Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Atelier/art studio inspiration

This post will be filled with images and links to get you thinking about possibilities for your atelier/art studio... the idea is to pick out ideas that would be relevent to your setting... to create a mosaic of all the little bits of inspiration to create your own artspace...

Chalk board table... for free creative art that can be done over and over again... documenting images as you go and maybe creating a chalkboard table book of images..? how to instructions here...

an organisation idea... having the material available and accessible is important image found here

think about loose parts for the atelier... not everything has to be paint and drawing and crafts... sometimes it can be a temporary artistic expression... rocks, conkers, sea-glass... white cloth and frames... and so much more can be added... check here for more ideas... in action at Mid Pacific Institute

don't forget the ceilings... they can also be a source of inspiration and not just where you have the lights... here ricepaper lampshades have been used... this lowers the height of the room and makes it more child-friendly... don't forget to think about lighting if you do hang things from the ceiling... you could also place artwork on the ceiling isntead of the walls... think Michaelangelo... inspiration from In the Light Garden
think about your work surfaces... traditional tables to sit at, to stand at... how will this affect how the children interact with their creativity and each other? Should the surface be mirrors (or the chance to use mirrors on occasion) - what about light tables? Inspiration from Inch by Inch facebook page
think about size... how big do you want to the table... how much space do you have... how will the size affect projects done alone, done together... what is your priority for the atelier AT THE MOMENT (as this can change) is a big floor space more important than table space... or is the room to push the table to the side to create floor space when needed? I love to use the floor to create big artworks where the children can use their whole bodies, and lots of action.... even to the extent of painting directly on the floor - the above image come from Casa Maria

what are your feelings about mess? is it Ok to splatter all over the floors and tables... or do they need to be kept clean? Important things to talk about with colleagues as you start developing an atelier/art studio... this image comes from the art workshop at The Modern Art Museum here in Stockholm... images shared on this blog
there are many possible ways to arrange an atelier - if you check out this gallery link you will find lots of possible ideas...

atleiers can also be outside, art is not an indoor thing... Let the Children Play have shared LOTS of inspiration for Reggio Inspired ateliers... so pop over...

floor painting... the great thing about an atelier is that if you have designed for this, the art can be left to dry there without affecting the children's play - this link is to Mary Featherstone's School designs... an article

you also have to think about HOW you are going to display your materials... are you going to colour code them as in this picture, or are you going to display them according to use, or material type... are children able to take everything from all shelves (this means thinking about are children allowed to climb to get down materials) or are you going to have a cut off line where children can get things up to a certain level, and then need to ask a teacher to lift down stuff that is higher... this can mean that materials that need some sort of guidance can be put on a higher shelf... this image come from a post written in Spanish, but has photos to inspire... and there is always google translate... Reality Beats

how are you going to use your wallspace... as an area to display the children's work, as an area to project images on to inspire the children's creativity as an area like a easel... what about mirrors how can they be best used? and as you see in this photo from Ruseløkkabarnehage facebook page shelving can be used very high up to store things (useful if you do not have storage rooms) and the use of clear boxes means the children can still see the materials... Always remember though about how much visual stimulus you want to give your children... if you have children with autism in your group then areas with lots of visual stimuli can be overwhelming and have the opposite effect on creativity... it is about knowing your group...
think about jars and bowls and various containers that can be used for beads, paints, pens etc... when table are big and there is a community project then sharing the same bowl of beads can be asking for trouble... unless your aim is turn taking practice... so a small jar/bowl/container each can ease accessibility and increase creativity... the beading tree insoiration comes from Mairtown Kindy
and don't be afraid if it doesn't work... because it is all part of the process of getting to know how the children use a workspace/artspace/playspace - also remember to talk with your colleagues about how the space should/could be used... if there are any rules - as you can see a red line on the shelves in my atelier where the items above the red lines the children need to ask for a teacher to get down for them... this space did not work at first, I had to think and rethink about how I could enable the children to create collaboratively... this is the link to the process of creating this space... and this is the link to a post about my rethinking to get it working smoother
I will leave it here for now... there are some ideas to get you thinking, to get you talking with your colleagues about the expectations of having an atelier... what is it you want to offer? What do you think will happen in there? Do you know how much space you have... why have you chosen that much space? What area in your setting has the largest space? and Why? And don't forget water access... this makes being creative so much easier... to clean brushes, hands etc etc... we are lucky as we have a shower in our atelier so we can wash the children when we have whole body painting sessions...


  1. This is right on time. I just picked up shelving for my new studio. I am looking forward to the exciting set-up and design of the space. Even more excited for the children to work in it.

    1. glad you found it... look forward to see how it inspires you, one way or another...

  2. this is overwhelmingly exciting!! Thank you for sharing. I will use over and over again to reflect, rethink and dissect all the visuals! Great resource!!