Paper Artist Studio

Studio: Paper Artist

Welcome to my paper artist studio!  I’ve been busy fixing my studio the past few weeks after my Artrepreneur graduation.  Here’s the only before shot:

My studio layout is designed to maximize inspiration and increase my productivity.  I’m grateful to have a large, bright space to create an inspiring paper artist studio.  It used to be our storage room.  I’m glad to have found their proper homes and purged the extras.  A paper artist studio looks better than a room full of boxes any day!

Designing my studio

All the books I’ve read about creative businesses emphasize the need for inspiring work space.  For weeks, I thought about my process and storage needs.  I assigned several stations for my process – paper preparation (cutting, layout), transformation (laminating), printing, curing, cutting (by hand and electronic), assembly stations and packing station.  I needed to have beautiful paper at every corner.

Putting it together

I was also fortunate enough to find a few tables that fit my needs.  My first antique, a drafting table is the perfect height for doing work while standing.  Its large enough for cutting full sheets of paper and layout compositions.  Above it, I have added a “love” wall – objects that make me feel good.  It helps me refresh when tackling speed bumps on any project.  I have yet to sort through the memorabilia box – so I left lots of space for more.  I added a simple work desk in the corner for photography and daydreaming.  Its where I play with paper for new ideas.

One corner of my paper artist studio showcasing samples of my paper collection right beside my photography space, walls covered with children's artwork and an antique drafting table for paper cutting.
My paper wall, photography/daydream space, feel “loved” wall and an antique drafting table for paper cutting.

The opposite corner hosts my paper storage.  Many papers fade in direct sunlight over time.  My favourite way to organize large amounts of paper is to file them out of direct sun.  I sort them by colours instead of file names.  I actually put a small strip at the tab to help me find papers fast.  Yes that’s a framed handkerchief kimono – a gift from a friend.  I’m a fan of Japanese craft and culture for the last twenty years.  In the future, I will add an updated business model canvas, critical path chart and other reminders to this corner column.  Something to keep me on track for the business side of things.

The southwest corner of my paper artist studio hosts my paper transformation zone, paper storage, paper ladder, printer and cutter.
My paper ladder, storage and paper transformation zone.

My paper ladder is a converted crib wall for storing delicate tissue papers.  I love the challenge of using tissues to create images in my paper paintings.  I’m also a big fan of reusing what you have to suit your needs.

The studio heart

The busiest part of my paper artist studio - the work desks. One desk is reserved for computer and paper work. Another long desk is where I process orders, develop new products and play with paper.
The busiest part of my studio and the heart of my practice – the work desks.

Lastly, this is the busiest part and heart of my studio – this is where the magic happens.  This is where my papers are cut, assembled, packed and shipped.  If you’ve watched any of my paper painting videos, you will recognize the desk.  Paper cutting is a slow art.  I wanted this space to be comfortable for the many hours it takes to create my paper paintings.  When my hands need a break, I look over my favourite rocks and glass work.

I had to have a wire line.  It reminds me of all the time I spent in a photography darkroom.  In high school, I only took two art courses.  The mandatory half credit in Grade 9 and an introduction to photography course.  While I don’t miss the smell, the hours spent tweaking exposures to make your pictures come to life is an experience I’ll never forget.

The desks are from Ikea, practical and affordable choice for storage and organization.  I also borrowed an old media wall unit into a sorting station for my various projects and cut offs.

Transforming boxes for play

As a bonus, I turned all those boxes into a box kitchen for my daughters to match their box house.  They seem to enjoy my homemade box version much more than the plastic ones.  I designed it to be sturdy to stand strong against the abuse of two little girls and large enough for them to play together.

The boxes from my studio furniture is now transformed into a kitchen play set. I transformed several boxes into a fridge with shelves, counter, oven and shelves.
Play stove and fridge assembled from several boxes and broken DVD player.

 

A play kitchen island complete with sink and sliding shelf from the boxes for my studio furniture.
A kitchen isn’t complete with its own island counter, sink, and sliding shelf.

Now that my studio is somewhat organized, my next focus is streamlining my operation and updating parts of my business plan.  I’ll probably continue making improvements to my studio.  I’d love to hear any advice on making my studio better, how did you organize your studio?

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