Creative Space: Organize Your Studio or Workspace & Unlock Creativity | Amarilys Henderson | Skillshare

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Creative Space: Organize Your Studio or Workspace & Unlock Creativity

teacher avatar Amarilys Henderson, Watercolor Illustrator, Design Thinker

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Creative Space


    • 2.

      The Big Idea


    • 3.

      Class Process


    • 4.

      Studio Style Quiz


    • 5.

      Craft Your Space Statement


    • 6.

      Organization: Prioritize


    • 7.

      Organization: Arrange


    • 8.

      Create Your Mood Board


    • 9.

      Space Personalization


    • 10.

      Bringing It All Together


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About This Class

YES! So you finally got a chance to sit down and create! But you sit down and have too many ideas swirling in your mind... or too many stressors nagging you... or too much stuff around you to get what you need? 

I can relate. But I found that getting to the good stuff of creating can be as simple as clearing the path!

Creative Space is about intentionally crafting your environment to foster creative space within yourself. 

Through this class, you will:

  • understand the concepts behind this theory on the creative process
  • better understand your style
  • pinpoint what truly makes your muse kindle
  • hone in on your creative goals
  • gain practical organization tips
  • prioritize your supply/material needs
  • find ways to add delight to your space
  • consider how you can honor your creative journey thus far

A printable guide is included as well as several fun prompts and quizzes to clarify your needs and inspire your creative space improvements!

Amarilys Henderson is a watercolor artist specializing in surface design. See more at

Meet Your Teacher

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Amarilys Henderson

Watercolor Illustrator, Design Thinker

Top Teacher

Hello! I'm Amarilys. I process on paper and I problem-solve with keystrokes.

As a commercial illustrator, I've had the pleasure of bringing the dynamic vibrance of colorful watercolor strokes to everyday products. My work is licensed for greeting and Christmas cards, art prints, drawing books, and home decor items. My design background influences much of my recent work, revolving around typography and florals.

While my professional work in illustration is driven by trend, my personal work springs from my faith. Follow along on Instagram


Learn a variety of fun and on-trend techniques to improve your work!

