for everything. That is next on my list of studio organization.

To conclude all of this can easily be rearranged for an event of just company and even a meal. I love to show off the artistic cooking skills too! A excellent meal served in a creative setting with art all around is a very wonderful original venue for you and your guests. Try it!

TBorn Fine Artist / /


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