12 Things You Should Have in Your Creative Workspace

Are you a designer, artist, illustrator, letterer, planner lover? Starting a new creative hobby and pulling your workspace together? Your workspace can be anything from your own loft or room to just a corner in a bedroom or basement. But every creative should have some very essential items. Here are some of my favorite things that I keep in my studio.

1. Sketchbook/journal/notebook

A must! I usually have a couple notebooks or sketchbooks lying around depending on what I’m doing: My Traveler’s Notebook for note-taking and journaling. One of those $5 sketchbooks from Michaels for lettering, doodling, preliminary design sketches. Moleskines are a classic. I use them for notes and things on the go, not so much for art or travel journaling since the pages are just too thin. I LOVE Dyan Reaveley’s Dylusions Creative Journals for mixed media art, they have lovely thick pages and a raw aesthetic to them.

2. No. 2 pencils & sharpener

Just some good old school pencils. As a step up from the classic no. 2, I’m currently loving the Palamino Blackwing pencils. You can get a variety of hard/soft leads with rich, dark lines depending on the type.

Of course you should have pencil sharpener! Just a handy little one is great. But if you’re a lover of retro and vintage like me, it’s fun to have one of these. I found one a few years ago at a thrift store and I’ve had it on the wall in my studio ever since! Brings back memories of elementary school for me, going up in the middle of class to sharpen your pencil and the obnoxious noise it made sounded like a semi was driving through the building. Ah, what fun.

3. Sharpies

Always have a black Sharpie on hand. Great for rich, dark sketching, labeling your supplies, drawing a mustache on your sleeping spouse or roommate, all kinds of stuff.

4. Stabilo pens

I absolutely love these and cannot say enough good things about Stabilo pens. They’re excellent for planners and journaling, as they don’t bleed through paper. Great for sketching, doodling, writing etc. I love the 88 Fineliner ones, just so wonderful to write with.

5. Ruler

Having a ruler handy is great for yes, measuring things (especially if you’re a print designer!), but also for having a straight edge for drawing, bullet journaling, etc. I love this Midori brass ruler, small enough to fit in a traveler’s notebook.

6. Scissors and/or X-ACTO

If you were ever an art student, you know and love (and have probably injured yourself on) the classic X-ACTO knife. It’s an extremely handy tool, as long as you’re careful with it!

7. Glue stick

I like Elmer’s extra strength glue sticks, they’re so easy to use. Great for journaling, scrapbooking and mixed media and keep stuff held in place.


8. Your medium of choice

For lettering, having some Tombows on hand is always a good idea. Right now, I’m getting more into mixed media, so I love having these Holbein gouache paints on hand.



9. Washi tape

Ahhhh washi tape. I freaking love washi tape. It’s so useless yet so practical at the same time. Now, you can find washi tape with just about any design at just about any craft store! I love using it for journal decoration, as well as useful applications like taping down paper for paintings/drawings, keeping scraps in a travel journal, etc.

10. Posters/prints/visuals that inspire you

I see those minimalistic desk spaces all over the internet and wonder just how an artist can be so clean?! Maybe that works for some creatives, but I’ve found having colors, textures, papers, quotes, all around is necessary for inspiration.

Wild Heart • by Mae Chevrette

Onward & Upward • by Laura Bingham


Download some of my free printable quotes here. 

11. Planner or calendar

I’ve tried so hard on multiple occasions to keep one of those adorable cutesy planners. I have 2 Erin Condren planners that I hardly even use! But I just get too busy to keep up with it. So you find out what works for you. And for me, I use the plain ol’ iCal app on my Mac & iPhone. It keeps everything from meetings to deadlines, automatic reminders, and I love having shared calendars with my family and different groups I work with.

12. Motivational beverage of choice

Coffee, tea, whiskey? It’s coffee for me. A nice bold french roast with cream. With coffee in hand, anything is possible.

What are your favorite things to keep in a creative space? 

About the Author:

Hi, I’m Laura. I'm here to help aspiring Graphic Designers, Artists, Hand Letterers, and Ladypreneurs reach, and exceed, their potential.Graphic Designer at Laura Bingham Creative, Chief Design Officer of my non-profit organization Colorado Veterans Project, Owner & Designer at Warrior Mettle Apparel, and Hand-Lettering Artist at By Laura Bingham. Lover of paper, adventures, and embracing life.