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1. Creative Space: Hey guys, welcome to my studio. I'm pretty proud of it, but I totally understand what it's like to have a space that's not inspiring or as cluttered, or as full of a lot of things that you think should be serving you and your creative energy, and yet it is not happening, and you can't get it together when it's time to create. I believe that if we can fix our creative spaces they can serve us in our mental and emotional creative space. Our output is affected by what we have around us. I want to show you in this class how to take the things that you already have, and organize them, place them, prioritize them, make them work for you, so that when it's time to create, you can totally jump right in and do it. I am Amarilys Henderson. I'm a watercolor artist. I focus in surface design, licensing my art on a variety of products. 2. The Big Idea: What works for one artist, might not work for another. For instance, you won't find me in the middle of the mountains meditating and feeling like I really want to create there. I actually obviously like a space that's very clean and orderly, but you'll also see artists who do work that is gorgeous and stunning and surrounded by clutter. I tend to think that if we have more space around us, then we can have more space to think and focus on the things that we want to work on. Maybe you want to get better at your craft. Maybe you want to create more often. Or maybe you want to get truer to who you are in your art because you're tired of chasing trends. I know that I've been in your shoes on several occasions, and what has helped me is, to get the things around me in order, and then I can fully focus on what it is that's really trying to come out of my hands. 3. Class Process: A quick overview of the process, this skeleton of this class, is going to put us all at ease, isn't it? First, we're going to hone in on your goal. You might think everybody's goal is the same, it's not. We're going to clarify what you really want out of this area that you have dedicated to creating work. Secondly, we're going to prioritize your reach. According to your goal, we will create priorities and what's most important to you. All that is so important for us to be able to only focus on the thing that we have at hand. We'll then sort and arrange as needed according to certain criteria. Then we move into just adding in personal notes, notes of your history and notes of what really is inspiring you, and then finally, we're going to add a little fun so that it doesn't feel super stuffy and it's actually fun to walk into. Let's just get started. I'm really eager for you to wrap your mind around what might make your studio space work for you. Exploring your style is going to be important. If you don't know what your style is, I hope that a few of the quizzes that we're going to have in this class are going to help you uncover your taste so that you see what's running underneath the surface of all the work that you're creating. All the things that interest you and all the things that you pump out, there is thread there, and we really want to hone in on that thread. Just for fun, we are going to start this party off with a little quiz. I don't know about you, but I always loved as a teenager opening up magazines and going straight to the quizzes and finding out what kind of whatever are you? That's what we're doing now. What studio type are you? That's what I'm going to name it. What studio type are you? 4. Studio Style Quiz: All right guys, I've put together a fun little quiz to see what your studio style is. This is a bit of a warm-up, just to get you thinking about what are your tastes and who might you identify with? Let's play. We're going to have six different types at the end of the game. Grab a notepad, and you're going to want to write down your ideas. I'm going to give you the answers after I show you the initial slide. Then, you'll see the answer, and just jot down the color. Or you can just take out some markers, or some colored pencils that are these colors. That would be fun. Do your little tallies with different colors. Don't worry if you keep getting the same answer, or if you don't. If you don't get the same color, that's great. If you get the same color consistently and you start predicting it, stop doing that. Just go with your gut. Oh, and no cheating. Definitely no cheating. Just go with the first one that sounds good to you. Let's do this. When I feel drained, I could go for a: glass of wine, shot of espresso, fresh glass of water, a lemon spritz, a fruity smoothie, or two of the above. Got your answer? It should be fast. Jot down the color that you ended up answering with. Question number 2. Fill in the blank. The are calling, and I must go. Who's calling you? The craft stores, the streets, the woods, the flea markets, the networking events, the museums. Which one is calling to you? Ready for the answer? Jot down which color you picked. I have four more questions for you. Question number 3. I could see myself collecting, you make these or maybe you want to sometime: vintage toys, records, stamps, bird feeders, designer shoes, or souvenirs. What could you see yourself collecting? Here are your answers. Jot down your color. Question number 4, coming right up. Never will I ever: live underground, live in a box, metaphorically speaking, never will I ever forget my phone, never will I ever rush through life, never will I ever use papyrus, never will I ever spray paint. Which sounds the most like you? There are your colors. I'm guessing you're starting to see a pattern. I'm going on to question number 5. Which of these quotes do you resonate with? Go with your gut. So many things yet so little time. Simplicity is the key to brilliance. Life is too complicated not to be orderly. Do what makes your heart sing. All good things are wild and free. I'd rather be tired, than broke. I know you might relate to a few of those, but pick one because I'm going to show you which color you'll need to jot down. There are those colors. Last question. It's a fill in the blank. You can never have too many: paperclips, backups, plants, photos, supplies, drawers. You can never have too many of which one? Here are the answers. It's time to tally up your answers; which one you might have selected the most. Here's the big reveal. You may have found that you are more than one of these. We'll talk about that in a bit. I'm going to flesh each one of these out a little bit. You might be a gloss boss, a beautiful mess, a combo crafter, a nature wanderer, the design kind, or so fresh and so clean. Let's dig into some of these types. I'm starting with the nature wanderer. You are inspired by nature. It could be the mountains that are calling you, or the forests, or the creeks and ponds, and all of nature, the birds. This type of person may also be a plant lady, like our very own, Audrey Ra from Skillshare here. You love plants and you're inspired by all things that come from the earth. Our next, let's face it, these are stereotypes, is the design kind. You're inspired by topography, clean lines. There is an order to things, but you also like a little bit of mayhem. You may or may not