As much as I like to browse through craft books and magazines, it always nauseates me to see a pristine studio space or craft room. I understand that obviously some cleaning took place before the photoshoot, and the overarching culture of magazines is to have things look nice… but… really? Not a single scrap of thread or paper to be seen? Not a single misplaced thing? And everything is perfectly color coded? Ughhhh. It’s not inspiring to me to see a perfectly organized crafting space. That’s not real. Personally, I much prefer to see a space in some sort of use.
Not everyone is a messy crafter, not everyone has the same approach, but… I’ve been around long enough to know that no studio space actually looks like the ones the in the magazines. Some people have beautiful spaces that are dedicated solely to their work that are clean, well managed, and very well organized… but if they actually work there, they have an occasional mess as well, and they probably don’t mind a few stray materials now and then.
A super matchy-matchy, perfectly organized space would be really stressful- constantly worrying about the mess and taking things out of their perfectly folded piles and to suddenly have the 16th shade of blue missing from the line up?! *Gasp*
That’s not authentic. When I see one of those super organized crafting spaces, it just makes me feel depressed and insufficient. That’s so lame. (This is different than the sensation of walking through Ikea or Crate and Barrel and wanting to go home and clean or organize- that is usually uplifting/motivating.)
When I see someone’s space with tons of work being made and piles of papers and open sketchbooks and things in progress- I feel super inspired to get to work making my own things.
When I am making a mess and covered in threads and there are scraps of fabric stuck to my socks… that’s when I feel most productive.
Your studio doesn’t need to look like the set of Martha Stewart. In fact, it shouldn’t. It should look like you work there. It should look like brilliant ideas are constantly being executed and beautiful things are being made – because, aren’t they?
Additionally, it’s okay if your ironing board is dorm sized and on the floor (like mine) and if the cord to your iron is tangled and if there is glue or paint stuck to your desk… because that’s real! That means you are using your space! When you are constantly worried about making a mess, you limit your crafting potential. The less intimidating and more approachable your space is, the more comfortable you will be there, and thus, make your best work. So, liberate your materials, make a mess and get some work done! We should also stop apologizing for our messes…. more on that later.