A Sweet Art Studio & 7 Tips on Making A Studio

Teesha Moore posted an article on her blog, that shows a glimpse of her really awesome studio and art supplies. I am completely jealous.

Why can't my studio be this ridiculously awesome? I mean... her studio is absolute stunning. It's full of personality, but still incredibly well organized. Don't even get me started on the wonderful island counter in the middle, or the cute draperies and artworks! I just love it.

If I had a gold star for the coolest studio, she would totally get it. 

I've been thinking a lot about what kinds of things I could do with my studio to make it really fantastic. So far, I've only been successful and drooling over other art studios. Although in my research, I've found a couple necessary parts to creating an art studio of any sort. These 7 tips should be well though out before making any major decisions about studio space.

1. Furniture
The furniture that is used in the studio is probably the most important part of the studio. Where you work is incredibly vital to how effective your studio is. Without the proper furniture you need, or the proper formation of the furniture pieces, something won't quite work right in the art making process. It's vital to pay close, mindful attention to how you make your art. How do you prefer to make things? (i.e. rolling around between multiple stations working different things at once, dancing and painting the easel at the same time, etc.)

2. Lighting
Lighting is nearly as important as the furniture, but not quite. The best tip I can give is to stay away from halogen and incandescent lights. They are incredibly damaging to artwork when exposed to these lights for too long. The best type of lights to use for artwork are Daylight Lightbulbs, they have a more blue/green based light source. And if you're up on your biology, this is a very close replication of natural sunlight, which artworks love. I have recently began switching out our incandescent light-bulbs and replacing them with daylight bulbs. The daylight bulbs are more expensive, but your art and house plants will thank you. 

3. Efficiency
A tricky aspect of setting up the studio. Efficiency. 
Efficiency in the workflow and process is found in proper arrangement of the furniture according to what you need and want.
As far as supplies go, I've found the best way to address this is to make art for a few weeks and pay attention to what materials you find yourself using the most, sometimes it's surprising to see what materials and mediums you instinctively grab for and use often but don't think twice about. Once you know the materials you use most often, pick a tackle-box or art supplies/tool kit organizer, and fill it with the art supplies you find yourself using most. This way your immediate art supplies are always ready to go and available.
For the rest of your supplies, the efficiency is found in organizing properly. 

4. Organizing
I love organizing. It just makes everything a lot easier, smoother, and simpler. You save time and energy by organizing efficiently. The only downside is making sure the organizing is efficient. I do this by taking an inventory of all the art supplies I own. Then, seperate them into general categories (papers, fabrics, recycle, watercolor, paints, etc.) The categories you choose should reflect what you own. I would keep toying with how you organize, until you can know where any art material is in a moment's notice. 

5. Personality
My favorite part of the studio. The parts of my studio that reflect my personality; my aquatic plant tank, my house plants, Samson's bed, my favorite books, my vinyl records, my CD collection, my personal projects and artworks hanging all around for inspiration, a bulletin board, my buddha statue collection, my Apache rug, etc. etc. Personality makes your studio yours. But that can also be a pitfall. Honestly, when you look at my studio now, all it does is reflect my personality. (Which brings me to point number 7...)

6. Energy/Atmosphere
The energy and atmosphere is not really a necessity, but it's a huge plus for maintain a consistent workflow. The energy that is created comes from furniture, lighting, personalizing, and aesthetics. My atmosphere is very earthy. This is from the dark stains on my wood furniture, my big green plants, my running water tank, open windows, pretty music. And the atmosphere is created. 
7. Workspace, Not Showroom
My studio has suffered from this time and time again. I start out working in the studio, and eventually it becomes overrun with projects and works-in-progress, and completed things, and somewhat started things, and almost finished things that I'm still stuck on. I've started to get in the habit of making a migration for my paintings and artworks into other rooms of our home.When all of your past creations are piling up in your studio, it's nearly impossible to make progress psychically and mentally. 