need sunlight to survive, but you will definitely never use papyrus. This is also a beautiful setup here from a fellow Skillshare team, Duo. Maybe you like it so fresh and some clean. You need clean spaces to think, and you love just white space, want to keep it minimalist. Maybe even more so than this image. This studio is Caitlin Cheffer's, and it's beautiful, but maybe you need it even more simpler. These people just love to keep things orderly and minimal. Maybe you're a gloss boss like Tiffany Emery. Her setup is made to make her feel like she is on top of this, and she likes clean lines. This person loves a little bit of a feminine touch, but is going to keep things pretty clean. She wants to get stuff done. The combo crafter. Jen Dixon has a lot of fun shots of her studio. I wish I could have shown you the one that says, "One thing at a time, Jen." So if you can relate to that, you are probably a combo crafter. These crafter artisans just work in a lot of different mediums, and they like a little bit of chaos. They can deal with that, because they want to be able to reach for all kinds of different things, and their ideas come from all sorts of different places. Our last studio is from artist, Kristin Cronic. She has a beautiful mess. I think a lot of us can relate to that title, but this is a bit more of a romantic take. You love photographs. You want to keep art around you. You embrace the mess, and yet you also like a bit of order. You might not feel like you fully fall into any of these, and that is okay. I'm going to give you a lightning round question. One more question to help you solidify where you want to be, or where you're inspired the most. Rank these. My ideal creative space makes me feel: refreshed, clear, chill, excited, empowered, happy. You might think, all of these. Totally understand. Go with your gut. What's your number 1, number 2, number 3? I'll show you the colors behind these answers pretty soon here. Giving you a little extra time. This takes a little thought. Put things in order. Here's the answer. I want you to remember that, obviously, there are more than six colors in the rainbow. Bravo. You did it. But you know what? You might be a yellow-orange, or a purple that's almost blue, or whatever. You get it. I just wanted to have a little fun. Warm you up to some ideas of what are some different styles. We're going to dig deeper, more into who you are, and how to make your space uniquely yours. 5. Craft Your Space Statement: I have a little activity for you to find what inspires you. There have been many times when I have scrolled through Instagram or looked at a magazine, been to a museum, and just felt so in awe of the scope of work out there and dying to create and then not being able to. If you can relate to that, I think you can see the difference between what inspires you and what actually provokes you to be creative. I want to focus on that latter part. We will worry about what inspires you later, but in order to get there, we might draw on some of the things that spark your interest, so it can cross over quite a bit but I want to make the distinction that we want to focus our minds on the things that actually make us excited to put pen to paper, paint to paper, mouse to mouse pad and I don't know, I have run out of analogies but you get it. I'm going to walk you through a few questions, take out a little piece of paper or jot it down on your phone, your answers to these questions because we're going to use them again. We're going to start with our pin points. What is the total downer that's keeping you from creating? These are easy to nail down. It's the time sucks, the productivity killers, the things that annoy you, the things that drain you. What don't you like about your current setup? What gets in the way when you're trying to create? Question number two. Now, how do you feel when you're inspired? You might think that's the same for everybody. When I feel inspired, I feel excited but some people might say, when I feel inspired, I feel calm, I feel still, or some people might think when I feel inspired, let's say in the middle of a mountain range or at the Grand Canyon, I feel small, I feel humble, and I feel inspired. Maybe you feel inspired when you feel like you're on top of the world and you can conquer the world. There are different feelings. How do you feel when you feel inspired? Jot that down. Now, we're going to look at what inspires you most. I think it's pretty easy to pinpoint those things that inspire us. Are they particular artists, when you play certain music. A certain surrounding, it could be even a scent. It could be somebody's work, some art history book. This book, I always go to. This thing, I always go to. I'd like to watch this movie when I need to feel inspired and jot those down. Last question. Where do you go to totally clear your mind? Is there a place in your house? It could be the bathroom. Is there a nook that you go to? Do you just sit at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee? Do you go for a walk? Do you have to be in the middle of nowhere? Do you have to be off the grid? Do you have to be like sitting on a subway and people watching? Where is it that you go to clear your mind? Jot that down. Here is the fun part. I don't know if you guys ever played Mad Libs as a kid from the the '80s and '90s. I did a lot of those things. We are going to fill in this sentence with our answers. I want a space that makes me feel inspired feelings, making my mind burst with thoughts of the things that inspire you. While inside my heart, it's like when I met this place with zero, that first question about downers. Did you write down your sentences and make any grammatical sense? I don't know. I just thought it would be fun and I think having that altogether in a statement might clarify for you what your space needs to look and feel like. These are all huge indicators. It doesn't have to look like, my space and you don't have to look at everybody's spaces. All the artists you look up to, all the offices that you find cool. It's about you and what makes you feel excited and ready to get to work or calm or humble, I guess. Whatever that feeling was. After looking at this sentence, what inspires you to create? Rather than looking at a board of all the work that you love and all the things that you really feel excited about, when you look at them, and then expecting yourself to churn that out when you sit down, and finally have that time to create, you can look at this statement and look at what actually does provoke that feeling in you. You don't need to have a large space. I want you to notice that. Sure, maybe some of you said that you feel so inspired, meditating in the middle of the mountains in or in a forest. You won't find me there, but for some of you, that is what it is, and I know that you can't really create that. But you can bring some notes of that and draw that into your space. I know that I have not always had a dedicated space like an entire room to myself to create and I know that's luxury. I have had my car be my best place to create, because it was the place where I could really get away from all the things that I needed to do, and I could be alone without