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Art Studio Tour

Art studios are something that are always evolving and changing. Here I’ve got my latest iteration of my art studio now that I’m settled in after the move to Louisville, Kentucky. This studio is 25+ years in the making and I’ve found there are 2 things that are critical for me when putting together a creative space.

Come take a walk up the rainbow stairs to the studio.

Here’s the view when you enter the studio. It’s extremely tidy right here. Full disclosure, it is almost never this clean and it may never be this clean again. In the video, you’ll see what it usually looks like.

One of the two critical factors for me is flexibility. My needs have shifted over the years and I change my mind a lot. So whenever I can, I opt to have something on wheels or easily rearrangeable. All the tables are light weight IKEA tables that I can reconfigure by myself. The storage carts, also from IKEA are on wheels and become instant extra table space when pulled out.

Below are two big baker’s racks. These are from a used restaurant supply store and they hold a ton of stuff. This is the ultimate in flexibility. Not only can I wheel it around, I can adjust the height of each tray. It’s especially noticeable at the bottom of each rack.

This started out as a way to store some of my ephemera and has evolved to store just about anything now. The trays are basically shallow drawers.

The second critical factor for me is visibility. If I can see it easily and get to it easily, it is exponentially more likely that I will use it. I started out storing my gel printing pattern makers in boxes but the stuff on the bottom was always forgotten about. When I shifted to storing them all in this repurposed shoe holder, suddenly, I could see the items and they got used a whole lot more.

The sink was a big decision because once it was installed, it wasn’t ever going to move again. That meant I couldn’t change my mind. So I did a lot of research and looked high and low for the sink that met as many needs as possible. In order to find a shallow and wide sink, I ended up going with a dog grooming sink.

The most important space whenever you’re creating is the space within arm’s reach. Since that’s the most valuable real estate in the entire studio, I will pack in as much as I can in there. Command Adhesive hooks make my frequently used tools, like brayers, so easy to grab and keep them from using any drawer space.

Here’s one side of my main work area. The shelves are adjustable and that has enabled me to get do much more into this space. On the bottom shelf, it’s very low because it’s flat things, like my Gel Press plates and PanPastels that I store there.

There are little baskets, recycled boxes, and any container I find (the clear ones are refrigerator storage bins) to hold the easily knocked over things. That means no more reaching around and behind, which agitated me no end when I knocked things over.

On the other side of my counter, are the paints I use most often. I’ve got them grouped by color with a dab of it on the lids to make it easy to see which paint I’m grabbing.

I’ve stored stencils in binders. In boxes. In folios. And what I didn’t like about any of those was the clean up. Sliding damp stencils into page protectors was more than I was up to at the end of a play session. Then I found J hooks. These made it fast to hang up a stencil when I was done!

For those friendly stencils, the ones who seem to catch on any stencil next to it, I put a transparency sheet on a J hook to keep that from happening. You also hang a piece of cardstock in between but I chose the transparency because it keeps things more visible and by this point, you know that’s a big deal to me.

This spinner rack is unfortunately not available any longer. This company sadly went out of business but you can create a spinner rack of your own using an old lamp. This is what I bring with me when I travel and teach in person workshops to keep the stencil easily visible to students.

Get a shade with a wire frame and then simply remove the fabric share. Rummage sales have been a favorite of mine for finding these in past years.

A magnet board is the ultimate in flexibility and visibility. Right now it has all sorts of bits and pieces I’ve been making or found in the move that I have ideas for how to use. In the near future this will all come down and this space will be where I plan and map out my next online workshop.

If you’d like to be in the know about it, and get the best price, get signed up for my newsletter. My readers know that they get discounts I only offer there.

Creative spaces shift and evolve. If you’re curious what my last studio looked like I’ve got videos from a 2019 Studio Tour & a 2015 Studio Tour. The studios then and now are about the same square footage but configured very differently.

Thanks for stopping by – I hope this has given you some ideas for how to organize your creative space!

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I’ve linked up as many things as I could find that I talked about in the video. Some of these links are affiliate links which means I get a small percentage. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and you get a really good feeling knowing that you are helping keep the free tutorials coming!

