Creative Hand Lettering Work-Spaces

What does your work-space look like?

Do you have mounds of paper everywhere? Can you even see the desk top color? Can you imagine your CEO coming to greet you at your desk? What impression would s/he get from your work-space? I want to share with you why its important to not only have a work space but to keep your workspace clean, and why you should have the proper associations within those work spaces.

In all the places I've worked, there has always been that one person who is really messy, and at times you'll notice that some people are very clean and organized. Why is that? Which one are you more drawn to?  Are you one to claim, “My space is an 'Organized mess’". Is this even really a term? While this term may bring some truth in which you know where everything is, its important to remember that being organized has its benefits and is a great practice to being a great professional. You never know when you'll be out and a co-worker may need to use your space. Try to keep your area clean as you don't want to ruin your reputation. There are some people who do not mind having their tools on display, while others like to make it look as though no one is there. I like the clean crisp look but I also don't mind my tools being out. 

Where do you practice hand lettering?

When I first started out I would practice at the dining room table - late nights after everyone else settled in. It was large enough for me to spread my things out - paper, pencil, laptop, reference sheet, light table erasers and all the other tools I would need to get started on my practice session. Eventually though I needed to start consolidating my work because my mom was getting upset with me leaving my things out. I have a mini storage room in the basement which I've turned into my quiet space and studio. It isn't very large but it works. 

I have a desk, a chaise lounge an armoire for my clothes, a book shelf and makeshift closet for additional clothes. I try my best to use this space to my advantage but this isn't always the case. 

It's important to have a place to work and practice where you will not be interrupted. When you are concentrated on your work you are able to crank more things out and work very effectively. 

Here's what my workspace looks like: 

Aside the chair is my makeshift closet, to my left is the book shelf and behind me is my armoire (all not visible in the photo).

Aside the chair is my makeshift closet, to my left is the book shelf and behind me is my armoire (all not visible in the photo).

A close up of where I go to practice. Do you notice a theme?   On the desk I have a cutting mat and my paint Brushes.   I need to add more wall art!

A close up of where I go to practice. Do you notice a theme?

On the desk I have a cutting mat and my paint Brushes.

I need to add more wall art!

Can Your Workspace Affect The Way You Work?

YES! I find myself unable to focus when there is clutter and build up around me. It becomes a distraction and is somewhat of a visual noise. I loose focus and feel that maybe I should be folding clothes to put away. Or maybe I should sweep the carpet or maybe I should - keep my space clean so that I can stay focused when I come down to work! 

At times I am listening to music while I work or a pod cast or maybe an audio book.

When practicing lettering its great to listen to some other resource that will keep you focused especially in the beginning. The practice sessions can be mundane when you are repeating letters and are not practicing compositions, inking your hand lettered sketches, or vectoring them on the computer. 

Where can I practice If I Don't Have A Workspace At Home?

There are creative studios in which you can rent out and even collaborate with other creative. you want to keep in mind though what are you trying to accomplish? Are you looking for collaborations? A professional space? Meetups? This too requires discipline as you can become distracted from other people - especially if you are an extrovert. 

Setting aside designated spaces - and allocating the proper associations within those spaces are highly important. Lets go down a list of typical rooms in a house:

  • Living Room - you think of lounge area, family time, television room.

  • Kitchen - you think of food, mom's baking.

  • Bed Room - reading, sleep.

I would hate to associate my bed room sleeping area with work. Often times if you lack the resources, rooms that would serve a different purpose - like sleep - can be divided with the right associations. If you must use your bedroom, create a desk area facing away from the bed. If its the kitchen - be sure to use it when food is not in front of you! Or while mom is baking a delicious cake. For me the alternative room was the living room. I don’t watch much television and I can turn the stereo on to listen to something productive, or put on some ambient noise while I practice. If you enjoy working at home and would like to bring some background noise check out

The environment in which you work can have a huge effect on your productivity. 

Some Questions To pose and think about:


Think about when you are most productive,

  • What time of day is it?

  • Where are you?

  • What does the space look like?

  • What feeling does it bring?

For me, my space needs to be clean. I can't lie though, sometimes I do have that organized mess, but at the end of the day I am sure to put everything in order before I leave my work space. With my at home work space, I'I have managed to create a dedicated work area. It's not too big but it gets the work done. 

Do you have dedicated workspace? What does it look like? 

I can’t wait to fill my walls with more art and Hand Lettering pieces. It’s been rough getting practice sessions in as I dedicate my mornings to writing and my health and fitness goals. I have a few weddings coming up and I am in the process of prepping for those. I’ll be sharing my work soon.

Local To NJ/NYC?
Here are some resources for workspaces:

NYC creative work-spaces:



NJ Creative work-spaces:

Hands Inc:

Art Factory:


"Your WorkSpace Says A Lot About You, 
What Impression Would You Like To Leave? "



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Keshna Donia