somebody interrupting me. It's not typical for someone to tap on your window when you're sitting in your car. If you don't have a dedicated space, you might also be down to looking at an art box and art bin or something. Maybe your art studio is really a trolley or maybe your art studio is something portable, and I totally get that. I think that these principles just zeroing in on the idea of what it is that really inspires you to create, is really important no matter where you are, so even though this class is dedicated to a physical space, the bigger idea here is that creative mental space. Getting into that state flow is huge. It's what we really are going for all the time and wanting to get to, and I want to create not shortcuts, but take out the barriers that keep us from getting there. A lot of times through the stupid physical barriers that we could fix so easily this afternoon. I hope that these statements, thinking this way is helping you. The next thing that we're going to do is hone in on our goal. What is your goal? What is it that you're wanting your space to do for you? It might sound like everybody has got the same goal. That's not true, isn't that funny. We have different reasons for wanting to make our creative spaces work for us. It goes back to what I was talking about at first. How I expect a lot from my space. I demand that it serve me in certain ways, and you are going to want to ask it to serve you in certain ways. I'm going to suggest to you three different goals. You could have one that's not on this list. I just want to get your mind rolling. The most common one that I hear is, I'm going to create more, I wish that I could create more often, create more work, just more. That could be your goal. Maybe you want to focus more. Maybe when you sit down at your desk, your mind is just so full of all the things that you have a hard time focusing and calming yourself to be able to then output. The third suggestion of a goal that I would propose is actually where I'm at. My goal is not to create more. I have been through that and I have found ways to do that. I have also gone through that second goal, which is why I suggest these because I totally relate to them, of needing more clarity, more mental space to focus. Really focus on what it is that I have in front of me. But right now, I am wanting to create work that's more and more truer to me. Maybe your goal is to create better work. Work that's truer to you, truer to what you have as a goal for the year. We're looking at what is that goal? Because later we're going to look at those little details and look back at what it is that I really want out of the space and out of this class to then implement in all these different ways. 6. Organization: Prioritize: Are we ready to talk organization? The first step of really getting into how to make this practically work for you, we're going o talk about priorities. When you organize, you always start with priorities. But when it comes to our creative spaces, we want to look at it just a little step forward, a little bit differently. The reason that I want to talk about this first is that first issue of being able to create when you can. Whether you're trying to create more often or better work or focus better, this is going to be very important no matter what, to be able to prioritize what it is that needs your attention. When it comes to organizing you can get overwhelmed with everything that needs to be organized, and at the onset everything seems really important, and everything seems like it should take your attention. The only way to narrow down what it is that needs your attention is by looking at the most important big rocks and then letting the little rocks fall, instead of seeing them all on the same playing field. We're trying to eliminate right now things that need to be cut out. Let's first talk about what you want to do more often. The most important thing to prioritize when it comes to your art supplies is your reach. Prioritize your reach to promote your goal. Meaning, we're going to look at your art supplies and take a look at if you were looking to create more often, particularly, you're going to want to look at what you want to use more frequently. Those things need to be closer to you. When I sit down at my desk, if I have a lot of art supplies, I have nothing to do with anything but they look beautiful out, I need to get rid of them in order to start working. I'm just going to get rid of them now, at least from my proximity, and then next time I can just get to work. If every time you sit down to work, you need to take this away, put that there, fill in your cup. If you can narrow down all those steps, that's going to be huge for you, and it sounds so simple. Let me tell you, it is more than just so simple, it is so important. Being that I work in watercolor is a no-brainer that I would have paints out and ready. With watercolor, it is pretty simple because I don't need to squirt out those paints every time that I come to the table. I took that a step further and I created palettes where I have my watercolor color palettes ready to go. Now, my go-to palette is behind me, it's the Mijello Mission palette. I like that the paints are already laid out for me, and it's usually here on my desk. Now, even though I love using my Mijellos, to be quiet honest, when it comes to increasing my use of watercolors, I've actually wanted to use the paints you see behind me more often. I found that I love these Dr. Ph. Martin's paints, they are vivid and wonderful. I now work with that brand because I love it so much, it's just a natural, easy go-to. But the way that I came to using them more is I first gave myself a challenge; I created this book called Color Birds from all of these birds that I painted, each one showcasing each color. It was because I would look at these paints and I knew they were pretty, but I wasn't quite sure what color that would look like, so I created my own color guide and then shared it with the world with anybody who might want it too. But what I did with my space was that I wanted to have them showcased and easy to reach. I've seen some ways to organize them in a stair step organizer, that works great, but I felt like I couldn't see the actual color of the bottle, which really solves a lot of mysteries for me. I also didn't want to organize them by sets because really when it comes down to painting, I don't care if I'm painting all within the same set of this color. All I cared about was what color I will be using, and in order to find that color, I wanted that to be accessible and to be able to compare alongside other ones that were of similar colors. I can quickly jump into painting. I have my pallets already squirted out with color schemes ready to go, and I have them at the ready. These are already color schemes that are ready to go, they're already squeezed out. If I want more oranges, if I want a Christmassy theme, I have them here. Those few minutes that I have to paint in between, let's say my kids doing their homework nicely and quietly, I can come here, grab a paint set, and get to work. Another medium that I found myself liking but not using very often was Gouache. I bought this large set of