Creative Workspaces

I asked some writers and artists to tell me a bit about their desks and studios…

Caroline Allen

Ceramic Artist

Giggleswick, UK
“My studio is a classroom which I have access to as part of a one year residency programme in a school. I teach ceramics for twelve hours each week, and the rest of the time is mine to work towards a solo show that will conclude the residency in July. My current work is an illustration of Calvino’s  Invisible Cities. I am working on a large installation inspired by objects in cities. I usually start with photographs and drawings of things I find in the street, and then translate these into 3D objects using clay.”
Cazza's studio

Ed Harris

Playwright & poet

Brighton, UK
“This is my office. I try and keep all my crap separate. The desk on your right is where I write (le crap digital), the desk on your left is where I plan (le crap analogue). At the moment I’m doing an adaptation of Franz Kafka’s The Castle for Radio 4. That big book you’re looking down on there has all the The Castle’s pages cut out and stuck in it (two copies died in the making of that Bumper Book of Kafka) – this helps me get a bit of a bird’s eye view on different sections. The page on the right is kept bare for notes to myself; but, as you can see, I don’t have any notes for this bit. Partly because it’s my favourite moment of the book*, and I don’t want to be all tight-arsed about enjoying myself when I splurge it onto the computer. My workspace is invariably the messiest part of my flat. Other things that might interest you are a) my awards shelf and b) my shelf of unpaid bills. They balance each other out nicely.
*the bit with K. and Frieda at the peephole.”
Ed is represented by Berlin Associates. His website is Find him on Twitter @edmundharris 

Ed's workspace

Mark Sheerin

Art Journalist

Brighton, UK

“My workspace is quite minimal. I write longhand in the kitchen (foreground) and type it up in the living room (background). It’s usually more cluttered than this.”

This is Mark’s website: and you can find him on Twitter @criticismism

mark desk(s)

Bryony Jackson


Manchester, UK

“My desk is propped up with Kiss videos. It’s made of recycled plastic – made from wellies, bank cards, carrier bags and mobile phones. There’s a signed Breaking Bad picture above it. I always think it’d be good to have a really clear desk and not be distracted but I can’t do that. I like to have it cosy.”

You can find Bryony’s art here:

Bryony's workspace

Joseph Segaran


Amsterdam, The Netherlands

“I don’t know what to say about my desk. Just that when my head is so full of thoughts I like my desk to be as clean, simple and relaxed as possible. Drawing is meditation. That is all.”

You can see Joseph’s art at and find him on Twitter @joseph_segaran

Joseph's desk

Kim Hutson

Writing for Children MA student & Museum Supervisor

Manchester, UK

“This is my desk. It’s in the little spare room in our rented home which my mum says is her room, even though it’s more usually my study. The window is big and light and looks out over the back road behind my house and has seen next door’s children play with water in the sun on the cobbles. It’s seen the bins gliding from one end to the other and gates torn open by the wind and it’s seen the rain pouring in a thick wedge from the blocked gutter above where my desk is – outside and in. I’ve flung it open wide to clear my head during a long night of writing just to feel the realness of the rain and I’ve slammed it shut at the sound of a wasp. My desk is by a big window. It’s a mess, but who cares?”

Find Kim on Twitter @Winecrucifix

Kim's desk

David Bailey


Manchester, UK

“The working area keeps getting smaller and smaller. It’s always covered in rubbings and there’s a lots of ink on it. I’m not precious about keeping it clean. My dad got me it about eight years ago when I moved back home for a bit. It was dirty on the top so this is the ‘fresh side’.”

You can find David’s art here: and follow him on Twitter @bathedailey

David's workspace

Alexis Somerville

Your humble editor

York/Brighton, UK

“My desk is usually in some state of organised clutter. I like to keep it fairly tidy as it helps me focus, but I also like to be surrounded by stuff. I use it for drawing, painting, writing, making cards & zines etc.  This is a temporary workspace at my parents’ house as I came back to recover from foot surgery. It’s my childhood desk and there isn’t enough legroom. It’s the Ryanair of desks. Soon I’ll be travelling the UK and the world again so out of necessity I’ll have a more minimalist space. And then probably fill it with stuff over time.”

Alexis' desk (2)

4 Responses to “Creative Workspaces”
  1. David Waters says:

    Really enjoyed this. Great idea for a piece Alexis

  2. goofymoose says:

    Love the blog 🙂 The desk where I sit and make jewelry is decorated with (among other things) postcards that my mom and I bought from you at a cafe in Brighton last year! -Carolyn

    • Alexis says:

      That’s great, Carolyn! It’s good to hear from you and I’m glad you like the blog. Let me know if you’d like your workspace to be featured in a future post – I’m planning on doing a few! 🙂

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