Command Adhesive hooks

Brick adhesive wall protector

J Hooks for hanging stencils

Industrial Pipe Shelf

From Ikea:

Tables- available in all sorts of sizes

Drawers on wheel

For a baker’s rack, check for restaurant supply places in your area that sell used equipment.

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  • Hope van der Hoeven February 5, 2021, 5:10 pm

    Wow! I love it! So fun and exciting. All those crafting possibilities and projects to be made! Enjoy it while it looks like that! Haha. Thanks again for a great video!

    • Carolyn Dube February 5, 2021, 10:12 pm

      It is a strange feeling having it so clean Hope!

  • Patricia Donahue February 5, 2021, 5:21 pm

    beautiful lucky girl

  • Denise February 5, 2021, 5:34 pm

    Awesome Possum!
    I love the work you do and all the great sharing you give us.
    Thank You,
    Denise Reimer

    • Carolyn Dube February 5, 2021, 10:10 pm

      You’re very welcome Denise- you’ve made my day- thank you!

  • Lis February 5, 2021, 5:37 pm

    Some great ideas. Thanks for the tour.

    • Carolyn Dube February 5, 2021, 10:07 pm

      You’re welcome Lis, glad you got some ideas!

  • Kathy Smith February 5, 2021, 5:42 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your studio! I got lots of inspiration for storage. Stencils have always been the hardest, and I love the idea of J-hooks. And thank you for all of your fun, informative, and colorful videos!

    • Carolyn Dube February 5, 2021, 10:07 pm

      The J hooks have made all the difference for me Kathy- they are so much easier to put away now!

  • Carol Trugman February 5, 2021, 5:52 pm

    Thank you so much for showing us your new Art Room and all the clever ways you store your art supplies. I loved the tour and got so many great ideas for my art room. The rainbow stairs are fantastic.

    • Carolyn Dube February 5, 2021, 10:06 pm

      So glad you got ideas for you art room Carol!

  • Leada February 5, 2021, 5:53 pm

    Congratulations on another great studio and for sharing all your organizational ideas with us. Your space is amazing! I love getting your newsletter and it brightens my day with color and possibilities. I would be interested in a video about your camera set up.

    • Carolyn Dube February 5, 2021, 10:05 pm

      Thanks Leada, I’ll work on getting that video together.

  • G February 5, 2021, 6:05 pm

    OMG. Most valuable share and ideas! And dare I say…. you have a LOT of supplies!!!😉 💕💕

    • Carolyn Dube February 5, 2021, 10:04 pm

      It took quite a while to move it all to the new space lol! So glad the tour was helpful for you!

  • Beth February 5, 2021, 6:12 pm

    I want to live on your rainbow steps, please. Thanks for the wonderful tour – and the hunter/gatherer analogy. And the sink and stencil storage is genius! I had acrylic (plexiglass) tops made for my Ikea desks/tables/Alexes. – like how people used to (still?) put glass tops on tables, glass is too clanky and cold for me. Very flat bump-ons underneath keep the tops from moving. And one is slightly raised on an Ikea Alex with rulers stored underneath the acrylic, sticking out less than 1/2”. A “stop” so the rulers won’t slide back too far was made by stacking chipboard and adhering it to the table. (And the little Alex unit was turned into shallow shelves by not making the drawers, instead sliding in laminate or plexiglass on the runners that come attached.)

    • Carolyn Dube February 5, 2021, 10:03 pm

      That’s a brilliant way to alter the Alex drawers Beth!

  • fran February 5, 2021, 6:54 pm

    You have a marvelous space and storage. love the shallow trays for stencils and papers. i have to limit my stencils and papers to two scrap book storage boxes.

    • Carolyn Dube February 5, 2021, 10:00 pm

      The shallow trays are so much more workable for me than deep drawers- too much gets lost on the bottom for me Fran!