Hopefully, I can make some great changes to my own studio. And, yes, I will be back with Before & After photos. Lots of goodness.



Mixed Media Tutorial: Pen & Ink

 Ink is my favorite medium. I absolutely love ink. I love water colors too. And I love them both for the same reasons. They can be thick and pigmented and rich, or thin, transparent, and barely opaque. They are very powerful and understated mediums. Since my greatest talent is using inks and watercolors, and I'm doing more of this work soon, I thought I would give a run down of how I make Pen & Ink drawings.

(Pictured at the top) Speedball India Ink. This ink is wonderful. When wet, it moves around easily on the paper, when dry it's waterproof. I love this ink, and it's not terribly expensive, even for a large bottle.
Secondly, the ink pen and other tool. The Ink pen is a standard drawing pen. I abuse my pens pretty heavily with some techniques that would make other artists cringe. But sometimes, it's necessary to be rough with the materials to make them do things that they aren't supposed to. The other tool is a wooden stick with metal sticks coming out of it. I use this tool for many techniques in the Pen & Ink process.
I also used watercolors, watercolor pencils, acrylic paints, and ink pigments.


First, I choose a subject matter. This time it's a seahorse. Even getting to this point may be tricky for some people, but keep in mind that I've been practicing this medium for 4 years nonstop, day in and out. I find it's helpful to experiment with line thickness and to learn how your tools work and what they're capable of. Even a not-so-good drawing can look really awesome in Pen & Ink.

Then, I started coloring in certain spaces with watercolor pencils. For this part it's just instinct to where the lines and color should flow. The pressure that is applied to the pencils changes the brightness of the color. I prefer to keep things trather transparent. At this stage, I also began adding some water and pulling out the wet  black inks and pulling the colors in the directions I wanted. (far right) 

If this was one of my artworks that I was creating for a personal or commercial purpose, I would begin taking this artwork in a different direction. But I don't want to give away all of my secrets! So, I decided to just have fun with this work and make it more on the educational side.
As you can see, I've added more color with the pencils. I also added more color with some other inks and color paints I had around my studio. I put down all the medium dry and use water to push it around.

Since the left side of the composition was rather empty I thought I would add my typical cherry blossom flowers which I've used in numerous drawings before this one. I used water to pull out the black ink and make more movement.

Then, I got some sudden inspiration for a background. In Arizona, I often rode the bus to school, from me and Daniel's apartment. Every morning, I would pass over the bridge the was over Tempe Town Lake. I would play this song I loved on my Ipod and enjoy seeing the sun rise over the giant man-made lake. It brought me a lot of happiness to feel that every morning. So, I added in a sun, the body of water, the bridge, the road, and started writing in the lyrics from the song that made the moment so beautiful.

This is the final stage of this artwork. I finished writing in the lyrics, and dove in with some acrylic paints. I added the bright warm colors around the edge, using a technique I developed a couple years ago. The flowers were my favorite part. I love the shade of blue. It's so pretty. 

The end product isn't something I'm putting in my portfolio or anything. But I'm still very happy with how it turned out. 

Looking back, I tended to say a lot of, "a technique that I made", "something that only I know", and I realize that I'm rather secretive in my presentation of this tutorial. But I don't want to influence what any one else is making too much. And I like having special secret techniques that I made and learned. It's kind of exciting to think about them that way. 

Does anybody else work with Pen & Ink a lot? What kinds of things do you make? 


The Art Studio

I daydream about the kind of studio I would love to have. My daydream often goes like this...

Two stories with a spiral staircase, with large gallery space in front, stock and workshops in the back.
Upstairs is a flat open space with tapering ceilings. Large murals cover walls, floors, and ceilings. With large easels holding giant works-in-progress. Large bins of paper rolls, a wall covered in small drawers for pens and pencils. A rolling paint tube holder. Large spread tables, a light table, a real drafting table, lots of lights, and don't even get me started on the decorating...

