Organize Your Art Biz

Last week I started my third class with Alyson B. Stanfield.

She is the author of my favorite art business book, I’d Rather Be In The Studio. 

The first week, among other things, we were supposed to take  a before picture of our office and do one thing to immediately improve it.

livingroom1  livingroom2

Saturday morning showed my office to look like this. Clearly, not operational.  My first plan was to just clean and organize the tools. I had already planned on this and thought it was a good place to start.

Sunday night showed the living room /office / studio to look like this:


Johnny and I cleaned, took out the couch frame and removed the upper cabinet. I was seriously procrastinating taking down that cabinet. I started, maybe 5 times over the last few months. I would look at it and just turn around.

I would have flash backs to the bedroom cabinets.  Johnny was able to get the cabinet down in 1 entire piece. That is such a huge relief.

After that, we cleaned up the area and Johnny finished ripping up the carpet under the couch.

Clearly, the office is still not operational. I realized I wanted to do something I can start using right now.


When I moved into the old RV I purchased a very cute hanging file box. You could close it up to look like a brief case, but if you hung it on the wall, the files would slide down and you could see everything.

It broke almost immediately and is not functional.

I recently bought a new box for my house files, but hadn’t bought anything for the business stuff.  Last night, I went to Target and bought this pretty little thing with matching folders and I bought a dry erase day-of-the week organizer.  Eventually, I hope to sit down at the beginning of the week and plan out the week’s larger goals.  This way I can see them and stay focused.

I also bought another fire safe. The one I have has a broken lock. I have been meaning to get another for a couple of years, but of course, haven’t.

I am going to use this link to make pretty labels for ALL my things!

Now, I am ready to organize any paper files.

*Edit: I have 2 storage bins that are stackable, similar to this, but not quite:

storage bins

Image from

Currently, both bins are used for art supplies. However, I signed up for (another thing that I have been meaning to do for years) and it comes with a mail scale.  I realized I will need a portable “desk drawer” for all my supplies.  I am going to use one of these bins for all my office supplies.

About Elisha

Elisha Dasenbrock is an award winning, international watercolor artist. She paints with a limited palette on claybord. Dasenbrock graduated from the American Academy of Art in 2009 and has been painting professionally ever since.