Alyssa's Brooklyn Artist Studio

Workspace Tour

Name: Alyssa Monks, artist
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years in business: Since 2000

What good comes out of perusing the internet for hours late at night? Finding the work and workspace of Alyssa Monks on The Jealous Curator. Seeing Alyssa's funky artist loft space and knowing this is how she spends her days really makes you want to give up your day job.

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Alyssa's oil paintings become the decor and interest in her raw workspace. The rest of the furnishings are just basic necessities. The white walls and floors allow for a blank canvas, showcasing Alyssa's endless imagination.

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: My painting style is figurative representational.

Inspiration: The inspiration for my workspace is mainly function. It needs to be large to accommodate large paintings, and lots of them. It needs to be organized, but paint stained, comfortable, relaxed, ventilated, and private.

Favorite Element: The size. I can breathe in here. I don't feel limited or crowded.

Biggest Challenge: The wall easels. It took a while to figure out how to hang the paintingsso I could easily move them up and down depending on where I was painting.

What Friends Say: People say it is great, big, comfortable.

Biggest Embarrassment: The cats leave a lot of hair around.

Proudest DIY: The wall easels. It was not my idea and my assistant helped, but we got it done.

Biggest Indulgence: The painting rack. It cost a lot of money, but it was well worth it to store paintings and keep the place more organized.

Best Advice: Get organized. Know where things are. Keep them in their place. It saves a lot of time and stress and allows for the creative process to flow easily.

Dream Sources: Home Depot, hardware stores

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Resources of Note:

FURNITURE
Most of the furniture is found or donated or hand-me-downs. I love finding tables or shelves on the streets and painting them. I did have one tabouret custom made according to my design; I needed something I could use for painting standing up.

Other than that I made a few tables, found most of them, or was given things. I have an old pull-out couch a friend gave me years ago. It has been very useful! My oldest easel is one my parents got from Pearl Paint when I was 17 for Christmas. It is still the best easel I have and I use it often.

LIGHTING
I use floor lamps from B&H Photo in New York City. They are not expensive, only about $40 each. I have about 12 of them. Someday I'd really love to have track lighting though — that would be ideal for the paintings and for safety as well.

PAINT
The walls are painted with whatever white paint I found at the hardware store. Nothing fancy. Floors were painted with oil based floor paint, also white.

FLOORING
See above. They are concrete floors painted white.

RUGS & CARPETS
I have one old big floor rug I bought at Home Depot years ago for my apartment. Now it's here.

WINDOW TREATMENTS
I did custom order the blinds to fit the windows. I think it was Blinds To Go.

ARTWORK
I have pictures of a lot of paintings I like on a bulletin board in my studio for inspiration.

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Thanks, Alyssa!

(Images: Stephen Churchill Downes and Alyssa Monks)

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Marcia is an interior, portrait, and travel photographer and has photographed over 50 homes of creatives. Her photographic style is capturing her subject in the most natural state and creating an emotional response.