By Nicole Tinkham
In the art world, it’s all fun and games until you get paint on the ceiling and glitter in your ear. If you have a creative side, you know exactly what we’re talking about. When you’re in the zone you completely lose control. Paper goes flying, brushes get knocked over, and paint literally goes where it wants. Once your masterpiece is complete, you look around the art room and realize it’s been completely destroyed! You’re drained and the last thing you want to do is a serious clean up. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just snap your fingers and have everything magically back in order? Unfortunately, we can’t grant you that wish but we can give you some quick tips for cleaning up the art room when you really don’t feel like it. We’ll start with your priorities. You’ll want to get these four things done right away no matter what! When you have the time you can go into more depth with the organizing part of the clean up. Here’s what we suggest doing FIRST:
1. Get your brushes clean first
This is the most important thing that you must take care of right away if you want your brushes to see another day. Work some Murphy Oil Soap into the bristles and rinse with warm water. Done!
2. Put your artwork somewhere safe
The last thing you want to do while cleaning up is bump into the masterpiece that you put so much effort into and knock it over or spill paint on it. Put it in a safe spot immediately where it’s out of the way and nothing can happen to it.
3. Gather your paint tubes
Now onto paint…
All you absolutely need to do is gather all paint tubes, gesso, or anything else you were working with that can dry out and make sure all caps are sealed tightly! To make it easy on yourself, throw all paint tubes in a box or drawer. You can always organize them later when you’re feeling up to it.
4. Clean up spills
One thing every artists needs in the studio are paper towels. You’ll want to clean up any paint spills ASAP as it can stain depending on what’s spilled and the surface it’s spilled on.
We learned this cool trick on Pinterest: Pick up small items like glitter and beads with a lint roller. Genius!
When you have some extra time…
5. Make decisions
AFTER completing the 4 main priorities above, you can do a little extra clean up work when you have the time and energy. If you’re like most crafters, you’ll have the urge to hold onto every little scrap but this could clutter up your art room. Consider A) If you’ll actually use it at some point. Do you have a project in mind that it would be perfect for? And B) If you have a spot available for it. If you just can’t bear to toss that little piece of gorgeous scrap paper, find a friend to pass it along to!
When doing your quick clean up, you most likely tossed your paint tubes in a box of some sort to get them out of the way. This is only a temporary clean up! Go back in and make sure everything goes back in its place when you have more time to do so. This way you can easily find everything the next time you get started on a project.
7. Take inventory
Did you just use up the last of the Cobalt Blue? Every once in awhile, take a look at your art supply inventory and make a list of what you need to stock up on. It’s so frustrating to start a new project and as soon as you get in the zone realize you don’t have a particular supply and have to run out to the store to get it.
When you first look at the enormous mess that awaits you after working in the art studio, it can be more than overwhelming. It seems like you have so much work to do in order to get it back to the nice, neat area it once was. But in all reality, it’s really not that bad. Take a deep breath and focus on the 4 priorities: Clean your brushes, place artwork in a safe place, close all paint tubes, and clean up spills. Feel free to go back and put away any loose ends the next day when you’re feeling more refreshed. Sounds doable, right?
Have a cleaning tip to share? Leave a comment below or head over to our Facebook page!