Gouache paints, but I wasn't using them because they were in this box and I would have to open the box, I'm just going to use whatever else is at my fingertips. Well, if I want to increase my use of something, I'm going to put it at my fingertips. I thought of a way to also display my Gouache paints but make them very accessible. There you then angled in such a way where the paint is ready to go, I can just open it and squirt it, whereas it's not laying down or upside down so that I have to push through because they're like toothpaste tubes. Down here I have my watercolor paints that I can replenish my palette with. But what I also use often is this bin. This is my travel art bin. Whenever I am going somewhere where I think I might have some time to paint on my lap, I pull this out and I grab my paints, maybe a water brush, and with my sketchbook, I'm ready to go. Another paint that I'm trying to use more often, that I want to have around me are metallics. These are all my metallic paints. Some are more professional than others, some are watercolors, some are not, but I use them all in the same way. I keep them all together because they're usually just the icing on the cake, so I have them altogether here. The other way to prioritize your reach in order to promote your goal, if your goal is, I want to create work that is in this direction, you're going to need to put those things closer to you. What you've been doing so far may not serve you in the future. If you're changing directions, your space should change too. I'm constantly thinking of, what do I want to be using more? What do I want to have at the ready and making it easy for myself to get to that point? It's really tempting to have what looks best out or emulate someone else's studio space. But when it comes to your space, and if you want to create more, you're going to need those closer to you. Think of yourself as the central radius, and having concentric circles around yourself. Within the circle that's closest to you, that is what you're going to be using the most often, or you want to be using the most often. Outside of that, things that you use sometimes, things that you use almost never, and things that you have to know that you want in order to access. This revelation came to me when I realized I wasn't really painting for fine art anymore. I have done some art shows, but I've found that I really just want to work mostly in commercial art and licensing my art. It's not important anymore for me to stretch my art to Canvas, or use gum arabic tape, or use fixative, or use all these different fine art mediums. Those are all still here, they're in a bucket, and when I need them, I know where to get them. But they're not going to be anywhere near where I need them immediately, even though they're really cool, big bottles. I'm going to keep my little bottles of what I use the most often and keep that close to me. Now, if your goal is to focus more, to have a clearer space, you're going to have to take these same principles and take them to another degree where you have them put away. If you love to paint, but when you sit down at your desk, you want to just have a clear area where you need to focus, have your paints organized nearby, but out of sight. This is where drawers and bins come in handy. It's not too hard to hide something from ourselves. I don't know about you, but if I put something in a drawer, I'll often forget about it. If it's out of sight, it's out of mind. What's going to prompt me to use it is when I know I need to use it. If you want to focus, keep your space clear, and find ways to put your supplies within reach, but not too far away, but out of view. I find that I need clarity in this clean, slate feel when I'm working on different projects. I will have binders of Christmas inspiration or different trends. I'll have different art directors brief or whatever in a clipboard in a binder. It's put away, and when I know that that is the vein I need to be in, I know how to pull that out. But if I have these Christmassy colors out when I need to be working on spring florals, it's just going to mess up my mind. It's something as simple as that. I have to put away those colors, put away that imagery, and only be able to access what I want to access and switch them out according to what I'm working on. 7. Organization: Arrange: Now that we've talked about the ideas behind why we want to organize our space, we're going to get right into it and start organizing. I want you first to think about your tools in categories. I'll explain that in the next segment, now as we transition into more of the nuts and bolts of how to do this. In my line of work, I create traditionally. So I create with my hands, just art with regular paints. Then I scan them and then I work digitally to design compositions. When I realized that that was my workflow, I felt that I needed to change the way that I was working. I used to use my art desk as my place to paint and scan it, and with my laptop, and then work right there, and design. But I found that the way that I think when I'm painting is different than the way that I think when I'm designing. When I'm painting, I want to be in the process. I want to be thinking of colors, and flow, and what does this need, and being able to be in that creative flow. Whereas when I'm designing, I'm thinking a lot more strategically: What does this need in terms of composition? What does this need in terms of layering in order to make it more flexible for different uses? When I discovered that I work differently according to where I'm at, I started to divide up my art space from my office space. I always need this extra ancillary space for cutting paper or when my kids need to be near me, but not quite with me, then I have a little designated space for them too. I have different many stations. It doesn't have to be a big area. When I ran my Etsy shop, I had a shipping station, I have a paper cutting little area. The area where I pick up my paper and then cut it is in the same place. The area that I come to groggy at in the morning and just crumble in front of my bright window to read the Bible, and sing, and paint, and pray and sit next to my heater, and snuggle with my cat. That's going to be a different spot because if I sit at my desk, I'm just going to end up working. I try to create these little dedicated areas, and I really have found that it helps me be more productive because it helps me jump right in to what I'm doing. We have ideas of how we want things to be prioritized, how important something is to have within our reach. We also want to group those things according to how you use them. So I prioritize by my work mode and also by the kind of medium that I'm using. For instance, all of my gouaches are going to be together. All of my markers are going to be together, as well as cut paper stashes and things like that. That seems really simple, but sometimes we're tempted to group by color and maybe by brand. Unless they relate in some way to your work, it's just not important. So mix your brands, mix your colors or group them by kind. Another way to categorize these groupings would be by mess. Cut paper or something that's really messy. I have a lot of mixed