• Steph Holmes

Finally: My Art Studio Tour

I know, I know. Ever since I posted photos of my new studio 7 months ago, I've been dodging questions about posting a photo tour of the space! I finally snapped some photos, so I'm here to say I'd love to take you on a tour of my little art studio.



When I posted these photos, I was still in the process of moving and unpacking things, and as you can see by the caption, I warned you that the minimalist look was just temporary! There is a lot more stuff in here now, but I'm feeling really happy and really grateful about the space.


I think about past studios I've cobbled together in basements, in apartment bedrooms, on the corner of the dining room table, and so on. I'm grateful that I persevered and continued to make art no matter what, and now my space makes it that much easier to do so! I'm still pinching myself that I stumbled into belonging in a bright space like this.


So walk up the steps with me and the first thing you'll find yourself looking at is a wall of picture frame ledges.




If you make wall pieces like I do, you’ll learn that the safest place to store them is in fact on the wall. Instead of putting 100 nails in the wall and having to patch later (and assuage stressed out landlords), I hung these deep shelves which allow me to lean my pieces up on the wall until I need them. Works like a charm!



And here, here is where I store nearly all of my art supplies. One look at these shelves and everyone thinks I’m so organized (haha! I’m really not). I’ve been trapped before by over-organizing and thinking I need to organize all of my materials first before actually making things. (hint: that's actually a procrastination technique in disguise!)


Instead I use these fabric bins which are labeled by category. I can pull a bin quickly and find everything I need for a project. Then when I'm done, I just throw everything back into the bin before putting it away. Having this bin system actually helps me to get back to my work quickly without ever falling into the trap of organizing every tube of paint by color, which is what I would be doing with my spare time if I was still storing things in clear containers.


Oh, and behind you is my packing shelf!



Not so beautiful and a bit too much visual clutter for my taste, but this shelf makes me smile because it's packed with eco-friendly packaging materials. Last year I made the full switch to using only recycled, recyclable, secondhand and/or biodegradable packaging!


Okay, come with me! I want to show you my workspace next.



This light-filled space is where the real magic happens.



Every morning I wake up, make myself a cup of coffee and shuffle out to this space in my pajamas and fuzzy socks. In fact, I'm currently wearing fuzzy socks. I just love working here, and now I even get to enjoy the sun peeking through the blinds as the days get a little longer and we emerge into very early Spring here in Pennsylvania.



Because this is an addition on the side of the house, I have these windows looking back into that first room. Initially I didn’t like that I could see the clutter here in my studio when I wasn’t working, so I hung some of my hand-stamped curtains to block out the view but still let the light in. I love them so much and they make a great backdrop for product photos for my shop too.


I also love this kitchen utensil drawer I found at a thrift store. It’s perfect to organize my drawing tools.



One of the most important things that nobody ever talks about is posture and body mechanics. So many of us hurt our bodies by repeated behaviors and positions that slowly bend us into uncomfortable positions, so one of the first things I did when I got this beautiful secondhand desk was to hunt for bed risers. The desk just wasn't quite the right height for me, and I needed to fix that.



The bed risers I found place my desk at the perfect height so I naturally sit straight-up-and-down on my stool to be comfortable. When I'm standing to work, it's high enough that I'm not necessarily cranking my neck down at such a serious angle.


You can find bed risers at any big department store, or better yet, your local thrift stores at the end of any college semester when students are moving out of their dorms.


Lastly, here's a bit more storage and a lovely secondhand print rack. The same thing goes for prints as it does for wall pieces. I get so sucked into making things that sometimes I forget about taking care of them while they are being stored.


Previously I stored my prints in envelopes and placed them in boxes. It wasn’t the best way to do that and I often would pull one out to find the corner damaged and it was suddenly unusable. I’m happy to have found a couple of storage options that protect them until they find new homes.



Talking you through this little tour and looking more closely at my own studio has shown me a few things I'd like to change up about my space to make it feel even better and perhaps be a little more efficient. I guess that's just part of it too -- the best work spaces are the ones that evolve with you and change to suit you.


So the sun is fully out now and I have to get a bit of work done, but I'm so grateful your time. Thank you for reading and for being here. I hope you enjoyed!

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