#myartstudio: Organized Chaos

Almost daily, I find myself tearing apart all of my art supplies and reorganizing them in a practical fashion that makes them easy to grab at an arms reach when I’m in the middle of a project. There’s a particular art form to organizing supplies in my world. It has to be inviting, like I’m almost doing visual merchandising with my own products. So when I walk into my creative space, I’m immediately inspired to make something.

I first organize my items by artistic medium (pastels, pencils, markers, paints, etc) and then I will organize them by colors. I’m borderline obsessed with finding new and innovative ways of reorganizing my workspace so that it’s not only extremely easy to access at an arm’s reach, but also visually pleasing to the eye. I’m a firm believer in surrounding myself with beautiful things to stay inspired, and if my work space is messy (lets be real — all art studios are messy), or I should say, disorganized, I find that my creative blocks happen a lot more often, than when I have an organized and visually pleasing work space. I often find myself collecting mason jars, old mugs from thrift shops, and other quirky containers to organize my stuff. And when all else fails, I go on Amazon or Pinterest to get new ideas.

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I found a great wooden pastel organizer on Amazon, that’s been a God-Send for organizing all of my messy chalk pastels! I organize my pastels by color. I also love collecting Mason Jars where I can store all of my pencils, pens, paintbrushes, X-acto knives, and other knickknacks. 

Organizing your chalk pastels by color is a huge chore to do at first, but it’s the BEST way to keep them clean. Are your chalk pastels dirty from sitting with other colors? Here’s a cool tip to clean them:

  1. Organize your pastels by color.
  2. Put color groups of pastels in a bag of rice (one group at a time), and shake the bag for a minute or so.
  3. Your pastels will come out nice and clean on the outside! Do this for all of your color groups to clean everything up before you organize them into a container. It’s time consuming, but very satisfying at the end.

Pictured here are NuPastel by Prismacolor chalk pastels — my FAVORITE medium to work with! I get mine from this amazing little family owned art supply store near my house, but you can also find them on Amazon, and select art supply stores. My go-to favorite colors I always stock up on is titanium buff, white, black, and rose. (Around $4 each)

Also pictured is Artist Tape — this is great tape for preliminary work that won’t rip up your paper that you’re painting on, giving it a nice clean line. I use this tape primarily to tape up my finished work on my walls before I treat them with a smelly chemical fixture. You can find it on Amazon. ($5.00-$8.00 range)

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I try to keep all of my most used paint brushes at an arm’s reach, usually laid out like this in front of me, ready to go. I need to be able to see my options!

My favorite go-to paintbrush is my sable no.4 round brush ($15.00 range)! It carries ink beautifully and it holds quite a lot of product.I normally like to keep all of my paintbrushes either laid out in front of me (as pictured above) on a towel, or in a mason jar.

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Right now, I’m still figuring out how to organize all of my acrylics in a visually pleasing fashion that doesn’t include me throwing them all in a box (which is what i’m doing right now).

Liquitex BASICS acrylic paint – $3.99

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My current must-haves that I literally cannot live without!

My STAND-BY squad!

  • Gelly Roll black no.6 ball point pen in black ($2).
  • Liquitex BASICS in titanium white — you can never have enough white acrylic paint in my opinion! ($4.99)
  • Golden Artist Colors acrylic paint in carbon black (my favorite brand of acrylic paints). The one color of paint that should be splurged on is most definitely black acrylic paint. Everything else doesn’t need to be that expensive. ($24.00)
  • Golden High Flow Acrylics ink in carbon black — this is the most used medium that I have, I’m always stocking up on this product. I love using this for painting dramatic eyelashes, and I love freestyling with this medium with a no.4 round paintbrush! ($5.00-$7.00 range)
  • Academy by GRUMBACHER acrylic paint in pale pink! ($8.99)
  • DecoArt Dazzling Metallics metallic acrylic paint in Champagne Gold. ($1.89)

The best place to purchase all of these supplies is usually from Amazon, as they sell most of these products for a price that’s much lower than the retail price you would see in an art supply store, or a craft store like Ben Franklin or Michaels.

Unfortunately, no art studio is going to be gorgeously clean and organized at all times. Every time I clean & vacuum my space, I make a bigger mess that needs more cleaning and more vacuuming. It’s a tedious process that I still find satisfying every time I make time out of my day to organize the fresh messes that I create. It’s all part of the process.

How do you organize your art supplies? Comment below your favorite tips and tricks or products!

Stay artsy! XOXO


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