At this point, I think of my spare bedroom (which I'm lucky to have!), but I can't help but think of how much space it lacks for how I like to work. I'm very thankful for my little studio, but it's so difficult for me to work the way I like to in such a small space.

So far, I've tried probably 50 different arrangements of 5 pieces of furniture in this 14 foot by 10 foot space.

It's been insane. Ask Daniel, he's had to listen to the screeching of the furniture on the tile and my yelling when I set it down on my own foot.

I've only photographed two of the attempts that worked for a little while. I always end up changing it.

Attempt #1:

Attempt #2:

Currently I've got a very weird set-up compared to all this. I've lost the desk in the back corner, and the dresser which is not photographed. It's not that I'm showing off or anything. It makes me absolutely miserable! I can't figure out what I don't enjoy working in my studio. I wish I could just go and work but the arrangement and tightness makes me feel so clustered. Not to mention the need to organize piles and piles of art supplies. It's almost a lost cause.

Does anybody have any advice on art studios?
I've looked for inspiration in many different places, but I'm not quite satisfied. I can't make this little place into a dream studio.

Any suggestions? Recommendations? Advice? Ideas? Comments?
Hopefully I can post some more pictures of my studio and what I'm hoping to do with it soon.


Art Supplies: Organizers & Carriers

I think any person who has a serious art journal that they diligently add to every day can understand this problem. Whether you collage in your journal everyday, write your heart out, or play around with paint, there's no denying the need for having your journal and supplies ready at a moment's notice.

I have 11 journals that I simultaneously add to. And I like to use all kinds of mediums. Gesso, inks, coffee, watercolors, pens, collages, and anything else I can find. But I tend to find excitement in the idea of working on my journal where ever I may be.

I've seen some journal fans who carry decorated tin boxes, cigar boxes, pencil pouches, plastic pencil boxes, and fabric brush/pencil holders. And I really love the idea.

Here are some pictures that I stole from Google Image Search for inspiration and ideas. (art supplies holder, art supplies organizer, art supplies carrier)

Also, Moleskinerie has an article posted about a really awesome art journal supplies carrier. It's Chellis Compact Single Zipper Field Bag (Dims: 9.75 " x 7.50" x 2.50"). I'm not sure who supplies it, but I can easily find it to purchase online for about $40. But since my Art Journal Supplies Organizer budget is about $0, I'm going DIY on this one.

Here's a photo of the Chellis, I guess it was intended as tool kit holder. But it works, right?


I guess ideally, it would be nice to have an organizer that can just carry all of my art things in one neat little package. With lots and lots of little pockets and extra spaces for things. Ooh, I love the ideas I'm getting.
This will probably be one of my side projects for now. But, I'm going to be searching for inspiration and drawing up some sketches to show here soon.

Do you have any special things you use to carry your art supplies around? Do you have pictures of these things? I would love to see!


Kaylee Hinrichs on Behance & Redbubble

I've added a couple new buttons to the Links section on the left sidebar. At Behance, you can see my completed series, my resume, and more. At RedBubble, you can purchase prints from me in a variety of formats.

Here are the links:


If you have a spare moment, you may want to bookmark them as they will be growing rapidly from here and who knows what other wonderful, (and afforadble!) creations I may add.

Thank you!

Later today you can expect two new articles: one on Art Journals, and one is a tutorial!
Check back soon.



A New Addition

Well, I've never really gotten around to making a page on this blog about my little family. I talk about them all the time, but I don't supply any real context to who they are. And that's going to change.
I'll give a quick history for those who don't already know.

Daniel and I met in Arizona. He was studying at ASU, and I was studying at NSA.

After we met, we were like two peas in a pod. We both love art, animals, Star Wars Battlefront, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
So, we were pretty much made for each other.

We moved to Costa Rica in May 2010, and we're currently making a lot of art, showing, and selling.
In our spare time, we spend a lot of time with our dogs, and YouTube.