mediums that tend to be messy. These things I keep out of sight. I also don't use them as often, so it's easy for me to keep them in bins. Whereas things that are more visually appealing and are going to ignite excitement in me, I keep out in the open. If your goal is to create more, having these things well-organized, your tools at the ready, and to know that in this grouping you can pull this out and you can work quickly, that's going to help you work more often. If you're wanting to create a certain type of work, not only is the proximity going to help you, but you can group things in that fashion too so that when you're working in a certain mode, in a certain vibe, you have certain things at the ready. I even find just the simple act of twisting my body being an indicator to me that I'm switching modes. I know it sounds crazy, but if I'm sitting and painting, my world is right here in this little two-by-four space area. But when I twist my body and I reach for the colored pencils, the markers, the gouache, it's almost like I'm already thinking in a different way because I'm reaching for my dry mediums, I'm reaching for my second mediums, whatever's going to layer on top. If I want to paint big, I need to get out of my little two-by-four space. I need put down a drop cloth or something just to frame that now I'm working on something big and I need to reframe my thoughts. Along with that, some people do also find a lot of respite and having what they call rituals or habits, where before starting work, they light a candle or they do some yoga stretches or they turn on certain music. There's something about that habitual act that seems so small, but you are telling your brain, this is happening, we're going to do this. You're warming it up. Who doesn't need a little warming up? I tell my kids six times to put their shoes on. We need that progression, that prompting that's indicating to us, okay, time to switch modes. Time to go from thinking this way to operating in a new direction. Those little things that you add in your new routine may make a huge difference. Jot those down. Don't miss those little inklings that you have that you think, maybe I should. Go ahead and jot that down. Don't miss capturing that. Now that we know what we want near us, and we have different categories of this is that stuff, this is that stuff, this is that stuff, let's talk about how to arrange them within those. Obviously, I like to arrange by size, but when you look at brushes, you actually can arrange them in different ways. You can arrange them by kind. So you've got [inaudible] brushes, square rushes, round brushes, fan brushes, liner brushes. I could go on. Palette knives. I like to organize them by size because when I'm in the middle of a painting, that's my first concern, what size I need for the space, the sheet of paper that I'm working on. Then also, I think about what kind. If I get really [inaudible] one day, I might sort these out also by kind, but I think that might be too much. So I haven't done that yet. Then I arrange them by color. The rainbow is just such a handy way to organize things and it's also really visually appealing. Also, when I have all my reds together, all my oranges together, I can find those nuances when I want a burnt orange or a pumpkin orange or a light orange, and I'm able to compare them when they're close to each other. Finally, I arrange my art supplies by quality. There are certain art supplies that I use as a professional, and some that I let the rest of my family use, and those are in other areas. I don't always go by quality, my brushes are all together. But you decide for yourself what is most important to you. If you reach for what is convenient by size, by color, by kind, by quality, by materials, then you organize in your own way. It's been a while since we've done something fun. Let's do some little hands-on research. I want to show you how to put together a style guide. By this point, you know what you want out of your space, you know what you need to prioritize and how to categorize it and organize it so it is promoting that goal to create more, and not just be inspired in such a way where you're getting inspiration from everywhere, but you're not really pushing it forth into wonderful creative work. 8. Create Your Mood Board: We're going to look now at bringing a little polish because all this stuff might have sounded a little bit unsexy and impersonal to the person walking into your studio. I know that I have made my studio so sterile at times because they so needed that focus that when someone walks in they don't really get what I do. I want them to feel like they've gotten to know me a little bit. Let's put together some spaces and just think a little bit more like an interior designer, just for a hot minute, because I don't know about you, but I'm not, but I do know what I like, and I can put that together and correlate some thoughts on how I want to style my space. Let's walk you through a quick process on creating a mood board. We're going to start thinking like an interior designer instead of as an artist or as a practical person organizing. We're now adding in the delightful part. We're not only thinking about aesthetics, we are combining form and function. There is a balance. We're going to have to find a way to strike it in whatever space you're at. I think it's fun to put together our ideas on these mood boards. You can do this on Canva, on PicCollage, on your phone. You can do this on Pinterest. It doesn't have to be this beautiful, flat lay look. No matter how big your space, whether it's just a desk and drawers, or a larger area, planning it out does help you work through your thoughts. As I mentioned in an earlier segment, I create workspaces within my workspace because I realize I just work differently. I have to think through, "Where's my lighting going to be? Where are the windows? Where should I place this desk?" If you don't choose to plan, you will be moving things around quite a bit. If that's your process, that is fine. I do want to save you a little bit of grief. You don't have to take measurements and make this a technical drawing, just eyeballing it will do a lot just to help you organize your thoughts. Also, in an earlier segment, we were talking about that Mad Libs sentence, that place where we feel the most inspired, where we feel like our creative side is nurtured and sparked. I want you to consider that place because that is a place of inspiration. You can actually model or even just take notes from that place. An example would be a record store. Obviously, you are not creating records in your studio unless you are studios. But you can take notes from it. What is it that you love? Is it the lighting? Maybe there's some lighting that's dangling down rather than fluorescent lighting or it's the stack of things. It's the organization of things, it's the rummaging. I actually did a few crash shows where I have my prints this way, where it's almost like a rummaging through records and it was fun, it was nostalgic for some people. You can model your space after these places as I did with an art supply store having my art supplies on display that helped inform me, I guess my art supplies