Come behind the scenes at Dans Mon Crane / Art Witch Academy for a #CraftRoomTour and see Vanessa's art studio in Shanghai.
My favorite thing about my studio is the light that comes in. Having natural light is a big plus for me. My standing desk is in front of a big window and I love working there and being able to look outside.
Tell us about your space
My studio is a small room, meant to be used as an office or den. It was the perfect room for my studio because of the light. The absence of closets turned out perfect since it meant my shelves could easily fit in there. The space doubles up as a second guest bedroom as the small sofa is a pull-out bed. The studio is where I make art and where I film all my art classes and tutorials for Art Witch Academy. I use tarot cards and crystals as inspiration for my artwork so my studio space is extra magical. I am also an art journaler and a bookbinder.
What have you done to make your space cosy, beautiful or inspiring?
The main thing I have done to make my space beautiful is to put up a gallery wall. I do this in every one of my studio spaces. But, because we are not allowed to make holes in the walls here in Shanghai, I've had to improvise. All of the art I have put up is unframed and there is something very inspiring about that, like everything is a work in progress. My gallery wall features artwork by my friends as well as my own.
How do you keep organized?
I definitely compartmentalize my projects! I have folders and envelopes for different collage material that relate to the different projects I engage in. I always clean my desks after a project so they are fresh and I don't lose any time when I am ready to start creating. I also have different baskets or boxes for different types of supplies. So if I want to work with ink, I use that basket; if I want to paint, I pull out my Raskog cart.
Any tips & tricks for organising supplies?
I use Ikea shelving because I like the square format of each cubicle. I also have a set of drawers where I place all of my specialty papers. My best advice is to regularly go through all of your supplies (including your scrap stash) and donate or get rid of the ones that don't serve or are not useful anymore. This is 100% the best way to get your inspiration and flow back. When there is too much stuff that clutters our space, it clutters our minds too.
Which are your favourite possessions and are there any of your own creations on display?
Some of my favorite possessions - aside from the art on my gallery wall - are my completed art journals. I keep them on hand so I can look through them whenever I need some extra inspiration. I also love my great-great-aunt's painting which sits on top of the shelving unit. I have crystals and rocks and small bits that I bring back from all my travels and I love to display them on my shelves too.
How do you organise your inspiration and ideas?
I don't really sort or keep my inspiration somewhere. I am definitely someone who completes a project or an art journaling spread in one go and doesn't let them linger. So I organise my supplies but I act upon inspiration as soon as it comes. That said, I do have a dedicated notebook for the classes and tutorials I want to teach at Art Witch Academy. Whenever I have an idea for the Academy, I jot it down in there so as to keep everything in the same spot.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I look for inspiration in my life first and foremost. Art journaling is a way for me to process what is happening around me and my reaction to it. I also use tarot as a meditative practice and a way to tap into some of my archetypes. This is a never ending well of inspiration for me. Books are, of course, another source of this.
If you had three wishes, what would you do to make it the dream space?
My first wish would be for a slightly bigger room, because then I could really stretch out and maybe even paint on canvas or have some really big projects. The second thing would be to have a faucet and sink in the room. Working with mixed media, it would be really practical to have a place to wash my hands and brushes. For my third wish, I would turn the window into a patio door and have a balcony where I could step out and work with spray paint or other types of things that require ventilation.
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