Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.


Navigate / search

Styling Your Studio to Fuel Your Creativity

There’s a reason new-age office buildings look like college student unions.  CLIF, the company behind delicious energy bars, has a climbing wall.  Google has air hockey tables and yoga ball chairs.  Pixar has several movie theaters inside its headquarters.  Ideally, they want to inspire their workers and keep them happy.  Looking at their innovative products and huge profits, I’d say it’s working.

As makers, we can apply this same thinking to our studio.  After all, it’s where we spend the majority of our time!

A drool-worthy studio from Decoist.

There’s no right or wrong when it comes to what you studio should look like but there are definitely a few things that most people like to have in theirs.

  • Great lighting!  As an artist, I thrive on natural lighting to save my eyes (and brain) from the glare and hum of electric lights.
  • Posters and artwork.  These are great sources of inspiration and can make your space feel a bit like your childhood/teenage room (though you probably don’t have boy band posters in your studio).
  • A shelf of nicknacks.  Lots of people love having a space place to display items that get their imagination going.  Shells from the beach, cereal box toys, old cameras, etc.
  • Pennants or banners.  These are great for cheering up a space.
  • A big desk.  Big enough to spread out and work but not too big that you don’t remember to clean it at the end of every day.
  • A nice rug.  I know this sounds silly but nothing cheers up a place like a nice rug.  Also, if you have a studio ‘assistant’ who happens to be furry, they may also appreciate a rug.

Your studio will naturally match your brand and aesthetic.

For me, that means lots of clean white and black furniture with pops of color.  Also, I have a ton of silly pieces of artwork that make me smile every time I see them.  My studio is me in a tiny nutshell.

When your space matches your brand, you’ll feel more comfortable in that space.  You’ll feel safe to create outside the box.  You’ll have more ideas!

Since I’ll be moving in the next few months, I’ve actually started a Pinterest board for ‘studio inspiration’.  I’m invisioning white chalkboard walls, bright orange lamps, and a big antique map (the one with monsters and badly drawn continents on it).

Does your studio fit you?  And, if so, what’s your favorite part of it?  (I’d love to know so I can add ideas to my Pinterest board!)

Megan Eckman

Megan Eckman has written 146 posts in this blog.

Megan Eckman is a quirky pen and ink illustrator who never outgrew her overactive imagination. Her work merges the style of old fairy tale illustrations with modern fantasies. When she’s not drawing (and giggling all the while), she can be found pacing her apartment writing more stories to go with her artwork.


Allison Dey

Hubby and I have been living with friends and now a share since we got together nearly three years ago. This makes the ‘studio’ an elusive dream and has functioned nomadically at best. But I do now have a dedicated wall in a well-lit area for my materials. My favorite parts of my studio are the wire basket drawer units where I keep all my rolled up sweaters and a small set of drawers I found in the house which I use for buttons, trims, other embellishments. When I open the drawers I can see all the items in rainbow order and the sweaters are also color sorted. There are no inspirational posters on the walls. I prefer to have an empty space with the palette of materials and textures as my stimulus. I draw in my sketchpad and then bring that in and flip pages until I get to what I want to work on and then start reaching for materials like a chef throwing this and that in the bowl until there’s a new doll sitting on the wooden worktop looking at me. My brain is too cluttered to have anything but a streamlined studio. Once the materials start to fly, it’s a bit of a disaster! lol Then there’s the clean-up and the next one starts.

Megan Eckman

I know what you mean about sharing a space. My partner and I are in a one-bedroom in California so our shared studio space is what most people would use as a dining area. I’m fascinated by the idea of a bare studio. It would certainly make cleaning easier. Haha.

Allison Dey

After I make dolls, it looks like Edward Scissorhands got loose so I can’t really have a lot of stuff to clean around. ! In another life, all my crafting was done in the dining room and I bought cubby-type furniture for a wall in there. It worked really well.

What say you?