Studio Housekeeping

BB 26-27 final 150

Since I last posted here, I have sent off the art for BOOM BOOM, a 32-word picture book (each word is repeated once so it’s really 16 words, twice) by Sarvinder Naberhaus. It was a mad rush towards the end (it always is) and after I shipped it out, I felt joy, relief, and just a touch of fear (what if they don’t like it?…). Then the next day I came back to this:



What a mess!

Because the techniques I use involve many different tools and materials, things tend to spread out a bit.


My workspace gets kind of cluttered.


Pretty much every surface gets covered with something.


When I run out of horizontal space, I go vertical.




Since I usually am printing more than one image at a time, I need to have a lot of colors available on my inking table.


I try to keep them from drying out with saran wrap, and in order to keep track of what detail is which color, I started labeling the saved colors with a marker (and to keep track of the nine children I feature in the images, I gave them all names). All this needs to get scraped off and wiped clean.


And then I have to clean all my tools.


Plus there is the added detritus left from mounting the art and packing it up.



It feels good to be done with a large project like this at last, but also a little sad. I’ve enjoyed working on this book. I’ve lived with it for many months now. I will miss these characters and their world that I’ve made up, but I look forward to seeing them again, in a year or so, in their new home – the book itself.

BB 32 final 150

17 responses to “Studio Housekeeping

  1. Deborah Mersky

    Great post – the mess is absolute evidence of work! Inevitable . X d

  2. Wow, Margaret! If there’s a speck of space available, you’ve got it covered!! Looking forward to meeting all nine children sometime!

  3. What names did you give them?

  4. Boy and Girl (the two main characters), Charlie, John, Lori, Janet, Bennett, Frieda and Patty (after the two Peanuts characters).

  5. It looks beautiful. Um, not the studio. The art–what lovely clear colors.

  6. Amazing tornado that swept through your studio. Actually, I thought from the first photo that you meant you had come back to a home invasion – seriously. Then I realized you had just been through a whirlwind of work.

  7. wonderful post margaret! it is a breathtaking book. now for the cathartic cleaning of the studio!

  8. I love sneeky peeks into other peoples worlds! I have studio envy now!
    Lovely illustrations too.

  9. Amazing mess and sublime outcome. Did I spot printmaking tools? Is there stenciling involved. I would love to be a fly in your studio!

  10. Margaret,
    It’s good to know I’m not alone in having a mess when projects are in process. I hope the studio-keeping helps replace the sadness. I love the feeling of new possibilities when the decks are clear again.

  11. Divine chaos! The book looks brilliant, and I’m looking forward to seeing it. 🙂

  12. Margaret – LOVE seeing these photos. What a great post. You should add those to a Power Point for a school presentation. I bet budding artists would love to see this series.

  13. I love color and clutter and lovely art!

  14. Sarah Lamstein


  15. Pingback: Boom Boom Arrives | Books Around The Table

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