Where Do You Work? Here’s Where My Creativity Happens.

Nubby Twiglet | We Are Branch Studio

I’m endlessly fascinated by people’s creative workspaces. When I get really into what they do, whether it’s design, photography, painting or another creative endeavor, the next thing I wonder about is where the magic happens. I love the behind-the-scenes shots and also, learning more about their processes.

In a world that feels increasingly digital and disconnected, seeing where someone works feels grounding. It reminds us that what they did didn’t just magically appear online — it was crafted by a fellow human through a process of trial and error.

Nubby Twiglet | We Are Branch Studio

I’ve been in my current studio space for nearly a year and a half now and it still makes coming to work feel exciting. To this day, it’s not perfect and I’m okay with that. I shot these photos yesterday without any staging or rearranging to show you what it’s like in its current state.

BRANCH_STUDIO_7

Nubby Twiglet | We Are Branch Studio

The prep-time before I moved into this space was nearly non-existent so you can see that there’s no finishing trim along the bottom of the walls. The plywood floors show grime quickly. The mostly brick structure and old windows make for some very cold winters which means that Samantha (my design assistant) and I are usually sitting next to a space heater. But I love it. I love the feeling of turning a key every morning and opening the doors to a space I can call my own.

Nubby Twiglet | We Are Branch Studio

You might remember this post from early last year, right after I moved in. The space looked pretty good but has shifted quite a bit since then. The desk got switched out to a large kitchen table with space for two iMacs. My flat files moved in to house print samples and office supplies. A ton of succulents were added. Small switches in furniture and objects has meant that everything feels more organized and purposeful now.

Nubby Twiglet | We Are Branch Studio

Nubby Twiglet | We Are Branch Studio

While I adore this current studio, it’s number 5 as far as creative spaces go. One thing that can be deceiving with having a blog (and being online in general) is to just show where you are now — because that never tells the full story. I’m one of those people who LOVES the story behind the story. With this space being a personal blog and a way to connect with you, things will never be picture perfect. That’s real life. Are you ready to take a little trip down memory lane with me?

My Past Creative Spaces

I pulled out a hard drive last night that was so old it needed to plug into a wall on one end and a USB on the other! It’s the size of a stack of journals and makes a loud, whizzing sound. I started digging for photos of my previous creative spaces — and wow, were they loud and messy! I could only find photos of the last two but I’ll tell you about all of them.

Nubby Twiglet | We Are Branch Studio

Space #1: The first was in my childhood room at my dad’s house — it’s where I started blogging on Live Journal and where my business ideas began! My dad helped me pick out bright red paint for the walls when I was a teenager, even though it made him cringe. Haha.

Space #2: My next space was in a house I shared with four guy roommates from 2005 to 2007. It was my first time living away from home so I had a lot of fun experimenting with decor. Thinking back now, it was a cluttered mess! This was my space all through design school.

Space #3: In 2007, I moved into a rental that had more room and privacy. It’s where my blog really grew and I built my freelance business while working my first full-time design job. There are some photos of it mixed into these collages.

Space #4: In 2009, my brother and I bought our house and it had enough room for me to set up a dedicated office space across the hall from my room. Over the course of two years, I went from a barren room to a well-designed space. This is the room where I launched Branch in 2013. Most of the photos in these collages were taken here. It’s since been redone and looks like this!

Nubby Twiglet | We Are Branch Studio

Space #5: After a year of running Branch from the spare room at home, I signed a lease for a studio in my neighborhood filled with other creatives and this is where I’m at currently. I love it but it’s good to remember that it wasn’t an overnight transition — in fact, it took nine years to get from my room at my dad’s house to here!

If you’re dreaming of having your own dedicated space, I want to remind you that it’s not out of reach. One of my favorite mottos is, “Do what you can with what you’ve got.” It’s definitely kept me going when things were less than ideal and makes me appreciate what I have now even more.


Your turn: I’d love to hear about your creative space! Do you work from home, in a co-working space or a favorite coffee shop? What do you love about it? What would your dream space be like?

7 Responses to Where Do You Work? Here’s Where My Creativity Happens.

  1. Nikki says:

    I love the aesthetic of your current setup, all the bright oranges and yellows make me happy!

    My current home office is a little sad, it is set up in the spare room of my condo and I share it with my boyfriend. The space is pretty barren with little in the way of decor (apart from an Iron Man print and a Led Zeppelin poster). I keep toying with the idea of installing shelves above my desk to add interest, but need to think of something that won’t overwhelm my VERY minimalist boyfriend.

    Currently we’re trying to brainstorm some sort of attractive solution to shield our nearly white carpet from the wheels of our office chairs, I just can’t bring myself to purchase two of those tacky plastic mats.

  2. Thanks for sharing these images. I love your clean aesthetic mixed with statement pieces. Your style is so pleasing to the eye Shauna.

    I also love seeing where all the creative magic happens so I asked 10 of my wedding blogging buddies (ok – one of them is me!) to show me their workspaces.

    You might just recognize the first space 😉

    My desk space is the very top image.

    http://www.smashingtheglass.com/2015/11/05/bloggers-workspace/

    Big love from London…

    Karen xxx

  3. Misaki Shimizu says:

    While I don’t have a home office, in every company I made an effort to personalize my desk as much as I can. It mostly involves plants and my own desktop background, but hey 😀
    Over the years I’ve gotten better to keep care of my computer-space at home, too, so I am getting there. (Can’t do too much right now, because you cannot adjust furniture as you wish in rented spaces in Dublin.)

    Anyway, I do like your office aesthetics, but most I love your black/white/green room! It’s just sooo good! <3
    That deer head is my favorite piece, together with the green sofa haha

  4. Ruby says:

    Your space is very lovely. I like the natural light, bricks, and colors. The plants work so well with it too! I can’t wait be able to design and have my own space. Thanks for the inspiration in this post!

  5. Lilly says:

    I’m working in a totally uncreative temporary space right now (while our new space is being built) and it makes me crazy, so I’m working from home a lot right now. The good news is, we have an awesome local branding company doing brand expression for our new space (which will be ready to move into in a couple of months), so I have high hopes it will be a much more creative space to work in. It’s so important for visual people to have creative spaces to work in. Not everyone gets that or cares, but I do!

  6. Megan says:

    I’ve found that I do the most work outside of my apartment. Been trying going to different coffee shops but my favourite spot so far has been my old university library. Surrounded by the book stacks and people cramming for finals and writing papers has helped me to stay focused on my writing. The dream is to work from home. My apartment is too small right now to have a space solely designated to work. One day I’d love to have that separate space, not the kitchen table or the couch, but a room meant only for creativity :)

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