Artists are believed to be messy, disorganized people, but that’s just a myth (just like that most of them suffer from alcoholism, depression and other not too happy things). There are messy people and tidy ones, but we are all humans. 🙂
When I was younger, I thought that messy people are simply too lazy, but now I’m not so sure about that. If it was true, Marie Kondo couldn’t sell thousands of her books! She says that being tidy is just another skill, and most people need more time and/or help to learn it.
Why being organized may be good for you too
If you work in a messy environment, you have to deal with the clutter. You spend a lot of time searching for the things you need, and it’s harder to focus on your work.
I have six tips for you to be more organized so as you can improve your focus, productivity, and even creativity:
1. Learn about organizing
My post is just one opinion (and not a very detailed one). If you want to be more organized, learn more about it! You can find a lot of articles and blogs about this (Pinterest is always a good place to start your research), and I highly recommend this book: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Though I don’t agree with everything she says, she has some great ideas and helpful tips.
This is the most important thing. Though it’s highly recommended to try new things from time to time to learn and to find out what techniques and tools fit your style the most, you don’t have to keep all the things you’ve ever tried. Get rid of everything you don’t use regularly. You can sell them, or if you don’t need the money, just give them away to those who cannot afford them.
If you’re too attached to your supplies, you can put them in a box temporarily to see if you really need them. Or, if you collect them for the sake of pure joy, don’t mix them with those you use for actually creating. Find your collection a place somewhere else in your studio or room.
If you do this once or twice a year, it will be much more easy to store and organize your supplies. And of course, you’ll need fewer storage units.
3. Have things you love
Though many artists say that you should use cheap art supplies when you’re a beginner, my opinion is different. If you’re serious about art/craft, use the best tools you can afford. You don’t need to buy huge sets, but buy good quality.
I started with cheap colored pencils, and honestly I hated them. They did not blend, and they contained a lot of binder but very little pigment… Then I switched to Faber-Castell and Caran d’Ache pencils, and the difference was HUGE! They also last much longer, so in the long run they are cheaper than the ‘cheap’ ones. (Mind you, they’re just what I like – other quality brands may work better for you.)
4. Find the best permanent place for everything
This is where learning a bit about ergonomy comes very handy.
The applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort. Also called biotechnology, human engineering, human factors engineering.
When I worked for an interior design studio (one that specialized in kitchens), I always based my plans on ergonomics. If you want to cook something, the first thing you need to use is the fridge, where you store most of the ingredients. Then you need to wash them (or some of them), cut them, and lastly cook them on the stove. So I always arranged the furniture and appliances in this order.
Similarly, when I create jewelry, I need my wires, beads and stones, and my pliers. I make sure that all these things are easy to reach when I’m sitting at my desk, and they all have a permanent home where I put them back when I finish working. This way I save myself a lot of time and energy, I don’t have to spend my time searching for these things.
5. Use the method of nesting
This simply means storing your supplies by category. I have all my stones in one place, all my wires in another, and the paints in a third one, so I can easily see when I run out of something, or when I need a new color, or a different gauge wire. You can save yourself a lot of time and money by not having duplicates.
6. If you want to get inspired, learn a new skill instead of buying new supplies
Many times we buy supplies because we want to get inspired, but mostly they just cause more stress.
It’s much better to spend that money on learning. You can find a huge amount of tutorials, videos and online courses online (many of them are free). 🙂
I hope you found these tips helpful. If you have something useful to add, please, feel free to share it in a comment.
Next week I’ll write about Minimalism. I think some of you have already been suspecting that I’m (a kind of) Minimalist, so I think it would be useful to talk about it a bit in detail. 🙂