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Art Space in a TinCan (or other Tiny Home)

What is it about a fresh tube of paint that makes me feel so alive? Or a fresh canvas? or new pens? pencils?!? Does anyone else get this vibe from art supplies? Simply walking into an art supply store brings on sensory overload. Where do I start? Which project do I want to do first? (just so you know…this also happens at Home Depot or the Yarn store.) Sometimes it overwhelms my brain so much that instead of starting a project, I just need a nap. Hahaha!

Yes, I have learned something about myself over the years…sometimes I find it as fun to collect project supplies as it is to complete the projects. This is not really a good quality when living in a small space. Honestly it wasn’t a good quality even when I had more space…I simply had more clutter. The room full of crafting supplies added nothing to my level of creative energy. In fact, I think it detracted from it. Now that I live in a smaller space, I keep only supplies I really use. They are organized and easy to find whenever I have a moment to use them. I am also better motivated to start and work to completion on projects. There simply isn’t room for a lot of unfinished projects to hang around. (Full disclosure: I’m not saying there aren’t a few unfinished projects hanging around, just not nearly as many as I used to accumulate.)

The small space also saves me money on crafting & art supplies. If I am not planning to use something immediately, I don’t buy it. No more of the “Oh look I think I need to buy ten of these since they are on sale!” mindset. If I’m not using it now, I don’t need it now. I will admit that I do have a collection of paint tubes that fit in a plastic tub under the front sofa, and there is a yarn collection under the back sofa. I do also own probably a few too many paint brushes and pigma pens. These do fit comfortably in the TinCan; therefore, they are staying to make me smile. (I mean getting rid of it all is just too much to ask. Haha.) However, the rule in the TinCan is: no more new paints (or yarns) enter unless they are designated for a specific project at hand. I’ve come to be really good at sticking to this rule. I recommend it to anyone who like me just can’t pass up that new skein of yarn which would look simply lovely made into a scarf at some undetermined time in the future. You know by the time comes around, you will wish you had a different color anyway? Right? Or for anyone who thinks: but this is a great sale price on this canvas…I might want to paint something this size someday. “Someday, or this week?” Ask yourself that question. If you can’t reply “this week”, then guess what? You just saved yourself some money and avoided some clutter.

If you are thinking about simplifying and downsizing, don’t worry that you won’t have room for an art space or craft projects you enjoy. We make room for the things that are important to us. This is true even in a tiny home. I haven’t once felt pressured by the small space to give up any of my creative outlets. Over time I have prioritized and downsized my craft pursuits. This was not so much due to space considerations, but due to time constraints. There simply isn’t time to do everything. Therefore, as I simplified I chose my favorite activities to focus on. Guess what? I enjoy the creative process and my time far more this way. I think you will too.
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A scene like the above always makes me smile!
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Living in the TinCan also helped inspire me to try smaller paintings. Tiny spaces have less room for art on the walls, and I have always been intrigued with miniatures. I fell in love with creating the tiny paintings once I tried one for my niece’s (sister’s) dollhouse. Plus, it seemed like a logical solution to painting in a small space. Thus my line of tiny paintings was born. Aren’t the tiny paint brushes are even cuter on the shelf than my bigger ones?

I have an art show tentatively scheduled for the 19th of September at the Legends of Arkansas festival in downtown Little Rock. If you are going to be in the area, stop by. If not, no worries. I’m working on some things for the online studio and shop, to be announced hopefully within the next month or so. Stay tuned.

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