They say that spontaneity breeds creativity, but to what extent is that true? Since most artists love working spontaneously, it is sometimes inevitable to get messy. Thus, the fact that art is most of the time messy makes it even harder to stay organized, especially during the painting process. However, it is important to stay clean and arranged as you create your masterpiece to avoid unwanted spills and stains in unwanted places, to keep your materials in place. Every artist has felt the ever-increasing stress that comes with working in a congested setting. A cluttered, disorganized art studio or desk area may also stifle your creative energy. An orderly working area for your artworks not only keeps the place tidy but it also makes the creative process faster in a sense that you don’t have to spend a lot of time looking for things because you already know where they are. Decluttering your space and arranging your stuff can really be tricky especially if you have no idea where and how to start. Worry not because we got you covered! In this article, we will be giving you a handful of helpful tips for staying organized while painting. So, before you start your next painting project, read ahead this article for guidance.
You may have heard this phrase from several artists: “embrace the mess, it's all part of the creative process.” Is it really part of it? It may hold a certain truth and may apply to some artists but just because it works for them doesn’t mean that the same can apply to you. Some painters enjoy a little chaos, while others function best in a clean, ordered environment. Who doesn't want to be better organized? Staying organized benefits you in so many aspects, not just in your artistic career. And, if you want to sell your art in a competitive art market, it's even more crucial that you keep your artworks in place, labeled, and arranged so you can concentrate on the most important aspect—creating art. While the idea of a chaotic art desk or studio is poetic in its own right, the actuality is that artists work better when everything is in order. Since there are so many things to consider, from sorting your art supplies and equipment to keeping track of your expenses, etc., it can be difficult to know where to begin. So, before we proceed to the tips for staying organized while painting, it is also important to discuss the before and after. Let’s get started!
The Organized Side of Being an Artist: The How To’s
Staying Organized BEFORE Painting
Whether your space is big or small,an organized area or work space for your artistic creations is just as important as staying orderly during the actual creative process. In that sense, you need to start decluttering your tools, materials, equipment, and other supplies in your studio first. Believe us, it’s 100% better to work in an environment that is clean and arranged. Not only does it give an aesthetically-minimalist vibe to your working space, but it also provides a calmer and relaxing area in order for your thoughts and ideas to flow better. Here are the things you need to do to:
Have your materials, tools, and other equipment in one place:
In your workspace, make a place for everything. To keep your art supplies in one area, use containers, baskets, crates, and shelves—make sure that each container is specifically used for one type of materials only (for instance, brushes should go with brushes, nothing more). While this may sound expensive, being a well-organized artist does not have to be expensive; these do not have to be costly, you just have to be creative. Dollar stores and yard sales are excellent places to locate low-cost storage that is both functional and aesthetic. Empty jars and containers from your house can also be recycled.
Put on a label:
Labeling your containers, storage, etc. enables you to immediately see what's in each drawer, jar, and corner in the workspace. Try using a color coding system to help you divide items by category so that you always have rapid access to exactly what you need.
Put away supplies that are no longer in use:
If you clean your art studio or desk, you'll discover outdated supplies that have been sitting empty for at least two years or more. So, toss them away on a regular basis to make room for more, or simply recycle them. You may, for example, transform an empty spray can into a lovely vase. Moreover, put away never-used or duplicated goods while arranging your materials inside the storage or containers. Also, it is advisable to not hoard. It's easier to keep your workspace organized. Give away unneeded stuff to charitable organizations or hold a yard sale, if you have too many of them.
Staying Organized WHILE Painting
Cover your working space:
After a while, the surface or table becomes smeared with paint, full of pencil shavings, etc. To cut down on cleaning time, cover it with old newspapers, parchment paper, or plastic cover material before you begin and toss it away after you're finished. It's easier to do so than cleaning up the mess you've left on the table, especially if you spilled or stained something with it.
Have your tools, equipment, and materials ready at your reach:
It could be frustrating to stand up each time you need to get tools for your painting. It doesn’t only waste your time but it also disrupts your creative flow and thoughts. Rather than going back and forth to the area where you keep your materials, list down the materials you need and prepare them beforehand at your table so that you can have them within your reach in the time that you need them.
Staying organized AFTER the Painting Process
Clean up the mess:
After you finish painting, clean up the mess of the painting process. It is very important to wash your brushes and other equipment to get rid of the paint residue, return the materials to their designated storage or container, and properly store or place your finished artwork to dry in a safe, unbothered area. With this, when you're ready to begin another art project, you'll know exactly where your materials are. Regularly cleaning your tools, particularly your brushes, will extend their lifespan and save you money in the long run.
Schedule a regular cleaning day for your work area or studio:
Plan a comprehensive cleaning of your studio at least two times a year. This includes removing dried-out paint and old brushes, rearranging items that have become disorganized, and putting everything back in their proper places. By concentrating on getting rid of the old and unneeded a few times a year, you will not only make place for new things, but you may also unearth intriguing stuff that you had forgotten about.
Store your wet paintings in a safe area:
When you use a wet medium such as oil paint, your works will need to dry for a while. Hanging them keeps your desk or art studio from becoming cluttered. Having rope or nylon lines and heavy-duty board clips can be used to suspend them from the ceiling in your work area.