shouldn't be in drawers. They should be on the wall, they should be anobe and they should be reflecting back to me just the possibilities of all that could be. That's what I find inspiring, so I came back to that idea over and over again. Now, a common thought, a common concept in interior design is to have one main thing. There's lots of things that we could pull out. I have drawers full of things, snippets of things in brochures and trinkets that I really love looking at and I find inspiring. But when it comes to my space, I've really got to narrow it down. What's your main thing? In our living room, there's a print that I've modeled most of the room by. It has the colors I want, it's got these mid-century vibe to it, and whenever I wonder if this will go or not, I compare it to that print. In another room, it might be a pillow. I love this pillow cushion and now everything goes after it. It's going to be your starting point right now and your anchor. When you are putting together the pieces of imagery that inspire you, make sure you prioritize which one is the one that's going to help answer your later questions. This is also going to inform your color palette. You may not have a ton of colors in your studio. I do and I don't, I have a lot of a neutral and I have pops of color, but getting real defined on which color it is that I really love is great. Just wanting to pinpoint a little bit more, what it is that you want to go for? What is the pops of color that would really make your heart happy? What's really inspiring you, and that might come back to your main thing. We can talk about a lot of things. We can talk about lighting, we can talk about flooring. This is not an interior design class. This will be the last segment and this is the only part where we're really thinking, or the part where we're thinking the most like an interior designer, we're thinking about texture. What are some other things that we can bring into the room that would make it have more of a feel? It's easy for a workspace to feel sterile, you've been in a cubicle, you know exactly what I mean. All the gray, all the slick surfaces, we want something that doesn't feel like a floor or a desk or a wall. What are some warm, cozy things, a rug, a curtain? What metal finishes do we want to use? Do we want dual knobs, do we want gold, silver, brushed metal. They're all different. These little notions help pull together the space, so it feels like a familiar, nice area to be in, rather than just a workspace. That was my robot voice, our workspace. There we go, that's better. This was a quick fly through a lot of concepts that could go even further. There are wonderful classes on Skilltory here that you can go into if you want to do that. I just wanted to get you rolling on some things to consider as you're pulling together your mood board. I'm going to show you what my mood board would look like for my existing space, and hopefully maybe you're reverse engineering it will help paint the picture a little better too. This is my studio. If you've followed me on Instagram or watched any of my other classes, you know that this back wall has not always had black marks on it. If you follow my stories on Instagram, you know that I asked, should I put something in the background here? What's rolled up there on the left-hand side, that role there is a banner. In past trade shows, I have had to create these massive banners that are basically wallpaper covering the walls with my art, and I had a couple of roles that fit perfectly into the space, the width of that wall. Even though they looked beautiful, I felt like they were just too busy for the look that I was going for. It came back to, what is it that I'm really going for here? What is it that inspires me? This may look good, but is it really going to get me excited to paint? I felt that that black and white New York City print really made everything pop a little more. Even though it was too much for the wall, I took a hint from that and just started painting these little motifs on the wall. It was also a step for me, in that, I want to adjust a little bit of the course in my work and be bolder, and I had to prove it to myself by putting it on the wall. The gold parts are just pieces of paper that I cut and then stuck to the wall with double stick tape. But you can see that my metal finish of choice, at least in this half of the office is gold. You can also see that I have a love, a flair for boho, and those tassels, they did not come onto land but I added them myself. I love the combination of cultures, but I didn't want my space to feel busy or cluttered, so these are the things that I pulled together; a lot of whitespace, a lot of art supplies and pops of color to keep me inspired. I want to add a note that, no matter how beautiful somebody else's space is, they would tell you the same thing that I'm saying now, that your space is a work in progress. As you keep creating, you're also going to change because your taste is changing. As your taste changes, so will your space and so on and so forth, and it's fun the little ping-pong game we play. I also want to note that a lot of the spaces that we see beautiful on Pinterest or Instagram may not be as functional as you need them to be. These very clean shelves may not work for you as beautiful as they are, and they are there for aesthetic purposes. If you want to have just a very clean looking shelf like this, but you have a lot of stuff, then I count for that space elsewhere where you have a shelf full of a lot of stuff. Maybe you have a craft closet like me, where the mediocre art supplies go. But remember that it's always a work in progress. You will change and you will love it differently, and the goal is actually to be content. We can not organize every single thing. I have plenty of things that I can still organize, but the truth is that I don't use them often enough to invest the time, to save that time later. As we are ready to bring in a little more polish in style, we're going to look around at our space and see what needs to be promoted to pretty, what needs to be demoted and hidden. This is just for the sake of visual appeal, because even for you, when you are walking into your space, you want to go, this is where I want to be. I found early on that if I were to put my Mad Libs statement together, it would be that I want a space that feels like a breath of fresh air that excites me to create work that is colorful and fresh, like how I feel at an art supply store when I see all the possibilities in front of me, and there is zero room for clutter and distraction and stresses from my day. That was my Mad Libs statement. If you picked up on that, you heard art supply store and right now you're looking at my studio and you're thinking, yeah, that's what that looks like, and it's totally by design. It is. Every time I walked into an art supply store, I'm just like, the possibilities, all those canvases, all those white surfaces just begging to be used and have all these colors on this other wall just thrown on them. That's the feeling I wanted to have in my space. Now, that's not a terribly inspiring space when it comes to home design, when it comes to making an interior design, a