This is a question I often ask myself. Surely ones needs a certain amount of things with which to make art?
My generously sized art room is stuffed full with art and craft materials. Yet at art school I managed with a tiny studio space, it was no more than 1 metre wide and 2 metres long, and all my art materials had to fit inside. But it didn’t stop me from making art – I made far more art than I do now.
The problem with art materials is they offer possibilities! Throwing out materials seems so wasteful and it’s easy to convince yourself that you’ll want it again someday. It’s especially hard with found objects which I use in collage or second hand things such as funky retro fabric which you might never see again.
But ultimately I think having too many art materials actually hinders creativity. Not only do excess materials clutter up your studio leaving no room to make art but there is a point where it’s easy to forget if you even own the stuff, so you are not even aware of the so called possibilities in the room.
Most importantly I think creativity needs boundaries. If you have ever faced a blank canvas and felt overwhelmed you will know what I mean. It’s far easier to be limited to an A4 size paper, a pencil and a subject matter – because then you have somewhere to start. It’s ironic but instead of giving you more choice having too many art materials can be bewildering.
So I guess I have talked myself into clearing out my studio!