After we moved, I had to leave behind some of my best friends, my family, and my animals.

I used to have a Golden Labrador, Amber. She was my best friend and I was really sad to have to leave her in Arizona.
I love Labradors in general. They're always so happy and cheerful, it's so nice to wake up to that kind of peppy attitude.

After a couple months of being in Costa Rica, I knew I needed a furry companion and quick (to ease the homesickness).

We got extremely lucky one day while driving home from the store. It was pouring rain, one of the worst storms in Costa Rica that season. And from way down the road, we saw a soggy, little poofball skipping down the road. We continued driving past the little poofball, and we both decided to turn around and go get him. Little did we know, we had just obtained the best dog ever. Literally. In all of dog history. He is the best.

And for eight months. This is how we've been. Me (missing Amber), Daniel, and Sam. Until a couple weeks ago.

The Bear

This is Bear. He's a really, really dark brown Labrador-something-or-other. He's adorable, as you can see, but he's not as tame as he appears.
Bear was being used as a guard dog somewhere in this country. He was tied to a tree for most of his life, (he's about one year old), and has some issues.
Once we got him, we brushed up on some Ceasar Milan techniques, and tried to train him properly so he could be a normal and happy dog.
The amount of energy that this dog has is not of this world.
He's really loving, happy, and pretty well-mannered. But he has some issues that we're trying to help him with.
But Daniel and I think that eventually he'll become somewhat normal again.
We go to the top of the hill we live by, and play for a couple hours. Here are some adorable pictures of Sam and Bear.

The last picture is of me pinning Bear down a little bit, so he will sacrifice the toy. And Sam watching.
It's funny because during "playtime" the only ones who are really playing are Daniel and Bear. Me and Sam tend to just sit in the grass and look at the valley.

It's not terribly beautiful from the photograph. But that's just the trouble with trying to get a picture of the San Jose valley, a photo just won't do it justice.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed hearing a little about my family and our new dog! Tell me a bit about yourself and your family in the comments, or send me an email, or follow my blog, or don't. That's fine too.


some thinkings and links

Hello, it's been a minute since I've posted anything. No, it's not procrastination. No, I'm not hiding any great project up my sleeve. It's actually got more to do with my creativity.

For the first time in my life I was in a position where my art needed to buy me food, shelter, and everything else I needed. And it's not as easy as I was hoping it would be. Being in this position, it's difficult to summon up the courage to venture into the studio. You can't help but feel stifled and stuck. (Or as least, I felt this way.) All of the sudden, before I realized it, my creativity had dried up and vanished. Completely and utterly gone.

I pretended for a long while it was a phase, but the phase went on for almost a year. At the beginning, I looked up interesting art projects and artists and tried to get inspired. I toyed around with computer graphics programs, and pretended that was a great artistic outlet. But it wasn't giving me what I needed.

I found that out as the year came to a close, and I had plenty of built up emotions and ideas that I usually channel through artwork. But without the outlet, I bottled it all up inside, and didn't even notice.

Honestly, I thought I was going crazy. I couldn't figure out where my mind was. Finally, I had some small released. I managed to work in some art journals, a couple drawings, some small things here and there. But overall, I was still blocked up.

Last night I realized what it is. Rather, Daniel realized what it is.

I was growing irritated with the growing need to be consistent, concise in subject matter, style, and technique. It was driving me insane. I'm a girl of many interests, and being that I'm so complex and crazy, I need to be able to express them all. Because I do love them all. But I kept thinking that "it's more impressive to have a concise and consistent portfolio".

After listening me babble that nonsense for about twenty minutes, Daniel basically said, "Well, you have many things you do. Who says you can't do them all?"

And I really got it. So, I've decided to change directions. I've decided to try and expand what I do, experiment more, try new things, and grow. After all, lack of growth is probably the worst thing for a creative professional. It just took me a year to realize that.

