10 Essential Tips to Keep Your Art Career Organized and On Track

Who doesn’t wish they were more organized? And when you run your own business, it’s even more critical that you keep your work streamlined so you can focus on important things—like creating art. While the vision of a chaotic artist studio might be romantic in its own way, the reality is that most of us work better when things are in order.

With so many things to think about, from organizing your equipment and supplies to keeping receipts in order, it can be tricky to know where to start. Luckily, we’ve got the business and creative side covered so that you’ll know exactly where your artwork is just as quickly as you can find a paint color.

Tips for Organizing Your Art Studio

Whether you are crafting, painting, sculpting, sewing, or shooting photos, a clutter-free workspace can keep your mind focused on what you have to do, instead of where things are. And it doesn’t always take a big investment to keep your supplies in order. Here are ideas of how to keep your studio neat and tidy, from easy DIY fixes to comprehensive organizational systems.

LABEL EVERYTHING

Fire up a good label maker and get to work. This way, when everything is stored away, you’ll quickly be able to see what’s in each drawer, jar, and cubby you have in the studio. You might also consider a color coding system to help you separate materials by brand in order to give yourself quick access to exactly what you need at all times.

CREATE DEFINED AREAS

Even the smallest spaces can be sectioned off into distinct zones. Photographers may divide up certain sections for lighting equipment, backdrops, and lenses, for instance. Or think about separate areas for packaging artwork, materials storage, and the creation of new work. By defining your space it will be easier to remember where singular items go, and where you can find them again when you need them.

GET INNOVATIVE TO STORE MATERIALS

There are plenty of storage hacks that work quite well for artists and make the most of all the space you have available. Baby food jars can hold everything from extra paint to tiny beads for crafting. A hanging shoe rack opens up storage space on the back of any door and you can place items like rolled canvases or fabric scraps inside easily. Simple wooden dowels from the craft store can be mounted with clips and hooks to hold spools of tape, scissors, and inspirational images. Get a little crafty and you’ll find all types of DIY projects that can expand your storage. You can also try scouring flea markets for old filing cabinets and vintage office furniture with cubbies for all your materials.

PLAN “SPRING CLEANING”

At least twice a year, plan a deep cleaning of your studio. This means getting rid of dried out paint and old brushes, reorganizing materials that have been scattered about, and putting things back in their place. By focusing on getting out the old and unwanted a few times a year, you’ll not only make room for new materials but perhaps rediscover interesting items you’d forgotten about.

INVEST IN AN ORGANIZATIONAL SYSTEM

If you’re really looking into upping your organizational game, invest in a high-end system to increase your storage potential. The Original Scrapbox makes different systems that can be customized for creatives working with crafts, sewing, and fine art projects. The best thing is that their storage unit can fold away and become an attractive piece of furniture, allowing you to work at home or in the studio. If you’re just interested in accessories, Organize More makes a variety of paint and ink storage inserts, some of which were created to slip into basic IKEA furniture.

Tips for Organizing Your Creative Business

Now that you have all of your supplies in order, it’s time to turn to the business end of things. Artists can often overlook the fundamentals of organizing their business, which can make for time lost down the line. And we’re not just talking about accounting. Everything from knowing who bought your artwork to easy access to high-quality photographs will help keep your studio running smoothly.

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