How to set up a portable art studio

It’s easy to put obstacles in the way of being creative. I haven’t got time, I haven’t got the energy, I haven’t got space are probably the most common. For me, having space to work was a major factor in stopping me getting anything done until I came up with a solution. I created a ‘portable studio’ box that has everything I need to make my art and can easily be carried around and tidied away. I thought I’d share what’s worked for me and hopefully it will inspire you to give it a try if it’s something that’s holding you back too. Setting up a portable art studio could be just the thing you need to get you back on track with whatever you want to make.

LOCATION I have desk space in a bedroom where I have a sewing machine and printer and a bit of storage for materials. However, my main time for making at the moment is when my little one sleeps and because he sleeps in the bedroom where the desk is it was never getting used. So I set up a box that I can keep in the kitchen (where I spend most of my time!). That way it’s easily accessible when it’s naptime or if I’ve got a spare five minutes whilst the pasta cooks. TIP: Think about where you’re going to do your work and make sure you have a cupboard /drawer/shelf near there where you can store your ‘studio’ box.

EQUIPMEMT My box holds my sketchbook, pencil case, collage papers, work in progress and my flexi tripod thing for doing timelapse videos with my phone. The box itself is not very big but it’s just right for what I need…if it was any bigger I’d just fill it with things I’d never use! TIP: make sure your box isn’t too big or too small, the right size for just what you need on a daily basis.

SURFACE I work on the kitchen table or worktop but I have a wooden board (which was actually my Grans painting board) which I always use to work on. This doesn’t fit in my box but it’s easily accessible from where I work. I’m not precious about the kitchen table but working on a board means you have less cleaning up after your making session as you don’t have to wipe anything down. It’s got years of paint marks on it too so it makes a great background when photographing work. TIP: Protect the surface you’re going to work on if you don’t want it to get ruined.

Workspace shelfie…I love it when I do get chance to work here but most of my work takes place on the kitchen counter at the moment

EDIT If you’re anything like me you might find that as you start using your ‘studio box’ it gradually gets fuller and more chaotic as other materials and rubbish starts to find its way in there (Duplo, toy cars, bits of train track….etc). In order for it to function well you will need to keep having a tidy out to make sure that what you’ve got in there is what you actually need. TIP: Keep reviewing what’s in your box, a tidy box is a happy box!

On the left my new ‘daily’ box

BONUS TIP… during Lockdown (with no childcare) I’ve had to adapt my portable studio again to make it work for having even less time to make. I now have a separate smaller box which just contains the current project I want to get done that day. So that might be enough materials to make a mini collage for my 100 day project #100daysofcollageandstitch or just my sewing stuff if I need to add some stitch to a piece. This mini studio box stays out on the kitchen counter so I can grab it and take it wherever the boys happen to be playing nicely for 5 minutes!

The contents of my ‘daily’ box at the moment

Hope that helps! This approach won’t work for everyone but at the moment it’s what works for me! Thanks for reading/ sharing/ liking. Would love to read your comments below. If you want to have a nosey around some inspiring creative studios have a look at my Pinterest board…but beware of some serious studio envy! x

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