Creative Workspaces

Well, here we are: The time has come to redecorate the office at work. Not only that, but my home studio could do with some serious attention.

Rather than dive in completely unprepared, I thought it would be great to reach out to some other creatives and get some inspiration.


First up, Alisa Stern's studio. Alisa makes fantastic stop-motion animated videos featuring characters from Doctor Who.

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The Doctor Puppet videos are made in the living room of my 1-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, New York. The “studio” space is roughly 12 by 10 feet. My couch (which rarely gets used for sitting) separates the animation space from my kitchen. It’s not ideal, but I can’t afford a 2-bedroom apartment nor a separate studio space what with the rent prices in New York City these days! I’m just grateful I have a living room I can even fit a set in, along with a green screen, tripod, and several lights. One of the unfortunate side effects is I have to cover up two windows while we’re animating. I have a pretty nice view of Brooklyn from them. I don’t have a dedicated desk for making the puppets, though I eventually plan to redecorate and make that happen. I keep all my puppet supplies in a big box and I either work on the puppets at my kitchen table or my computer desk.
— Alisa Stern
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Next up, Emma Thorpe's setup. Emma works at Framestore on projects including Paddington 2. In addition to this, she is involved in numerous freelance projects. For her, the priority is to be mobile.

I’m lucky enough to have a portable set up, if I need to be else where or fancy a change in scenery I can just go. At home, I try to keep helpful/reference books near by, my (awesome unicorn) chargers and hardrives. A notebook for doodling! And a small selection of fiction books for when I need a break!
— Emma Thorpe

Another minimal, organised setup is this one from Katie Chandler. Katie is an illustrator from Ohio producing superb work full of colour and detail.

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Here is my workspace! (aka the corner of my living room in my ~very spacious~ one bedroom apartment) but it works for me! My desk area includes some of my plant family, a guitar when you’re feeling stuck in a creative jam (lol), a lovely map created by Brad Montague to help me find my way, an original Andy J. Miller/Pizza sketchbook drawing that says, “The End Is The Start” which I treasure! Other friends aren’t very far when I need them (Totoro, Gumby and Pokey) on a nearby bookcase. The tools I use are typically a laptop and Wacom tablet; I’ve been loving exploring with Posca markers as well and are now a part of my desk layout.
— Katie Chandler

Last, but not least, Christine Smith took time out of her day to talk us through her home studio.

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I’m a UK based card designer who works full-time on the design team for 4 leading UK papercrafting magazines published by Practical Publishing, as well as posting 5-7 YouTube videos a week (across my CRaFTi PoTeNTiAl and ArTi PoTeNTiAl channels) showing the process behind the cards I make and also various other projects including art journalling.

I’m also proud to be a Tonic Studios design team member (happened the other day lol), a Creative Expressions design team member and also a Spellblogger too I’ve also just launched my own brand on the CraftStash website too I do all my crafting and filming in my craft room (shown in the photos) and I edit my videos in my office.

For my filming set up, I decided I needed something permanent (because I’m lazy lol) so after lots of thinking, I went with a computer monitor arm which is screwed into the window sill, this is a dual armed stand, and on the other arm I have an LED light to help give extra lighting on gloomy days I opted for attaching it to the window sill because when you’re die-cutting you can often wobble the table, and this way the camera doesn’t wobble!
— Christine Smith

My thanks to everyone who contributed to this post.

Alisa Stern https://www.youtube.com/user/HelloDoctorPuppet

Emma Thorpe https://www.linkedin.com/in/emma-thorpe-37328771

Katie Chandler http://www.katiechandler.com/info/

Christine Smith https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTLMLh86cE0FTTPhu6ThtlQ