Stuff piles up. That’s the way life is. Things get cluttered here in my studio and that means I have to inject some order into the chaos. It always happens. I make new stuff and it has to go somewhere. It usually hangs around for months at first but then it all gets to be too much. I’m nearing that point now and have to put things in order.

Just last week I spent half a day putting other stuff in order so it’s a bit of a surprise to me that I have to do it again so soon. This is more of a surface ordering and last week was a deep ordering. I actually had to rearrange shelves to put stuff away last week.

It was all the comic book sized drawings and sketch covers that I put in order last week. I’ve done a lot of them over the last few years and they were all in different places. Some were in a comic book box, others laying flat on a shelf, and still more were on top of a desk in a flat file. If I needed to find a particular one I had to look through a lot of them. So I wanted to put them all in one place.

I decided to put them all on a shelf. Of course that meant removing the stuff that was already on the shelf. I searched for the comics that I looked at the least, took them off the shelf, put them in a box, and rearranged the rest of the shelves until I had one big area free. Now I had a place to put my comic book sized drawings.

This whole process took longer than I though it would. Isn’t that always the way? I had to put all the drawings in order, sketch covers, monster covers, monsters on comics, fashionista zombies, and faux comic book covers. I made dividers and labels for about two dozen different categories. It was worth it. Now I can find things. They take up about two feet worth of shelf space so that’s a lot of stuff.

Now I have my regular chaotic build up to deal with. I have a few spots in my studio that artwork piles up on. First is my easel. When I draw or paint on it I clear everything off of it to work. Otherwise I pile work up on it to look at. I have my large 24×36 inch drawing board on it right now and usually there are some 11×17 inch drawings displayed on there too. I put the drawings up there so I can examine at them and determine if they are finished or not. If they’re finished I’ll leave them up there to have something to look at. So I can end up with a thick pile of drawings stacked up there.

In the last month I made some 8×10 inch drawings on canvas. They’re stacked up on the easel right now and all there have a three quarters of an inch thickness. They take up a lot of room so I had to move most of my other drawings off my easel to see them. This meant a half inch stack of drawings had to go somewhere.

I have a couple of temporary places to put drawings. I have two scanners. One is 11×17 inches and one is 8.5×11 inches. It’s on top of those that I tend to pile things. The smaller scanner gets used less so things get piled on top of it more. But recently I had to use it so I had to take some stuff off of it and put the stuff away. Not all of the stuff got put away though. A lot of it got moved on top of the bigger scanner.

I also have a table in the corner of the studio that my art supplies are piled on. Stuff I don’t use all the time but use often enough that it sits out. If supplies are handy they’ll get used more. I also have an 8.5×11 inch box on that table that drawings get piled in. And then there is my actual drawing table. It’s around 30×40 inches and smaller drawings pile up around the edges. My 5.5×8.5 inch sketchbook sits on it most of the time and it can also accumulate a lot of 6×9 inch drawings plus various art cards.

So now I’m surrounded by four areas of clutter. I’ve seen it a lot worse but sometimes my mind feels cluttered and organizing my work space can help uncluttered my thoughts. To my left, on my big scanner, are mostly my 11×17 inch faux comic book cover drawings in various states of finish. Some are inked and some are colored. The colored ones are finished and need to be put away but that means rearranging even more stuff.

To my right is the box on my table and that’s mostly easy. It’s comic book size drawing that can go in my newly arranged shelf space. The easel I’m unsure of as it all my latest stuff. They might have to stick around. My desk has stuff on it that I need to scan in and put away so that will take some time. But it’s been worse. I think I’ve almost got a handle on it all.

What I don’t have a handle on, and what drives me crazy about organizing, is forgetting where I put something. Last week when I organized my comic size art shelf I also organized some of my 8.5×11 inch photos. They’re a little too big for the shelf so I found them their own spot. When I found some more photos that size I went to put them away with the rest and discovered I couldn’t remember where their spot was. That have to be here somewhere but I have no idea where. I looked for half an hour and could find them. I know where my 11×17 inch photos are. I know where my 5×7 inch photos are. But I have no idea where the new spot for my 8.5×11 inch photos is. How crazy is that? I organized them right out of existence.