Toronto, Ontario, Canada • Visit Website »

Join us for a #CraftRoomTour of Annya Marttinden's illustration & printing studio in Ontario, Canada.

Definitely the long window sills that let a ton of natural light pour in throughout the day. My ceiling is pretty high since it is an apartment on the top floor. My second favourite thing about my space is the furniture. My desk has drawers where I can perfectly fit Etsy products such as bookmarks, stickers and postcards. In my experience it is very rare to find a wooden desk with drawers and compartments for art supplies. Another fantastic feature to my desk is it is on two levels where I can put my iMac higher than the space that I am working with my hands which helps a TON with posture so that I am not craning my neck downwards all of the time.

Tell us about your space

My space is quite small and doubles up as a living room but I do love the open concept and feeling of home because there is no place I’d rather be working on art other than at home. I share my space with my boyfriend but only on the evenings and weekends. He has a full time design/photography job that he goes to during the days and then freelances his photography on the side as well so most of the time we are sharing our at home studio. In the space that we have I do all of my illustration work, print and package my Etsy store orders and I also do a lot of photo editing for my boyfriends freelance career as well. I also do quite a bit of knitting in that space mostly in the winter months. Our home is our studio and the place we like to create 24/7.

What have you done to make your space cosy, beautiful or inspiring?

I think it has become this pleasant through years and years of trying out new ways to work through testing and changing. I love my home because it’s filled with the beautiful and interesting trinkets I have found throughout the years as well as inspiring books that have become very special to me. Coziness is very important to myself as a person so there are also tons of fuzzy blankets and knitting projects laying around.

How do you keep organized?

I keep organized naturally because it is so hard for me to work in a messy space. Like I mentioned before, my desk is an absolute blessing when I comes to organization because it contains so many compartments and drawers to put my art supplies and Etsy products. I also have a few Ikea carts that I put my knitting and packaging supplies for my Etsy store. For my printer and printing supplies I have an entire wooden cabinet that contains all I need to run a store that sells high quality art/paper products.

Any tips & tricks for organising supplies?

I would say that the best way to organize supplies is to invest as much money and time looking for pieces that you love that can also store a ton of your supplies. Having a multi functional desk and cabinets that also make my space beautiful is super crucial for myself as an artist. I would suggest not buying too many supplies but using what you already have because you really don’t need the extra clutter and using what you already have is great for the environment and your creativity as well. A pro tip is to invest in beautiful pieces that also double as a container for your supplies so that leaving your supplies out or on top of your desk still looks lovely. For example, I use geometric glass terrariums to put my paints in so my supplies double as a decoration!

Which are your favourite possessions and are there any of your own creations on display?

My favourite possessions right now would have to be my Moomin mug that was a gift from a friends that lives in Norway, my green roll up pencil case for all of my coloured pencils, my Beatrix potter tea tin and best of all my gold ultrasonic essential oil diffuser from saje wellness. Right now I don’t really have anything of my own on display but in the future I am planning to decorate my walls with maybe a few of my own works and original paintings.

How do you organise your inspiration and ideas?

The truth is I just have a large amount of private boards on Pinterest. Whenever I see something that I feel like I can use in the future as inspiration I put it in a secret board with a title that makes sense with what I think it will help me with creatively in the future. For example, I have a board titled “patterns” because I always need inspiration for fabric patterns in my illustrations. I also have one called “book spines” because I am constantly illustrating books and shelves of books. It really helps to speed up an illustration and limits the hours spent looking for inspiration during a project. In terms of inspiration for an entire idea, I keep a list in my “notes” on my iPhone of illustrations that I want to do in the future so the idea well is never dry because I have so many exciting new ideas to choose from and look back on at any moment. Closer to when I think I will be using one of these ideas I will make a folder on my desktop and fill it with drawing references for the idea and all types of inspiration.

Where do you look for inspiration?

I look absolutely everywhere. I think having a large amount of information and knowledge is what makes magical ideas exist. A lot of my ideas come from the books that I read and others from the movies I watch. I also get a ton of inspiration artists from different times. Nature is always a huge inspiration for me so it shows up in every single piece I make. I find that a lot of my ideas come when I am dreaming while looking out of the window of a car or when I am going for a walk. Ideas almost always find me when I am stuck somewhere other than my desk and am simultaneously excited to make more things make so I just use that time to dream up new ideas.

If you had three wishes, what would you do to make it the dream space?

I’m so happy that I get to dream about this right now! My first wish would be that my space would be in the middle of a green forest instead of being an apartment in a city. Right now I live right next to the Grand River here in Canada as well as a giant conservation area (literally only metres away) but I would love to be actually surrounded by the trees. My next wish would be that the walls and floors were wooden like a log cabin. And my last wish would be that I had an old wooden fireplace to make working as cozy as possible. All of these things have nothing to do with the crafting or work that would actually go on bu I have all of the materials and furnishings that I want right now. The aesthetic just has to be right for me to be perfectly content. I constantly dream about having the studio space I described!

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