A large part of being a productive artist is about having a reliable and comfortable workflow. Each of us has our own needs and habits when working, but over the years, there are a few tools that have become truly indispensable to me in the studio. They usually save me time, add convenience, or simply keep my studio clean. I think most of these items would benefit a lot of artists, and so I like to highlight my favorite tools in a series of posts I call ‘Studio Equipment’.

You can see previous tools I’ve mentioned here:

The majority of my work is done traditionally in oil paint. But often times, I use acrylics, gouache, colored pencils, airbrush, make clay sculptures and lots of other things. That means there is just a lot of little stuff laying around everywhere, lots of which I rarely use. When trying to keep a studio organized, it’s hard to find a good place to keep all these things out of the way, but still at an arms reach. For this reason, pegboard has become one of favorite studio tools!

I use an industrial work cabinet for a lot of my studio storage. Even though it is full of drawers and shelves, it is the included pegboard wall which is most useful to me. This wall allows me to attach a variety of containers that I can quickly toss all of my odds and ends in. Pencils, pens, tape, palette knives… all the little junk that constantly piles up everywhere now has a convenient spot to get tossed into. It’s suuuuuper easy to access and keeps things really tidy. It has also significantly reduced the amount of time it takes me to clean my studio now, which I usually do before the start of each new painting.

I like to use these rings:

With these cups:

And the best part is, if there is something new I need a space for, I simply add another container for it and the problem solved! I make use of these pegboard rings quite a lot, which lets me attach cups to my wall. More and more, I like using cups for storage instead of drawers because I can easily see what’s inside them.

I also have a rolling cart that I keep all my acrylics on, and wheel around wherever I need. This cart also has pegboard on it, which allows me to customize it to my needs. Something as simple as a blowdryer (which I use a lot when working with water based media) can get real annoying when you’re picking it up and putting it down every few minutes and your work surface is covered in paint. Pegboard helps me with this too! I just add one of those same rings, and it has the perfect place to call home.

I even outfitted my computer desk with a pegboard rail, which lets me attach these convenient little baskets to my desk, and move them around as needed. Flash drives, SD cards, cords… it all gets tossed into a basket when I want it out of the way.

I like to use these exact baskets found here, which are a great size for pencils as well:

I’ve attached them to this rail:

For the most part, I retrofitted existing studio furniture I already had with pegboard, making due where needed. But if I were to redo things, now knowing just how convenient the pegboard is, I likely would have integrated it into my studio a LOT more, and with much larger surfaces. An entire wall of pegboard would be great and could easily hold all of my paints, and even organize them all by hue!

So if you’re looking for a simple, and versatile, solution to keeping your studio organized, try installing some pegboard somewhere. Or, it’s more more modern cousin, slatwall.