space that is attractive, and so at this point, that's when we're thinking of how to make this place showcase who you are in a way that makes your own heart sing. 9. Space Personalization: Obviously, I have some books that I've found inspiring, mostly children's books. I go back to them pretty often. If you've watched my class on Mary Blair, you already know half of them. Some other things that I keep around me are this Bob Ross pin because I want to be like him, maybe someday. I think one of my Skillshare reviews compared me to Bob Ross and that just made my year. Then these spoons that I love their design and even though they're broken, I keep them around just to let that art seep into me and that vibe. I have my drawers of inspiration. Instead of having big boards of inspiration, I actually put everything in a drawer because there is so much. Like I said, different things inspire me for different outputs and so I want to be able to just pick and choose what it is that inspires me. This is a very full and heavy drawer. It has a little bit of everything. There's a plate in here. But I mean, look at how cute that plate is, it's super cute. There is a map or some sort of guide on different kinds of fishes for fishing. But this is just my inspiration drawer and I know how to navigate it when I need it. It has my photo references for when I want to draw a whale and it also has work that I've picked up from gift bags or notecards or things that I've found really visually interesting and I want to take notes from. If you're working in a series, it's great to have those out if you're really wanting to stick to that style, have your workout, even if it's semi current. I personally don't very often, but if I'm working on a collection, I like to keep this wall bare actually, to put up the pieces so that I know that everything is collating, coming together in some way. There are some things that I use quite often, like for creating videos that it doesn't look that great and I don't love it. But I know that I want to put that away because when I'm creating, I want to be in that element. If I want to record, I know where to get it and I know how to set it up. It's okay. It's a little more work, but it's fine. Finally, I want you to consider two more things. Things that add a little fun to your space, even for you, those little things that tickle you. This could be somebody else's work, it could be some little something that your kid may do. Just little hints of fun. Always add a lot to your space. Think about how to place them so they're not necessarily going to be in front of you at all times because they're not going to promote the work that you're going to create. It's really just to be a little reminder that you run across every now and then and that others can see. Maybe this thing is facing outward as you're walking into your studio and you're looking at that, but then when you sit down, it's not really a factor anymore, or maybe it's placed in a corner in a nice little grouping. Something that inspires you. Along with that, with the fun, I think it's also important to note your history. The work that you've done, how far you've come. I don't like to put a lot of my artwork up in my studio space because I always want to be moving forward. These are just little details that if you didn't know better, you might just glaze over. This little kitten, I don't often do things in clay, but I was challenged to create a little animal that represented me. I think on any given day, at anytime of the day, I would rather be a cat bathing in the sunshine. I also like a little flair of boho, so I added some little details. I actually used to have a cat like this and her name was Grace Kelly, rest in peace. These books are books that I've used in surface design trade shows. They were a quick glimpse at work that I have organized by type. They're a great reminder to me of how far I've come. I remember when I used to want to be in these trade shows and they're quite an investment. It feels good to remind myself that I get to do that and that's part of my job. It's also fun to see just how the quality of the artwork has improved, but I'm still really proud of them and so I like to keep them out. If anybody wants to see some art, then it's an easy way to show them. Keeping all your artwork is really hard. I don't keep all of it, I do throw some things away, but I always scan it so I find that it's important to have a digital copy and if possible, to keep the physical copy. When I transitioned from painting fine art to more commercial painting, I realized that the paper could be used on both sides or it didn't need to look ready to be framed, so I actually keep my art in my flat art files. I have these sorted by kind. We've got faces, I've got Christmas, so fun. I could do Christmas all year. What are these? These are birds, skater bird, books I've done. Actually, this whole drawer is books I've done because that birds book became this. These flat files, I got just from IKEA. But if you want to find your own, that's what they're called. You won't find them called drawers, they're flat files. Organizing them is a constant battle, but it's well worth it when you come back to your work and you want to see your personal history, see how far you've come. It's handy to have these always with you. You never know, maybe grandma wants that piece and you have it somewhere. 10. Bringing It All Together: Finally, it is part of your history and part of what just makes your heart saying, I like to have very personal notes about me, notes from my husband, pictures of my kids. They're not things that I have out like imagine some executive office and you always have like a picture of your wife and a picture of the kids. But it's more of these little hints of them that pop up here and there and they're special to me. Don't forget to post your creative space improvements however big or small they are. We've actually had a lot of opportunities to output some thoughts and ideas. You can post your quiz results and your statement and your ideas that you've jotted down, you can post some areas, take some pictures in your space of things that you want to improve upon. It'd be really cool if you drew it. That would be cool if you had a little drawing of your interior space. But let me know how you're doing. However, you want to do that visually. I am really interested in seeing different spaces because everyone's got their own different twist and it's as unique as their work. I find that really interesting and I'd love to see what your space looks like. If you have enjoyed seeing my space, I know that others will enjoy seeing yours. Do post it, whatever state it's at, whatever point of progress you're at, it's progress. I hope that this class has helped you sort out your creative space so that you have more creative inner space to work with, to create more quality work that is focused and clear. I feel so good. You can follow me on Instagram at watercolordevo. That's also my handle for Facebook and Twitter, and it's also my website name, Unless you feel adventurous and want to copy and paste my name, Thanks for including me in your creative space journey and I can't wait to see what yours looks like.