Join Gabriela Szulman for a #CraftRoomTour of her art studio in Camberwell, London.
My studio is totally self-contained and its size (50 m2) makes it possible for everything to have its place so that it never feels cluttered.
Tell us about your space
I am extremely lucky to be in a complex of live-work units in buzzy Camberwell, South London. It's a very friendly space where quite a few of my neighbours also run creative businesses. My studio is a large double-height space that allows me to work and teach on the ground floor and keep my office separate on a mezzanine. And of course the commute is just a flight of stairs as the flat is right above the studio!
I am a printmaker and mixed-media artist. My work is all about reassembling found images through collage and decoupage, and I use both these methods to create pictures, cards and decorative objects. I also teach creative upcycling techniques from here. Additionally this is also a creative hub where a small group of practicing artists teach other crafts: at the moment we have classes in paper cutting, lampshade making, metal foiling and patchwork. Head over to creativehappylondon.com if you'd like to find out what's on offer.
What have you done to make your space cosy, beautiful or inspiring?
I have lots of reference books and magazines at hand, a collection of quirky objects that I find both amusing and inspiring, and a rotating display of my own work on the walls.
How do you keep organized?
I keep materials and tools in massive storage unit that came with the studio, there's a plan chest for papers and work-in-progress, a second storage area in the studio for collage materials such as old cards, photos, maps and vintage magazines, and a big bookcase that accommodates all my books.
Any tips & tricks for organising supplies?
I try to make sure everything is visible and within reach: there's nothing worse than having to lift box after box to find the one thing you're looking for! I also keep 'like-with-like': art materials in one unit, tools in another.
Which are your favourite possessions and are there any of your own creations on display?
The 'studio child' has to be my favourite possession: an old shop dummy I decoupaged using pages from an old dictionary and other bits of paper, and which stands proudly on a corner of the studio. Lots of my own creations including prints, collages and art dolls are displayed on the walls.
How do you organise your inspiration and ideas?
New ideas usually start life on the pages of my sketchbooks, which I keep at hand as they are a constant source of reference.
In terms of inspiration my treasure trove is a growing archive of vintage magazines, scraps of paper, postcards, letters, photographs and other found materials.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I am a mostly visual person so, unsurprisingly, I find my inspiration in the visual world - colour, shapes, pictures, objects. I often come across sources of inspiration in the external world - through a film, something I see in the street, a shop window, a piece of art. If I'm inspired by something purely visual I may take a photo just as a reminder but often things I've seen will slowly filter through and result in new ideas, sometimes much later.
Another component for me is materials and the physical act of working - I love priming a new canvas, picking up pencils or brushes, making marks on textured paper.
If I'm inspired to create something at a time when it's practical, I try to at least start it so that I can pick up later as I'm always fairly sure I can follow up and complete whatever I've started.
If you had three wishes, what would you do to make it the dream space?
I already have the dream space but if it were self-cleaning and also include a magical lunch delivery every day that would be absolute perfection!
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