Coming Soon

So, now, I've redirected what I'm doing. You can expect more tutorials, how-to's, tips, tricks, recommendations, and the like.
You can also expect more art journal pages, original artworks, mixed media, watercolor, inks, and a whole lot of wonderful artsy creations. (I'm quite excited to see where this all goes myself!)

I've joined a few websites, if you have a moment, go check them out, tell me what you like (or don't like) about my art, say hello!


Thank you!


The Great Painting (The Life Span of a Painting)

 2 weeks

 7 weeks

(Post 3-month procrastination) Nov. 2010

Feb. 2011 (Final Edition)
"The Great Painting"
(The Beginning)
Date: June 2010 - February 2011
By: Kaylee Hinrichs
Size: 3ft. x 4ft.
Medium: Acrylic
Price: $1,500

The meaning of this painting, in my opinion, is showing re-birth.
The phoenix is the most well-known symbol of re-birth, as it is said that the fiery bird dies and rises again from it's ashes. I believe the phoenix is a powerful symbol on a personal level. To symbolize the strength to start all over again. Even when it's the last thing you want to do. 
On a larger scale, it represents the birth of humanity. And also the death of humanity. 
And that we have a special purpose in this world. 
So, even if we fail, we have the strength to start all over again. 

I love this painting, dearly. 

I'll be adding a few more touch ups, but this is the last edition of the Work In Progress. 
I enjoy seeing the changes and progress of the painting. I probably should have photographed it more frequently to show a more distinct process. But, I'll just have to do that next time.

"Enlightenment" Is Complete

This is the first drawing I've completed in my newest Art Journal. I titled it, "Enlightenment".

By: Kaylee Hinrichs
Date: January 2011
Medium: Colored Ink, Mixed Media
Size: 14in. x 11 1/2 in.
Original: $300

 I spent 3 full studio days working on this drawing. In person, it's rippled with texture, though it's a drawing. It embodies spiritual Enlightenment and freedom from the Ego. I'll fallen in love with this drawing and I think I might be using it for business cards, portfolio book and the like. Unless, there's someone out there who would like to purchase the original.

Here's a few detail shots of the drawing.

If you are interested in purchasing this piece, please contact me at kayleehinrichs@live.com.
I would be happy to hear from you. 

I hope you enjoyed the artwork!


New Art Journal Pages

I am an art journal fanatic. I currently have 9 sketchbooks and art journals that I'm working in. (Very slowly.) The three in the picture are the ones that I find myself using the most. I have completed some drawings and started some new things to share.

This is my favorite art journal. I collaged it with some fancy papers, old collage materials, and Banana Paper. It has a matching pocket on the inside of the front cover. It's also completely laminated, so any mod podge, gesso, or paint can be removed easily without damage to the covers.

The first page after opening the cover is:

I really liked this page. The materials I used were: dictionary pages and antique magazines, with gesso, watercolors, chalk pencils, and Liquid Copper (a wonderful material to have). I think what I have is a really great background. So, I'm planning to go over it with a drawing or pen & ink. I haven't quite decided...


This drawing is from the 3rd journal in the stack (from the photo at the top of this article).

This is a work in progress as well, the vortex is the last thing that needs to be filled. This artwork taught me two major things about creating artwork.

1. Practice makes perfect. You must practice if you ever want to be perfect at anything.
Sometimes I feel a lot of pressure to create masterpieces every time I pick up a paintbrush. And this artwork taught me that I can't do that and shouldn't do that.

2. The new Stabilo pens are amazing and I love them.

Anyways, I was going to share one more drawing... But I'm going to wait until I get a little farther along until I start showing my progress.

Does anybody else have a wicked cool art journal that they're working in?
I'd love to see some of your pages!



Watercolor Love

The first time I tried watercolors in high school, I was experimenting with color combinations, textures, and rubber cement effects. I actually managed to create something with subject matter other than animals, which was really difficult for me. 

