7 Nov 2013

Art and hobby supply cleanup part 2

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler ~ Albert Einstein

In the first part of my art and hobby supply clean-out I went through the 'easy' stuff first, such as the hobby stuff I knew I wouldn't be using again and the photography and computing stuff that I knew wouldn't cause me too much trouble. Tip- Anytime I know I've got 'sentimental' or ' I'm sure it will be useful when I do decide to do this hobby someday' type clutter I work through the easy stuff first. That way I get the positives of seeing an easily cleaned and organized space to help boost my confidence in working on the harder more sentimental stuff later. If I started with the hard stuff first I'd keep things I don't need, make bad decisions and end up getting discouraged and not wanting to continue. Start easy. Start small.

  • Art Books. I share a love of art and an art space with my two children so the art book section needed to be looked through by all of us. We have a number of beginner 'how to draw' books that used to belong to my son before his skills outgrew them. However, my daughter is now starting to enjoy using them so they are all staying for now along with two origami books that she also enjoys. There was only one book in this section that no-one wanted so out it went. I'm new to watercolor and my son draws cartoon characters and usually colors them in pencil but has expressed an interest in trying to color them with watercolor instead. So it makes sense to keep these books and the books on how to draw animated figures. The book on perspective is also staying, as is the calligraphy book and my daughter's favorite book on using rubber stamps. The woodblock printing book also got a reprieve as my husband was interested in it. He's the woodworker in our family.

  • Scrapbooking. This left the largest section of books on scrapbooking. Scrapbooking is a particularly bad area for me. It's my kryptonite. I really like the idea of scrapbooking. I love looking through and collecting the goodies that go hand in hand with this hobby but that's as far as it ever goes for me. I collect papers and supplies and books on this subject in the hopes that one day I may give it a go but honestly I'm fooling myself. If I was really going to start working with this stuff I would have already. So as hard as it feels to part with these books, I'm going to. Now you might be thinking that I should keep these books, that I might use them now that I know they are being wasted but I find them to be a nagging distraction. Whenever my eyes glide over the art books looking for inspiration or a new technique, my eyes catch on these books and the little voice in my head says "What a waste of money. Why did you buy these books you don't need? You could have bought blah blah with the money you wasted on these books!" and then I feel bad instead of excited and inspired. I guess it's like walking into a cluttered room to look for something and your brain scolding and nagging you for not cleaning up the mess. It's unpleasant and distracting from the people and things that really do matter, besides, there are enough people in the world shaking your confidence without you doing it to yourself too.

  • Art journaling. Art journaling is something I really do enjoy so I've kept all of those books and wouldn't mind adding a few more to that section. I love looking through other people's journals. You get to peek into their inner world for a little while. I guess this is why some of my all time favorite photographers are street photographers. They capture little glimpses into other people's lives and worlds. I've also kept the book on how to bind your own handmade journals. I haven't made one yet but I hope to soon. 

  • Magazines. This brings me to the magazines. I've kept stacks of different types of magazines to use in collages etc but they're getting in the way and they weigh a ton.(most of them were given to me so at least I didn't lose money here) I'm halving them for now and may reduce the number again if there's still too many.

  • Paints.This is one area I'm not too bad in. My watercolor paints are all fairly new and in good condition as are the brushes. Even my acrylic paints and brushes are good so just a quick tidy around and a new container for the paints worked a treat. I've created space in a cupboard for the paints, gesso and other chemicals etc. Somewhere safe and out of sight.

  • Pens. I replaced my gel pens and felt tip pens recently so they're all okay. I did change my storage of them to horizontal instead of vertical though because I read somewhere recently that they work for longer if you store them that way. Apparently the nibs can dry out if they are stored point up and they could leak if stored point down. So horizontal seems the way to go. I'm now storing my tech pens this way too.

  • Colored pencils. All of my colored pencils are in good condition and I don't have huge sets as I don't use them a huge amount. I changed their storage to a pencil tin made from an old cocoa tin wrapped in wallpaper scraps. (See picture above)

  • Paper and journals. The spare journals are new. I buy a couple ahead before I finish the old ones incase they don't have what I want in stock when I want to buy them. I decided to store the watercolor paper inside the tilt-top box I paint on instead of on a shelf. It just means that it's closer to hand when I want to use it.

  • Canvases. My daughter painted on some of the spare canvases that I had which only left two 12" square canvases to store. I'm planning a couple of inspirational paintings that will look great on the wall above my desk area. From now on I'll only be buying canvases as I need them. I want to paint bigger on canvas but don't want to be storing oversized canvases in my lounge/art space. With kids and a dog it would be too easy for them to get damaged.
I think that's enough tidying for today :)

Have a great week :)

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