Come behind the scenes at Iris Impressions Art for a #CraftRoomTour and see Iris's art room in London.
It's so personal and my safe space. Everything is set up to allow me to create my art easily.
Tell us about your space
My art desk is in a corner of my bedroom. Previously I had a spare room, but unfortunately I had to give it up. It was very hard to give up the dedicated art space and in moving to a smaller space I've had to work harder and more creatively to make things work for me. In turn this has actually been a benefit, because I use my space more intensively now, and with a bigger sense of gratitude.
I've made my biggest strides both artistically and professionally from this small space. This is why I always want to encourage people to use the space they have. It's fine to wish for more (I dream of a big dedicated studio!) but that doesn't mean you can't do great things with exactly what you have right now.
You can find me working in my art journals at this desk almost every evening. I also use this desk to take photos of my art and to record online classes.
What have you done to make your space cosy, beautiful or inspiring?
Recently I've installed a mini 'altar' with some stones, tarot cards and a candle. It's a small reminder to myself to stay close to myself and not just focus on being productive. I have an essential oil diffuser on my desk for lovely smells. On the walls I have postcards with art I like, art from friends and photos of my loved ones. I have a small sound dock that allows me to listen to my favourite music (usually classical).
How do you keep organized?
As the space is so small and shares space in my bedroom I have to keep really organised and fairly tidy. Everything has its own place, which means that tidying up is quick and doesn't require much brain power. I tend to keep my 'go to' art supplies on my desk, so I don't have to dig around for them. I can simply sit down and immediately start creating, without any preparation.
Any tips & tricks for organising supplies?
Keep similar items together and have separate spots for different groups of items. I use a lot of caddies and drawer stacks, because they are very space efficient. I'll use one drawer for pens, one for stamps, one for paints, etc. I'd also recommend having a small box with your go-to supplies. These can change over time, but essentially you group together a number of supplies that you know you will use every time. That way you don't have to go digging through drawers to find them.
Which are your favourite possessions and are there any of your own creations on display?
I love my art journals. These journals contain so much of me, my emotions, my artistic expressions. They are very precious to me. I have some of my own art displayed around the house, but my most favourite art is in my journals. I love occasionally going through them and reminding myself where I've come from and where I'm at.
How do you organise your inspiration and ideas?
In my head! I work very intuitively, so I'm only ever working on the art that's right in front of me. I don't plan my creativity in advance. I have a sketchbook for jotting down thoughts, doodling and doing an occasional study. The sketchbook helps me to initiate ideas that sometimes come back in other work, but again it's all very fluid and intuitive rather than deliberate.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I'm inspired by other people's art, nature, beautiful things. I feast my eyes upon these things and take them in. I also draw a lot on my subconscious feelings when painting. This is not a conscious process, but it does feed into and inspire my art a lot.
If you had three wishes, what would you do to make it the dream space?
1. Make it 10x bigger!
2. Get a sewing machine
3. Have separate areas set up for different purposes. A desk for working at and being messy. A desk with professional lights and a nice background for taking pictures or shooting video. A couch for relaxing & drinking tea. A floor space for meditation, dancing & stretching. I could go on!
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