After I had reached a point where I needed to add something extra to my artwork, and remembered the "Monsters" painting (above, left). I attempted to revive my watercolor inspiration and try again. The first set of works were no Picasso's, but it's nice to see the growth and progress. (Nobody starts out an expert.)

I started drawing some animals with microns and waterproof inks, then going over them with watercolor. In these works I was just experimenting with how watercolors worked, but they turned into wonderful works of art. 

(On the Left) "Play", Medium: Watercolor/Inks, Size: 6in. x 8in.
(On the Right) "Octopus", Medium: Watercolor/Inks, Size: 8 1/2in. x 11in. 
(Below) "The Painters", Medium: Watercolor/Inks, Size: 8 1/2in. x 11in.


 In many of my later works, I tried photo transfers of other images (more animals), and watercolored over those. The work to the left was one of my first tries.

I had a lot of fun with the process (and I think it shows), but I wasn't getting the effects I wanted.

"Elephant's Paint"
Medium: Watercolor, Inks
Size: 8 1/2in. x 11in.

The drawing featured in this artwork was originally drawn by Damien Gold, one of my friends and classmates at The New School for Arts. 

In this artwork, I managed to get the wave effect I truly desired. I think what really made this work so strong was a focus on a selection of colors. Greens, yellow/ochres, purple, and hints of burgundy and teal.

Of course Damien's drawing really makes it what it is.

"A Woman of Color"
Medium: Watercolor, Inks
Size: 8 1/2in x 11in.
By: Kaylee Hinrichs, Damien Gold's drawing


"Seventeen Years In The Desert" 
Date: 2008
Mediums: Mixed Media
Size: 2in. x 6in.
Photography By Damien Gold

Although, I've always had a deep passion for photography, and I've studied dark room techniques in my own time, I have never taken a formal photography class. And even though my school had fantastic facilities, I was taking too many painting and mixed media classes to afford a photo class. I regret it all the time.

Anyways, all of my friends took photography and photographed me sometimes for projects. I often asked for their old test strips, because I realized that I could watercolor and put inks and drawings on them. Which awakened this whole entire range of possibilities to choose from. 

"Bright As The Sun"
Photography By Damien Gold
Medium: Mixed Media
Size: 2in. x 6in. 

peace & love,


To start off, I figure I'll give a little history for my artistic life and career so far. 

"Build It Up, Break It Down"
(A Self-Portrait)
Medium: Mixed Media
Date: Spring 2008
Size: 1 1/2 ft. X 1 1/2 ft.
I've always been extremely creative. Even as a little girl, I was always creating, coloring, drawing. I had the eye of a designer, instinctively knowing basic design principles. My true passion in art didn't develop until I was about 10 years old, when one of my watercolor paintings was selected for an art show. 
After that, I spent my lunches and recesses in the art room. Just painting and painting. I could always be found with a sketchbook in my backpack which I doodled and drew in during class.

"Woman Of Color"
Medium: Watercolor/Inks
Date: 2009
Print: $50
Size: 8 1/2 in. X 11in.

When it came time for high school, I knew that I couldn't just go to any school. So, I left my childhood friends and went to a different school; The New School for Arts. There, I progressed beyond what I ever imagined I could do. I quickly become Advanced in Mixed Media, and was represented by Art One Gallery in Phoenix, Arizona for my entire high school span. At 16 years old, I graduated from The New School for Arts with a College Preparatory / Scholastic Diploma. 

"Deep Down"
Medium: Chalks, charcoals
Size: 2 ft. X 2 ft.
Date: 2008

During my last year, I met Daniel Icaza in Tempe, Arizona while he was studying at Arizona State University. After he graduated with a BFA, we moved to Costa Rica, where Daniel is from. 

Currently, I have my own art studio which I am constantly re-decorating and re-doing. But, I make a lot of artworks and crafts. I'm trying to make a living by doing the thing I know how to do best: creating art.

I'd love to hear about other artists' stories of how they got started in art. 
Feel free to leave feedback in the comments! I'd love to hear from you.