Since leaving University I have been living with my boyfriend's incredibly kind family... and have even been able to create my own little studio space in their spare room. It has been great, because I can work on all my plans and work without any distractions. I got a simple white table from IKEA and I am finding my motivation and determination to create more designs has just been reignited! It's just become a great space where I can apply for jobs and get on with creating lots of lovely new work.
This post is going to be about the absolute essentials which I currently have in my Studio, and as a graduate of Textile Design- these are things I can say, with experience, that I could not be without. Maybe this post can be helpful to all you fresh faces about to leave the nest and begin your creative studies?
To begin, a lovely clean desk- as big as you can get! You need space to spread out and be creative or you will just end up cross and in a big mess. You should try to avoid distractions and treat it like an office (which means no checking facebook, twitter or looking at cute dog vines in my case!).
Here is my studio, and how it looks!
You can't understand the pain of losing everything on your laptop when it crashes until it happens to you. Heed this warning and back up all of your design work on an external hard drive or USB. I had to switch to a hard drive when I couldn't fit any more on my USB, but I wish I had got one sooner because you can pick them up at a reasonable price and they are sooo much harder to lose than those tiny USB's!
You'll need ideally a scanner, but if not a digital camera so that you can quickly and easily get your artwork onto the computer and ready for you to transform!
I really find that listening to music makes my designs so much better.. sometimes I will try to listen to a song that tunes into the theme of the design I am doing (this works particularly well for greetings designs!). I just feel like it gets me in the zone and kind of occupies that part of my mind that wants to get distracted and watch television or a film.
Pens/ pencils/ paints - the more the better! Having everything you could ever possibly use right there with you will encourage you to try new things and stop you from getting set in your ways. I have sooo much ranging from pastels to watercolour inks to gouache paint and printing inks. I love to just messy and creative and feel that this is when my real 'handwriting' as a designer can be seen. As a recommendation if I were to suggest a list of basic items to get when starting out: 2B, 4B AND 6B pencils, thin graphic pen, thick graphic pen, Windsor and Newton watercolour inks, watercolour paint brushes and some good quality paper. I will do another post showing the tools of my trade in more detail as I'm sure some people would find it useful!
Double sided tape is essential for quickly sticking things down without the horrible mess and grubby marks that glue can create.
A laptop is also essential, assuming that you are going to be manipulating your designs. It really depends how far your going with the work once its on the computer.. if you are going to be creating repeating patterns you will need Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. It can be expensive and I was able to purchase mine whilst I was a student- but there is now Adobe Creative Cloud, which is a monthly affordable subscription. Download a free months trial to see what you think!
I also think it's really important to have an inspiration wall, and have lots of things stuck up everywhere from your own work to other little creative bits that are making you excited- as well as collecting lots of interesting books!
Finally- a few things I would like in my studio...
I really really would love a Wacom tablet as it makes designing so much faster and I know would especially be of use to me when I am drawing in my graphic style.
I would also love to have some space to store my past work in an orderly way so that I could easily refer back to it. I literally have a mountain of work that I never took any further than sketches which needs to be explored and developed, and having it all put away means it is just a nightmare to keep rifling through and getting it out.
Finally, I would love to have lots of snacks and an endless supply of ice cold vimto to keep me going throughout the day!
I hope this has been helpful, and I'd love to hear what your own studio essentials are.
Thanks for reading, Stephanie X