Notes By Christen: Making Space to Create

Up until this past September I had never had my own creative space. Most of my art and crafting supplies were stashed in random closets and under the bed, and most of my creating was done sitting on the floor. Not only did I find myself cleaning gesso out of the carpet, but I also found myself wanting to work on something but lacking the motivation to do so. The thought of having to drag all of my supplies out and then put them all right back really made me dread creative time.

When we found a new house with an extra bedroom for an office/studio, I was overjoyed. Finally I would be able to set up a space and leave everything out. The ideas were already flowing, and I couldn’t wait to get everything set up. I’m surprised at how much I actually learned about my own creative process while setting up my “studio.”

My space is nothing special. It’s not large—just half of the spare bedroom. But it’s all mine, and set up just the way I like it. My desk is next to a large window that looks out into my backyard, so I’m able to keep an eye out on my dog while I’m busy working. The desk I use is actually our old dining room table, which we painted with chalkboard paint. Its large size allows for me to keep all of my go-to supplies at arm’s distance.

When I first organized the space, I tried to have everything put away. I found that looking for my favorite paints and gel medium really interrupted my creative process. Now I have everything I use most on top of my desk, completely visible. I’ve found with how quickly I work on my paintings and journal pages that I need everything right there at the ready.

I can’t say how much setting up my own space has helped my art. I don’t have to worry about cleaning things up right away, and I’m free to keep it organized the best way for me. It’s nothing pretty, but it works for me. The more time I spend in my own space, the more I get curious to see what other artists’ spaces look like. So curious, in fact, that I’m looking for photographs of artists’ studio spaces, pretty or not. We’re going to publish our favorites in upcoming issues of Somerset Studio. You can send those images to me at

You can listen to a podcast with Christen by clicking here.


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One Response to Notes By Christen: Making Space to Create

  1. Ella says:

    I’m happy you have made a niche for yourself, in your new home! I’m working on my FROG(Furnished Room Over Garage), but there is no heat.
    I have a few more boxes to move, before I can plug in the space heater.
    In the meantime, I have hidden some of my crafting materials, in my tea pot collection. It looks nice and no one is on to me, yet ;D
    I now just need a few more tea pots, to organize a few more supplies or better weather to finish the

    Thank you for sharing!