Studio Organisation

For jobs in progress, get a "rolling file cart" and hang folders for current jobs in that, where they'll be out where you can see them and grab the right one easily when a phone call comes in and you need to refer to something.

Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1998 11:05:30 EDT
Subject: Re: illustration: Getting organized

I just reviewed "Time Management for the Creative Person: Right-Brain Strategies for Stopping Procrastination, Getting Control of the Clock & Calendar, and Freeing Up Your Time and Your Life." The article will be in the next (Nov/Dec) issue of the national GAG newsletter.

Without doing the whole review here ;-) I can tell you that I found the book very helpful and definitely worth a look. Lots of great suggestions for those of us who use, ah, *creative* organization methods (I'm a "piler" too). The author is Lee Silber, it's a softcover from Three Rivers Press, 1998, and has a SRP of $14 (I think you can get it at B&N or at a discount).

There's another book, from Three Rivers also, different author, specifically on organizing for the creative person. I'm going to take a look at that one when I get a chance.

My favorite organizing trick is color-coding. I use different color folders for illustration, writing, personal stuff, etc., and use highlighters a LOT in my paper planners. I'm doing a studio overhaul in the next month -- adding another stack of flat files and having techline studios install new work areas with plenty of file storage. It will be nice. The only time my studio actually looks neat is when I finish one project, clean up and gear-up for the next. Otherwise, I have piles of reference here, piles of books there, stacks of stuff I have to read or file away, file drawers hanging open . . .

On occasion I've had to chase down dust-rhinos.


Here's another option.....I just took a shelving unit (4 shelf) and turned it sideways on the floor. I stack my canvases, frames, matboard, backing board, etc. vertically between the "shelves". For large works, I sandwich them between cardboard and clip them with large clips.....stack them in the vertical shelf unit with my canvases.


I've used Quicken for years but not nearly as orderly as LEs. When my daughter's home from college, she types in all the checks. But it's great. You can keep family and business on the same program. My entries for business just have 'Bus.. first word so easy to organize. My husband got called in for the dreaded full-audit with the IRS. I printed out all the reports. The woman glanced at them and sent him home. I need to check though what happens with the Y2K problem...before it gets here.


I bought a copy of the new Mary Englebreit mag this weekend because it had a feature of 5 different artist's studios.

One was of Sally Mavor's studio - the illustrator who uses fabrics to create 3-D children's book pictures that was talked about on this list earlier.

Wonderful to see the places/environments these artist's work from and their commentaries - another illustrator featured was Lane Smith.

There was also an article on a lady designer who designed primitive/contemporary applique designs that I'm sure many of you have seen on greeting cards and tags, etc. I originaly thought these were painted designs until I read this interview.


Anyone interested... Mary Engelbreit's mag, Home Companion, out til March 10 has 4 artists and their studios as a feature in this issue.

It's entitled ATELIER EXPOSE' and includes: Illustrator, Lane Smith; Dollmaker, Nancy Wiley; Textile Artist, Salley Mavor; and Animator, Faith Hubley.

Something I'd recommend to anyone who uses a modem or fax are the little blocking devices that keep extension phones from interrupting your fax or modem if someone picks up an extension elsewhere in the house (if you're using the line, someone picking up in another room gets no dial tone). Attach one little box to each extension - not on the line your computer and/or fax is connected to -- and you're set. You can get the devices through Hello Direct (, and I think Radio Shack has them too (and probably lots of other places).

Nancy Barnet

How about a cheap way of getting a second phone line. Through your phone company you can get a ring selector which announces an incoming call with a different ring (like the old party line signals). You get a separate number for that service without paying for a separate line, but there is a nominal extra monthly charge (about 3 bucks). You can then give out that number to prospective clients and have a separate answering machine that fields the calls to that number. It's also a way to have "dedicated" service to a FAX machine. Check your phone company. Colorado phone services can't be that much different from Ontario.

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