Office Space

Painted Pony Shop's Workspace
Work spaces differ as much as the products that are produced by each artisan.  Sometimes they are limited by space constraints (small living quarters), sometimes they are limited by funding (small paychecks), sometimes they are limited to family issues (taking care of small children).  However, each person makes their work space work for them, which is an ideal fuel for creativity.  Here are how some Etsy Maine Teamers make their work spaces work for them.

Camelot's Treasures Workspace

All I require in my work space are: several dry erase boards, some from of a shelving system, and a big work table.  Currently, because space permits me to, I also have an extra table (that way I can have a table for cutting and one for my machines), several shelving units, and a desk for my computer stuff.  Being always on the move, due to the military, this space differs greatly; the last place we lived, my workspace was the dining room table and the coffee table.  But even though I now have a dedicated office for me, I do find myself making some things on the couch while watching tv (like crocheting, handsewing, or making jewelry); this way I feel like I'm not so isolated from everything and I can spend some time with the family.  Having white walls is not so condusive to my working mood, so I make sure that I also have things on the wall (at least he walls that don't have the dry erase boards).  I've also learned that tall storage is AWESOME!  I use up all my available space as efficiently as I can, so things that I really don't use all the time, I will store way up top (fortunately I'm tall, so it's no biggie) or way on bottom.  Eventually, when we finally "settle down" and buy our own house, I would really like to have built in storage, custom made to my specifications.  And make sure it has lots of natural light!

Well since I take pictures of nature mostly, I can create my photos almost anywhere. Since I still have to have permission to be on someone's land I am mostly limited to state parks and public land, but I do have some friends that let me wander around their property as long as I send them copies of the photos. I would not be able to survive without my Pentax K-x or my computer. I also like having Photoshop CS5, even though I do not like to alter my photos much (I just clean them up). My workplace at home where I order prints of photos and look at them on the big screen is comfortable and sunny (although not so sunny right now!), and I think that's very important to keep me from wandering outside to do the fun part of the job. The massage chair also helps ;) My dream studio in the home would be a lot bigger and only for photography (the space I currently use has many functions: study space for school, my work-from home business where I answer calls, a place where I talk to my boyfriend on skype, a place where I watch tv shows on hulu, etc.). I also would love to be able to print my own photos-and my dream printer would be like $1000, and also an iMac would be my ideal computer. I would have space to cut my own mats and make my own frames too. Outside of the office I would want at least a macro lens and a zoom lens in addition to the all-purpose lens I have now. However, the space and equipment I have is still perfectly adequate and works because no one touches it and it's set up the way I like it. If anyone is having a hard time organizing their space, I would suggest making it appealing to them (even the details count here). Make sure it's near a window, and keep a breeze coming in to get fresh air. Find an organizational system that works for you and let yourself change it as your business grows.

My workspace is wherever I need to be! I haven't been doing this long enough to know exactly what my preferences are. Right now, I have my sewing machine in my computer room, my clay in the living room, and my beads in my bedroom. I think that within the next year I am going to convert a spare room in the house to my studio. I know from my disorderly experience that I need 3 different work stations; one for sewing, one for beading, and one for clay. I will also say that I will need many shelves for storage; I fail miserably when I have things in storage containers, I need to be able to see what I have for supplies and projects. Lighting is really important as well, I am learning the hard way that we need adequate lighting for jewelry making. As for today, I will continue to "craft on the fly", but the studio is definitely coming! 

Awww man, right now (much to my chagrin) my 'workspace' is the living room coffee table that I've commandeered... as well as much of the floor around it. Now that I'm finished with a pretty large order I was working on I've got my sights set on REALLY setting up a functional working space.

My dream space (and maybe I can create it here in my attic) is two tables, in an L shape, with plenty of shelf storage underneath. Task lighting will be a must, since there are only two windows in that part of the attic, and I'll need lots and lots of little drawers to keep bottle caps in various stages of completion in. Although there will be competition for space from a drum set, three guitars, a banjo and two ukuleles I'm pretty sure it's a realistic goal to make this happen soon.

I share an office space with my mom (Camelot's Treasures), but I have my own desk to make my stuff.  For me, organization is key and having a clean working area helps me want to be in there creating.  I buy a lot of my storage bins in the hardware section, because they seem to be cheaper and the right dimensions.  I also sort my stuff by like items, so I know where everything is when I want it, and don't have to make a mess finding things.  Fortunately, because most of the things I make are small (like earrings and notepads), I don't need a lot of space.

Hand Me Down Designs
I did a blog post on my work space a little while ago. Here's a link:

Be sure to check out all the awesome artisans on the Etsy Maine Team  by searching "maineteam" on Etsy!