Come behind the scenes at MGranade for a #CraftRoomTour and see Misty's studio in Madison.
All of the color is my favorite thing about this space. It's sorta dizzying in here but it energizes me. I see a lot of studio space that is all white and I get the reasons for having an all white space but that's just not who I am. My 2018 100 Day Project was using pink and yellow. I had never really connected with those colors in my art before the project. As I embraced those colors for the 100 days, I started adding a lot of pink to my space.
The other thing I really love about this space is it's where I go to make art and daydream. It's where I feel very strongly who I am at the deepest part of myself. It's definitely my happy place.
Tell us about your space
The studio is one of four bedrooms in our house. It has a huge, arched, north facing window and when we bought our house, we designated it the "office". That was before we had kids. I'm pretty sure my youngest, who has the smallest bedroom with the least light wishes we'd made a different decision. But since she's an artist too, she takes full advantage of the space as well. It is our third communal living space with the kitchen and the living room.
The studio is roughly 11x11 feet and my husband technically has a desk with a computer in here too but he's mostly seceded it to the kids' Fortnite and Overwatch adventures. Honestly, I take up about 60% of the space. I've periodically scooted the desks closer and closer to the wall on his side so I'll have a few more inches of room on my side of the desks. I've done it slowly over time so when he reads this, it'll probably be big news to him. The studio also has a giant closet attached to it which houses my husband's vintage computer video game collection and my canvas inventory.
I have a "dry" desk which has my computer, printer, and cutting mat and then I have a "wet" desk where I can paint and glue and be messy. These two spaces are super useful as it allows me to switch up tasks easily.
I do graphic design, acrylic painting, collage, mono printing, art journaling, crochet, spinning, and other paper crafts as they catch my attention.
What have you done to make your space cosy, beautiful or inspiring?
A few years ago, my space was super utilitarian and it didn't have a lot of personalization. I visited a friend's workspace and she had all of these trinkets and mementos up everywhere and I had the aha moment of "I can literally do whatever I want in here because it's mine and I'm the boss." At that point, I started thinking of decorating the studio as an extension of my creativity. It's a mix of color and paper and tchotchkes and yarn and paper and paint and finished work and more paper. So. Much. Paper.
I have a quote up from Ginger Hendrix who wrote: Time to Make: Throw Yourself at Your Creative Life. Don't Wait. (https://www.amazon.com/Time-Make-Throw-Yourself-Creative/dp/0692024611) It says: "Are you selling only what you are making? Or are you trying to buy the right to make things?" It's one of the things I like to remind myself of so I stay mentally healthy about making. I also have the now ubiquitous quote "the earth without art is just 'eh'" that my husband gave me for Christmas years ago. It's a good reminder that putting beautiful things out into the world is a worthy goal even if I'm the only one who ever sees them.
How do you keep organized?
I have to clean up after every project. There's no way I could even walk in here if I didn't do that. I also go through about every 6-8 months and recycle, give away, or trash things I haven't used in that time period. To keep the space useful I have to be very particular about what I keep. This interview was magnificent incentive! I have a couple of problem spots. I have these bins of a paper scraps on my desk that keep getting bigger and bigger but every piece of paper there is a secret treasure waiting for its forever home and I just can't make myself git rid of them. I'm a decently organized person overall and that helps tremendously.
Any tips & tricks for organising supplies?
Figure out what you use most and keep it close.
The Ikea Raskog carts are my go to for this purpose. I have two and they are perfect for keeping supplies organized and can be rolled around as needed. Mine live in front of my painting wall but when I'm working on a large canvas, I just roll them out of the way and have wall space to work. I think the cart is the PERFECT way to keep space for your making supplies if you don't have dedicated making space.
I also have an over the door rack where I keep all of my paint. It's on the immediate left of my wet desk and I'm left handed so it's super easy to reach for paint when I'm working.
Which are your favourite possessions and are there any of your own creations on display?
Yes, I have my own art on the walls! I used to think it was really egotistical for artists to have a whole bunch of their own art on their walls but what I'm learning is that when you are making art as a job, you have to store it somewhere and hanging it on the walls is a form of self preservation against the looming stacks of canvases. Living with my work on display in my space also helps me reabsorb the emotion from it, which in turn makes it easier for me to let it go when it sells.
I really love my yarn stash. There's just SO MUCH potential there. In the past two years I've also fully converted my paint to Golden paints. It's been a huge investment that I've had to make really slowly. I think I love the paint for the same reason I love the yarn, it just represents so many opportunities to make and learn and grow.
How do you organise your inspiration and ideas?
I keep some electronically with Instagram, Pinterest, and Ravelry. I keep a bullet journal for my daily task organizing and I'll make project lists there but I don't have an idea book or folder. Sometimes I'll make something in an art journal that I'll recreate on canvas but mostly I just work and do the next thing from thing I'm working on currently. I just follow the thread during the work.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I pick up paper everywhere. Every trip. Every stop. Wrapping paper, business cards, flyers, whatever interests me. All of my friends know when they travel they have to bring me napkins and shopping bags and catalogs. I've got them all trained to pick up things that I'll find interesting. I also check out tons of books from the library: art books, cook books, comic books, fiction, non fiction, any book that interests me really. I love This is Colossal (https://www.thisiscolossal.com/) and The Jealous Curator (http://www.thejealouscurator.com/blog/) for when I need my slice of humble pie.
If you had three wishes, what would you do to make it the dream space?
Of course I'd want a bigger space. But more space comes with a lot of baggage. If I paid rent on my space then my work would be responsible for making rent and that's a LOT of pressure. So my second wish would be that there was no rent on the bigger space. I also wish it were bigger so I could host a few folks in it for making. I don't know that I'd ever be interested in holding classes or workshops but having friends over to have communal making time would be fabulous.
I used to feel really down on my space because I wanted to make BIG art and spread out. What I've come to understand though is that compared to lots of folks who make on their kitchen table or coffee table, I have TONS of space. I find myself being really appreciative of having a dedicated making space so I don't wish for a bigger space much anymore.
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