Workshops on the move!

Mar 29, 2022

This is the first of a number of blog posts where I share with you some of my tips on making your studio space and business admin a little easier so that you can spend more time doing what you love doing....  creating!

In this article I introduce some of the tools I use to help me keep on top of my workshop packing and ensure that I don't end up at a venue without an essential piece of kit!


Workshops on the move

This year I have a wonderful opportunity to take my workshops down to Cornwall and in doing so get to have an extended holiday.

But running workshops away from home can cause some anxiety.

There's always that nagging fear that I have left some essential equipment at the studio which I'm not going to be able to source in time for a workshop... and let's be honest now it's not like you can just nip down to your local art shop for some spare squeegees (shipped for USA!), Arches Huille paper or cold wax!


Introducing the reusable tick-sheet

I created my reusable tick-sheets when I first moved into the studio and the frequency of workshops ramped up. Anything to try and make my life easier especially when you are running a workshop every other week and sometimes delivering one in Yorkshire one day and another in Newcastle the next. Yes that does happen, 4 times a year in fact!

Having a tick-sheet means I don't have to try and remember and draw up a list each time I pack up for a workshop. It also means that I can easily calculate quantities of materials needed depending on number of people attending.

Having a tick-sheet also means I can give the job to someone else to do as everything is listed and written down... now what's not to like about that?

Paula Dunn Artist tick-list for workshops


Sounds obvious really when you think about it but you would be surprised how many people become too busy to create a quick studio hack which will save them time basically and also free up some of that brain power.


What's included in a tick-sheet?

So what do I include on my tick-sheet? Everything I need to run a workshop from cold wax right through to the bin bags for disposing of waste.

You can create your tick-sheet to include whatever it is you need and will help you but if you have to keep remembering something it's probably best included on that sheet.


How to make one

So my tick-sheets are basically lists of items printed out on A4 sheets of paper which I have then taken to my local stationery suppliers to laminate for less that £1. 

Laminating them means I can keep reusing them time and time again. Just wipe off and start again.

Paula Dunn Artist wipe clean tick-sheet


Keeping them useful

I recently updated these tick-lists as my workshop supplies list changed as I streamlined my practice and also workshops adapted to COVID.

Just set yourself 30 mins once a year to review whether they need updating to make sure they keep working for you. Simple and cost effective.


Workshop on wheels

A few years ago I invested in my trusty toolbox on wheels called Stanley. It is ideal for workshops as I can get almost everything in there that is needed for a workshop. It also has handy sections which just unclip and can be plonked on a workshop table without the need to decant the contents.

Workshop on wheels with Paula Dunn Artist

This is is a great little tool box which makes transporting tools and materials so much easier.

Workshop on wheels with Paula Dunn Artist

The tool box can be split so you can just take the sections you need. No need to be carrying loads of separate boxes around with me. 


Continuously improving

I am always looking to make life a little easier and this year I ditched my glass palettes for the disposable paper palettes for workshops. There were a couple of reasons for doing this - firstly I had some participants who were dismayed by leaving paint after a workshops. The disposable palettes allowed them to easily take leftover paint home with them should they wish to.

Secondly, the palettes are super heavy, especially when you have 12 of them and they were not particularly big and I always had requests for a second palette. By ditching them they also created a little bit more space in Stanley.

The downside is that unlike the glass palettes they are not reusable and there is an additional expense.


Share your studio hacks

Have you got any tips for taking your art supplies on the road? I'd love to hear about them.


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