Dear Colleen,

Thanks for posting the picture of your studio, but didn’t you used to have more pictures to see? I looked all over the place on your blog and it doesn’t go past January. I was looking for ideas for setting up my studio, and I like the look of your place. Do you have any ideas for organizing art and files? I can never seem to find anything around here, and I don’t know where to find good cabinets I can afford to pay for.

Emery Cobbs

Hi Emery,

Yes, I did have lots of photos of my studio up on the old blog, but they are all down now. The blog has been completely redone. I am so glad you like my studio! I do have some very nice cabinets which were not sold as art files but as map chests. You can buy them from Home Decorators Collection.

They have a variety of types and sizes for sale, at a wide range of prices. I’ve had varying degrees of satisfaction with this company, and some items have arrived with drawers that stick very badly. Since one item arrived while I was on tour, I was not home to be able to inspect and return it within the 30 day window, I had to do some sanding and repair. More precisely, a manly relative did it for me.

The large map chest cannot take any heavy weight on top. I put some heavy books and a TV on top, and the furniture bowed (as good an excuse as any to save up for a lightweight flat screen TV…)

However, if you are willing to take the chance on possibly receiving an imperfect item it may be a pain in the butt to return, and can also do some minor sanding repair, they are a real bargain, easily costing a fraction of the cost of art studio furniture. They also look great. I hate those awful metal flat files.dscn0006

I don’t have enough map chest storage for all of my work, and recommend plain old plastic bins, which keep moisture and bugs out and can be stored safely in the garage. I even had a flood a few year’s back, and not one piece in these bins was damaged. I bought mine at the dollar store for less than $10 per box. I recommend smaller flat boxes instead of the big, deep bins. You’ll never find anything in those deep bins, and art tends to get damaged when you rummage through them.

But the contents of those art files have never really been in any kind of proper order. So, I am not the best person to ask for setting up proper art archives. Here’s a video series about organizing and setting up studio space, and I have not watched it because it looks a little antiseptic for my taste. But it’s free advice so if it works for you, good on ya!

Right now I am concentrating on making sure my current work archives are in the best order and making digital files of key art. That means thousands of images. So, I have no time to go through the old stuff. And most of the drawers for the files next to my drawing board hold work and files for current projects. The old stuff is boxed away.

However, once in awhile I give organizing this stuff a go, and here is a recent find; a Doctor Strange illustration I did back in high school! I think I was very heavily influenced by both John Byrne and Frank Brunner while I did this!


Doctor Strange and Dormammu © ® Marvel Comics