Coley Kuyper's Meaningful Studio
Profession: Painter & Calligrapher | Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Coley Kuyper is a freelance artist, wife, and a mama of five. Coley is one of my favorite artists I follow on Instagram, because I just can’t get enough of her sweet family and her beautiful artwork! She’s an avid coffee drinker, which must be how she’s able to juggle so much! When she’s not sitting down drawing or painting, she’s hanging out with her adorable kiddos. You can check out more of Coley’s work on her Etsy Shop. You can also read about her family adventures on her blog.
What inspires your work?
Most things that inspire be are from something that speaks deeply to my heart-- lyrics to a meaningful song, the things my kids find delight in, or something beautiful in nature that captures my eye and makes me want to paint it.
What are your favorite mediums and tools to use?
My go to mediums are watercolor and pencil and recently I've been adding ink with my favorite micron pens into that. I love windsor and newton brand watercolor & gouache paint. I also love to work with acrylic paint too whenever I have the extended time to sit down and do so.
What is one word you would use to describe your studio space?
What is your favorite thing about your studio space?
Probably the artwork that I have displayed from my girls that they've drawn for me over the years.
What are three items in your workspace that you can’t live without?
Well, practically it would be my computer, paint supplies, and paper.
What does a day in the life look like for you? What are your daily habits?
We start our days waking up with the kids (they're usually the ones waking me up--never really been a morning person, ha!). My husband, Shane or I will make them breakfast and coffee for us. Since my husband and I both work from home we tag team our working hours and being with the kids. So, depending on the day I either take the morning to work and switch with my husband in the afternoons and vice versa. We usually go over our schedules the beginning of the week to see what each of us needs. If I work in the morning I like to get away from the house (usually to a coffee shop) to tackle emails or blog posts or my Etsy shop so I can be less distracted. If I have an art project to work on I will lock myself in my little art studio to paint while my husband is with the kids. After my working hours are done in the morning, I'll hangout with the kids after their quiet time in the afternoon, start making dinner around 5 and usually I have a different girl take turns helping me with dinner for the night. After dinner we will do a family activity together (play a game, dance party, or just read books) before we get everyone settled and into bed. After bedtime is mine and Shane's time to hangout and watch a show or talk to each other and connect.
How do you practice self-care throughout the day?
Throughout the day is a tough one for me since we have so many littles always begging for our attention. I used to get up and do yoga in the morning, but I have let that slide recently (like I said, not a morning person! :)) Getting away from the house every once in a while by myself is helpful. Or taking the time to just have a nap! Even hiring a babysitter to come over so I don't go insane is something I've given myself permission to do more often, seeing how much it refreshes me to be alone sometimes.
How do you store your artwork?
When we added on to our house to build my studio I tried to think through the space in there to utilize it really well. We grabbed a bunch of cabinets and shelves from Ikea that store all of the inventory I have for my shop. I have drawers I keep all of the original work in for all the projects I've done or have going on. It still gets pretty messy in there when I'm in the middle of a bunch of things going on, but having places to put all the things is really helpful... its basically like organized chaos in there! haha!