  • Sharon February 5, 2021, 7:09 pm

    Oh Carolyn!!! I absolutely adore your studio! I totally agree with you on how you think as I am exactly the same, out of sight- out of mind, grouping stuff differently, I have loads of wee containers and boxes for inks, buttons etc. My husband goes crazy in my craft room as he doesn’t understand why I don’t keep like with like as in glues etc but different glues are for different things lol. As they say here in Ireland “Health to enjoy it” which means I hope you live a long time to geet the most enjoyment out of it. Sharon xx

    • Carolyn Dube February 5, 2021, 9:59 pm

      My husband doesn’t get my way either Sharon- but he nods along and accepts my illogical logic lol!

  • Yoletta February 5, 2021, 8:27 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this special space!

    • Carolyn Dube February 5, 2021, 9:57 pm

      You’re very welcome Yoletta! Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Paule February 5, 2021, 8:28 pm

    Such a wonderful space!!! Thanks for sharing it and the tips with us.

  • Kathy golden February 5, 2021, 8:48 pm

    I love your new studio and so happy for you. I really enjoy watching your website !

    • Carolyn Dube February 5, 2021, 9:55 pm

      Thanks Kathy! So glad you’ve stopped by!

  • Diane Boekman February 5, 2021, 9:04 pm

    Wow, Carolyn, what a beautiful job you did on this workshop. Thank you for explaining the how and why of your choices. I have only one question… where is your muse? Did I miss her?
    Thanks for sharing all this great information,
    Diane

    • Carolyn Dube February 5, 2021, 9:50 pm

      Glad it was helpful Diane! She’s on the top of the white bookshelves when you first enter the studio- she isn’t very visible in this video just because of the camera angle.

  • GAYE MILLER February 5, 2021, 11:06 pm

    Loved the tour! Thanks for the awesome ideas. The I hooks and lampshade are my favorite. The bakers racks are awesome also.

  • GAYE MILLER February 5, 2021, 11:07 pm

    Oh! And yes….Would Love to see a video on your camera setup. ☺

  • Becki February 6, 2021, 1:47 am

    Those restaurant supply trays are awesome. I’m like you, I need to see it or I won’t use it, or I’ll forget it.
    Thanks for sharing…..oh & and those stairs……love 💞

  • Leanne February 6, 2021, 2:51 am

    Hi Carolyn, thank you for sharing yet again. For me this is one of the best ever videos that you have done and that’s a big call coming from someone who enjoys and learns from all of your videos. So many fantastic ideas that I’ve never seen before. Thank you for all that you share and all of the time must go into making these videos. Many blessings to you dear lady

  • Carmen February 6, 2021, 5:22 am

    I loved your video, thanks for sharing! I would love to see a video on how you set up your video cameras.

  • Maureen Bartling February 6, 2021, 8:04 am

    Hi Carolyn, This was a great video; your work space is wonderful. For me , the most important part of creating my own space was to center it around natural light. Your space is bright and definitely functional. Love all the storage ideas. It makes me happy just stepping into my studio! Maureen

  • Boo February 6, 2021, 8:19 am

    Loved your studio. So many great idea! Thanks.

  • Christine February 6, 2021, 9:17 am

    Thank you so much, Carolyn! So inspiring!!! The rainbow stairs make me swoon! I appreciate the practical tips…so much to think about. I love your outlook and enthusiasm! Makes me want to PLAY! I am so grateful!!!

  • Marye Ann February 6, 2021, 9:19 am

    Outstanding and so well organized. I’m so jealous because I don’t have the space that you do to set things up. Bravo to you!

  • Yvonne Boucher February 6, 2021, 10:52 am

    Carolyn, thank you for sharing your studio and organization tips. I have to tell you, I’m very inspired by all your storage…but the most impressive thing to me is the sink! I love that you were able to incorporate a sink into your space!

  • Tina February 6, 2021, 12:19 pm

    I love your studio….. especially the rainbow staircase and landing. J hooks are a game changer!
    What do you use for video editing software? Yes, I would love a video about your camera set up.

