Creative Workspaces #4

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

Natalia Kochan

Writer and artist

Long Beach, California, US

“This is my desk in my childhood bedroom. I’ve been moving around a lot, so it’s my only stable workspace. (Probably a more accurate picture of where I work would be a table in a coffee shop with a mug of yerba mate next to my laptop.) Last year I co-founded the web startup with the goal to help artists, writers, and musicians. Since then I haven’t had much time to write or paint, but I try to surround myself with as much creative work as possible to remind me of what I’m working toward and why it’s important. I always have a journal to write ideas in, paintings around me, and music playing while I work.”

Follow Nat on Twitter and Instagram and check out her website
Nat's Workspace

Hannah Berry


Brighton, UK

“Ideally my workspace would be a nest of trinkets and baubles and fabulous artwork from other people (and sometimes myself) and photos of my loved ones, but unfortunately the room itself has an embarrassing mould problem. There’s not much I can safely put on display so I’m forced to clutter up my desk with admin detritus instead, alongside a few non-perishable items. The Saul Goodman bobblehead jiggles whenever I rub things out. It’s the simple things, you know?

All my writing, drawing and painting takes place here: sometimes there’s a drawing board on my desk; sometimes there isn’t. Sometimes there’s a cat; sometimes there isn’t. Usually there’s a mug of tea.

Beneath the post-its with all the scenes for my current project, an inspirational message to myself reads “We are not at home to Mr Fuckabout”.”

Follow Hannah on Twitter and check out her  website

Hannah Berry's desk

Sophie Monks Kaufman


London, UK

“I have a desk at the film magazine where I am staff writer but get my best work done at home. I didn’t used to have a desk and would write in bed in a state of undress propped up by pillows. Impulsive naps were playing havoc with my flow so I bought a desk off Gumtree for £15. The fight now is for desk-space dominance. My boyfriend – excited by a new surface – insists on placing his possessions on the desk (I swept them asunder for this picture.) The Marcello Mastroianni poster is a souvenir from my first trip to Cannes Film Festival (a whole year ago). I find Marcello to be a stern but just overseer of my labours. As for the DVDS and misc items, I don’t mind clutter building up as long as there is a cultural association. Total order freaks me out while a few reminders of the artistic types at work in the world makes me feel connected to something bigger as I perform the solitary task that is writing.”

Follow Sophie on Twitter and check out her writing for Little White Lies

Sophie's desk

Alice Urbino


Bristol, UK

“My art has been very touch and go recently… I feel like my workspace is constantly changing and evolving along with my drawings and I still have yet to find a comfortable place for myself. Although my drawing board is here, you will find my stuff scattered all around the house. Like a raccoon getting into the trash… I make sure to frame lots of artwork in every room so I can be inspired no matter where I decide to build my nest.”

Find Alice’s work on her Facebook and Tumblr

Alice's desk

Aisling Nolan


Dublin, Ireland

“This is my workspace. It’s essentially a wooden desktop propped on top of some flat-pack furniture. I travel a lot and don’t always have my own space to work in so I like to have ample room to make a mess whenever I stand still for any length of time. The drawers and cubbies help to combat my messy nature and as I’m really easily distracted, I try to keep the area fairly clear save for things relating to whatever I’m working on at that time. And yes, that is a basket of IKEA pencils under a model VW van in the corner. They actually distract me quite a lot. Some day I’ll make something suitably pointless with them. Until then their presence on my desk is pointlessness enough.”

Follow Aisling on Tumblr

Aisling's desk

Poppy O’Neill

Jewellery maker and writer

Chichester, UK

“This is where I write. My jewellery-making desk is next to this one and is super messy. My ideas usually come from writing group, so they’re hand-written. If I don’t type them up quickly they disappear. I’m working on a new short story at the moment, so I’m reading lots of collections. The alphabet on the wall is by my mum, who’s an illustrator. It was originally for my children’s room, but I kept it in here because it reminds me that writing is just a collection of these 26 letters.”

Check out Poppy’s blog and find her jewellery company on Twitter and Etsy

Poppy's desk

Eleanor Bull

Performance designer

London and Brighton, UK

“This is my ‘work corner’- although ironically, it’s probably the place I do the least of my work – I should have taken a photo of my floor instead, or maybe snapped my grimacing housemates kindly putting up with the whirlwind of model-box making I inflict on the lounge. This is the first time in almost a year that the surface of the desk – or even its outline – has even been visible, due to my messy and haphazard way of working/living. I love my Ikea desk – it’s like an old writing desk in style, it has a lid and therefore two working surfaces so I can leave designs to dry underneath and still have a flat surface to work on. My A3 scanner is integral as it enables me to scan my large drawings into Photoshop so I can render and alter them digitally. Until last week there used to be a tall chest of drawers in the space to the left of the bookshelf, it contained all my materials, tools, and paints. However, I felt its placement really hindered my working as I couldn’t move around the space well. I’ve decided to move it in front of my door instead… best decision I’ve ever made… being able to comfortably leave the room was never important anyway.”

Twitter and check out her website 

Eleanor Bull's workspace

Alan Bissett

Novelist and playwright

Glasgow, Scotland

“I bought an old writing desk for, y’know, writing at, and it’s a lovely looking thing, lots of drawers and nooks and crannies. There’s a Russian doll in which I used to keep my weed (in case inspiration was running dry, before I realised how much it slows the writing down); a wee cone-shaped lamp, lots of notebooks, a proper quill pen (sets the scene, but not much use) and, if you look hard enough, the tiny wee gold thing at the back and centre of the desk is The Infinity Gauntlet. Thanos is my favourite Marvel character and you’re going to be seeing a lot more of his Gauntlet in the upcoming movies. There’s also a poster of Syd Barrett (again for inspiration) and a map of the world, because let’s be honest – we forget where everything is, don’t we?  Over time, however, it has become more of an ‘admin’ desk, which houses receipts, invoices and papers, and the like. I do most of my writing now on the couch across the room from the desk.”

Alan Bissett's desk

“This used to be where I’d go to read, in between writing shifts, but I got so comfy I just shipped operations there. It gets some nice sunlight, and means I can put my feet up and look out of the window. On the sill next to it is a complete set of those slim Penguin books, a Jaws mug, the “1000 Albums/Books/Comics/Movies You Must See Before You Die” (a handy reminder of mortality, as well as a time-waster) and some wee figurines of Jimmy Page and Freddie Mercury. That’s where I’m writing this right now.  So comfy in fact that I might just snoooo-”

Follow Alan on Twitter and check out his website

Alan Bissett's couch

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