[DIY] Art Studio Facelift

I have been MIA in the blog post writing arena because I have been spending the last several weeks giving my art studio a facelift. It has been neglected for the last 2 years. Ever since I gave up my art gallery building space and moved all of the contents of that 3500 square foot building to my 3 bedroom townhouse basement space… Needless to say it was hugely by force that the art studio has been neglected — I couldn’t get in there to do anything because the space was totally filled with paintings and art supplies. Remember — Soulful Emergence Art Gallery is more than just an art gallery. I held all kinds of classes and events in the space and we stored the supplies there in the building.

Until they were moved into my basement and consumed the Art Journal Love Studio

But truth be told, it wasn’t just the clutter in the basement that stopped me from getting in there and getting art done. It was me being blocked and depressed too. Probably more so than the clutter… The solution for the clutter has always been the same:

  1. Rent a storage space.
  2. Move the Gallery’s item to storage.
  3. Reclaim the basement art studio and recording studio.

And that’s what I’ve been working on for the last several weeks. We rented a storage space and for like 5 days in a row we loaded up our SUV and took a load of Gallery items to storage. We also cleared out the storage under the stairs and at the front of the basement. These areas held personal items that were put there when we first moved into the house 5 years ago. If it’s been in storage for 5 years, do we really need it? So we purged that stuff too and what was left went off to storage with the Gallery’s items.

Then the job of cleaning and rearranging began…

My desk originally faced the wall. There is a huge window right there, but the desk itself was facing a wall. This also made me have my back to the room, including the steps which led down into the basement. When I’m creating, I often “zone out.” Many times I was startled by someone who came down because the steps and basement are carpeted and I didn’t hear them coming. I realized that facing the wall also did something to my psyche. I felt isolated from all that was around me. I couldn’t see any of it and if someone was in the room with me, my back was to them so it was difficult to converse and interact.

To fix these issues, I swung my desk around 90 degrees. Now I’m facing the open room. My back is to a wall which is also where I have a 6 foot counter space with drawers and shelves and cabinets. That wall also used to hold 2 floating shelves and a craft organization shelving unit. I took all of that down and had my dear husband install 8 feet of pegboard!

Ninety-six inches wide and thirty-two inches high of glorious, pristine white, galvanized steel pegboard for my craft tools and supplies!

Please excuse the clutter below the pegboard. It’s all supplies on my desk (in the forefront) and the counter (in the back) which are waiting to be put away. Part of the items will be put away on the pegboard once I install the shelves and bins and hooks and things…

The rest of the things belong in the drawers or on the shelves below the counter. As much of a huge mess as this looks, you should have seen it before it got to this point! The pile was at least up to the bottom of the pegboard… I have been working steadily every day on the rest, doing what I know of the “KonMari Method” and getting it all done at once rather than in little spurts of cleaning on a massive cleaning task.

We also have a recording studio in the basement. The studio is Khalid’s passion… It is used for our internet radio station, BUSS-Radio, as well as for professional recording sessions. Outside of the creative spaces we have carved out in the basement, what I love most about my studio is the queen-sized futon and 42″ television. When I want to sit and knit and watch Fixer Upper, I can stay right in my art studio and be just as comfortable as if I was in the bedroom.

I can take a nap too!

The reclaiming of Art Journal Love Studio is still in the making. By the middle of March, I will be in there creating regularly. By the end of March, the space will be completely rehabbed and I will be in there FREQUENTLY creating and spending time out of the bedroom, the space I used to harbor and wallow in my depression. The space that kept me sane and depressed at the same time. By reclaiming my art studio I am also reclaiming my bedroom! I had turned that space into a mini art studio because I couldn’t get downstairs.

It ended up being a space which collected dust and didn’t get much creative action… So it’s being dismantled and the art tools and supplies are being relocated from the bedroom back downstairs to their rightful place in the art studio. And the corner of the bedroom that had become art supply storage — because very little art most certainly was being conducted there — is going to become a sitting/meditation space and shoe storage! We’re going to get a nice shoe rack for the corner and then they’ll be floor space where I can sit and relax and meditate. Also the reason for the futon in the basement and ensuring that there was open space available once the furniture had been rearranged — to ensure “chill space” outside of the bedroom.

Obviously I am excited about reclaiming the space. I have been documenting the transformation from the very awful beginning. Seriously — it looked like I was a hoarder when the video footage first begins. What ‘s bad about that is that I didn’t begin recording video until after we moved 4 – 5 loads of boxes, bins, and artwork to offsite storage… And it still looks like I was a hoarder.

But, no mas!

The basement is virtually finished. I just need to finish relocating the last of the bedroom items to the basement and finish putting everything that is coming downstairs away. Once it’s complete I will come back and make another blog post sharing the pictures of it. I will also shamelessly post the video footage where you can see the space was a total disaster. Maybe someone seeing the transformation from the mess that I had on my hands to what it will become will inspire them to reclaim their creative space too. I did this single=handedly other than my husband moving boxes I couldn’t lift and the futon which I couldn’t budge. Let’s remember I’ve had 6 strokes and a heart attack… You too can get your space back!

Who cares if you judge me. You’re not my Divine and I have #NoFucksToGive…

But for those of you who my real life “mess to magic” helps, I am glad I was bold enough and willing to be vulnerable and let you see my art studio at its worst so that you could see its transformation back to its best. I hope my transparency gives you a boost as well as some ideas of how you can transform and reclaim your creative space.


3 Replies to “[DIY] Art Studio Facelift”

  1. I was not aware you had released the gallery.

    Happy to see you are going to get back to art-ing. What a joy it will be to see all your materials with fresh eyes.

    1. Just the building love… The Gallery is now the second floor of Breaking Bread Restuarant. Art is still on the walls and for sale and I still have space for classes and paint & sip events. I just don’t have my own building anymore. Yes! I am glad too. It’s been too long…

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