  • Susan February 6, 2021, 12:33 pm

    Thanks for sharing your studio that would encourage anyone to come in and PLAY!
    BTW, love your shirt. Mind sharing where you got it? Susan

  • Elaine February 6, 2021, 12:58 pm

    You are the Queen of great idea and fun. That space looks amazing and the staircase is simply WOW! Now what I want to know is there a similar house to yours for sale so I can replicate your magical playroom. ( I’d let you use any supplies you want)! Lol🤗

  • Jean Goza February 6, 2021, 7:19 pm

    Love your new studio space. Thanks for sharing so many great ideas. I am moving soon and your ideas will come in so handy. Love your Beyond Awesome rainbow staircase! Happy Happy…

  • Elaine Bishop February 6, 2021, 8:17 pm

    Carol I loved the look at your new studio! I am an artist who moved from Cleveland, Ohio a couple years ago and am in (south west of 465) Indianapolis. I am going to be converting my 2 1/2 car garage into a studio this spring or summer and would love to talk to you at that time, about studio, lighting, camera, for filming works, classes… Love your Colorful Journey!
    Thanks again!

  • Elyse Elguezabal February 6, 2021, 10:46 pm

    You’re always so generous with your time, ideas and happy personality 💜

    Thank you!

  • Norma S February 7, 2021, 10:48 am

    Love how you organized your studio! I am like you a Hunter and Gatherer!😀
    If I don’t have things out in the open, I forget about them. My studio has always been a Work in Progress! Maybe one of these days, it will finally be the way I want it.
    Thank you for sharing your amazing beautiful space! Love the stairs!❤️

  • Melissa Friedrich February 7, 2021, 11:28 am

    This was one of the BEST organization videos I’ve seen because you talked about so many options for storage and what KIND of crafter you are. I am a out of sight out of mind type person too. I need to spend time shifting my crafty goodies around a bit, like I did with my kids’ toys lol. Thanks so much for sharing your incredible talents too.

  • Susan February 7, 2021, 6:26 pm

    Such an inspiration! I’m finally have a room for a studio and you have given me so many good ideas. I’m like you and want everything in sight. And within easy reach! I hope I can do as good a job organizing as you did!

  • Kathy Gledsdale February 8, 2021, 12:18 pm

    Oh what an amazing studio. Good tips too. Just wish I was able to have a craft room. All my stash is scattered in every room (and I mean EVERY room) in the house and you are right, if you can’t see it, you forget all about it and don’t use it.
    Enjoy your beautiful space. x

  • Peggy Joyce February 8, 2021, 9:46 pm

    Yea!! What a great tour of your new space. I really want to know about your video set up….I teach printmaking at my local community college so I’ve gone from hauling paints, stencils, gel plates, paper, paper towels, baby wipes….well, you get the picture…to a year of teaching online. I want to know what kind of camcorder you’ve got hitched up above your space and is that a microphone hanging next to it in white? Love the stencil rack. I’ll bet I could find one of those racks at a place in Portland (Oregon) that sells used retail display items….only I’m not sure they’re open at the moment….but love the lampshade substitute and those Ikea tables…to die for! Great tour, Carolyn.

  • Maurene February 9, 2021, 10:32 am

    Amazing space. I love the Ikea tables and drawers – so much space to work and so handy. Yes, please do a video on how you set up your video for filming, type of camera, set up, etc.

  • Polly Carroll February 10, 2021, 8:20 pm

    Thank you for sharing, Carolyn! It is a wonderful space-particularly like the rainbow steps. Where did you find so many colors-did you mix your own?
    They set the stage for your colorful studio. I am curious what you store in the
    IKEA roll-around drawers. I have an old IKEA dresser that I put on wheels under my work table but it is only about a foot deep and, therefore, not very useful. However, I do use it as a space divider sometimes and love that use
    since it gives me more work space, too.

  • Patty Meiners February 14, 2021, 10:04 pm

    Wow! I love your art area! I love the j-hook idea, the shelves, the sink, the bakers trays… My art area is tiny and very messy.
    Thanks so much for the tour.
    Patty

  • heatherK February 19, 2021, 7:28 pm

    Could you share the dimensions of the room? I’m designing floor plans for our future home, but I’m kind of lost when it comes to how big to make my art studio. Knowing the dimensions of yours would be most helpful! Thanks so much for making the video and giving us a tour – LOVE all the organizational ideas!! Baker’s rack, stencil storage, and the utility sink are my favs!!