I was just browsing Carson Ellis’ blog and was linked to her featurette on an awesome website called work.place that aims to capture artists in their habitat (I make it sound like National Geographic, lol).
I feel that an effective, comfortable workspace is the most important element in being productive. I am really missing the privileges of working in school studios, where sturdy easels and wide desks sit available for use. Working in cafes and at the kitchen table works okay for the time being, but it’s definitely not optimal for bigger projects. Carson’s space looks like a perfect balance of comfort and functionality–plus, she has an entire room available to set aside for her craft’s purpose. I admire her ability to work at home without getting sidetracked, as that’s always been a problem for me.
Note that nowhere near her working desk sits her computer, which is stationed on the other side of the room. This is the number one step in being able to get things done, art-wise. I also think it’s a great idea to pin up an “inspiration board” of sorts that involves not only your art, but individual elements that make up whatever you’re working on–color swatches, source imagery, thumbnails of your final draft, whatever else.
Another thing–look at all the natural light flowing through! Also, air. Nothing sucks more than working in a dark, poorly ventilated area, even if you’re not working with any toxic materials. She’s also fully dressed (mainly because someone’s there taking pictures of her), which is essential to getting out of the “being at home” mindset. Holly DeWolf discusses about this problem in her book, Breaking Into Freelance Illustration.
“Getting down to work for me means showering, eating, grabbing a coffee and getting dressed. Early on in my career, working at home was casual to the extreme. Why get dressed up? I’m at home, so why bother? Funny how much I didn’t get done…when you’re “on,” it comes across to your audience. I may be at home, but I feel I need to project a certain image to maintain professionalism. My advice: A bit of structure helps you get into a professional and creative frame of mind.”
More pictures of Ellis’ workspace can be found here.
Carson Ellis’ blog is here.