Finding Space to make art in a London Flat

I love to create big art pieces. Living in a small London flat doesn’t afford me that, so I make the most of it with some creative thinking!

I’ve been living in London since 2013. We have a gorgeous two bed in Wembley Park. It’s a new build because I’m a sucker for anything shiny and new.

My boyfriend is a contracting Software Developer so the second bedroom is his office space. My “studio space” is in between the living room and the kitchen.

Three years ago we moved from a one bed apartment in Angel to a two bed in Wembley. Our new flat is twice the size as the old one and moving in, it felt palatial. I finally had room to work on an easel, on 4ft square canvases. I love big, bold, bright pieces and finally I had the space to do it.

Back in Angel I remember working on an A2 piece for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, and I had to work on an end table, sitting on the floor as I had no free table surface in the apartment big enough.

Creating Shattered for submission for the 2018 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

Staying organised

Of course our current flat still has it’s limitations and I’ve found that organisation is the key to being able to create loads of different kinds of art in a small London flat.

I love to create in all kinds of media, including:

  • Acrylic paint
  • Acrylic ink
  • Fineliners
  • Markers
  • Paint pens
  • Pencil
  • Mixed media paints, like Pebeo
  • Watercolour

And of course to go with these different media, I also have library of different sketchbooks, papers and canvases.

I keep all my pens, paints, brushed, canvas board, paper, sketchbooks, inks and more inside archive boxes and plastic storage containers.

All I can say is there is method in my madness

Flexible workspace

I have one desk. I know, that sounds standard, but I need the space to be as flexible as possible.

Monday to Friday, from 8am to 7pm I work for an online gaming provider. It’s nothing like my art and it can get quite technical but I love my job. The rest of the week, I use the desk for art.

I also use my desk to talk to my friends and play games with them online. 2020 has really wrecked my social calendar!

My desk is an IKEA Bekant sit stand desk – with Working from home and losing my 2 mile walk in my commute, I am a big advocate of standing desks.

Every evening and weekend, I move my work laptop, laptop stand and second monitor to my shelving unit. I then put the HDMI cable and other work paraphernalia into one of the archive boxes.

This clears my desk for my iMac and enough table space to work on even an A1 piece.

Yes, I know I need a new mousemat

Moving on

Now, with coronavirus ravaging the planet and working from home becoming second nature to us all, the reality is that we don’t need to be in London anymore.

So in January we’re moving to Peterborough – a beautiful, clean and green city in the midlands. We’re upgrading our two bed flat for a four bed house. The biggest excitement for me is having my own studio room – finally! I will of course post about it once we’re moved in.

There are aspects of London that I will undoubtedly miss, but we’ve been stuck at home since March and I have experienced nothing of London since then. I already miss London and I haven’t even left yet.

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