In the Studio With Alice Murphy

alice2I have to admit that panic washed over me when I saw our first assignment was a studio post. I opened that email some time between packing all my things into boxes and moving them into a storage facility, so I don’t have a studio to show you.  A few weeks ago I would have had a lovely big desk, a pin board full of little drawings, paper samples and images, my bookshelf and my grandmother’s beautiful vintage vintage sewing machine to share. This week I only have a cardboard box filled with what I deemed absolutely necessary to work with. I won’t lie either, I spent a good 5 minutes ‘styling’ this box of supplies so it would look prettier online ;)

box of supplies

my travelling studio

Until I’m set up in a new home, I have been spending a lot of time in the Asia Pacific Design Library here in Brisbane, which I suppose I have been treating as my own studio. It is a brilliant (and beautiful!) space where books and magazines are displayed scattered on tabletops, making it difficult to find a specific books but incredibly fun to chance upon something completely different and inspiring. The pattern on the carpet is repeated all over the building and references both the end papers of books and native florals, my kind of place! I could gush about the building all day…

asia pacific design library

asia pacific design library

textile and fashion library books

textile and fashion library books

Working in a public space can be limiting. I’m not really sure how the library staff would react if I whipped out some paints on the big beautiful bespoke timber tables, or spent a few hours cutting and tearing paper all over the place. So while the library is a great place for me to do research, jot down notes, make little sketches and work on my laptop, the floor of the spare bedroom in my parents’ home is currently my most ‘creative space’. It is where I can make mess as I work everything out before translating it into digital form. I’ll spare everyone that visual as my younger brother only moved out a few days before I moved in and the room hasn’t quite recovered yet. Instead I’ll leave off with one of the great patterned wallpapers that I grew up with in my parents’ home, I suspect my fascination with patterns began with these wallpapers when I was a small child.


wallpaper from my family home (artist unknown)

Now back to work play exploring for the first challenge! I can’t wait to see how all the other contestants approach it.

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6 comments on “In the Studio With Alice Murphy

  1. Wonderful peek into your transitioning world! How brave of you to go forth and I love how you handled this assignment. Proof that you just need a desire to create… not a grand or perfect space!

    • Alice Murphy on said:

      Thank you Nicky! I was quite unsure when I hit submit on this post but you are completely correct that the perfect studio isn’t a necessity. That said, I can’t wait to see everyone else’s wonderful spaces and dream haha :)

  2. Alice, the library looks like a nice place to work at (especially for all the inspiration and research resources you can find there). I loved how you styled your travelling studio… it looks great!

  3. I love that wallpaper! Good luck with the move too!

  4. wow that is a cool library with one tantalizing collection of books! and I LOVE that wallpaper. so nice! and the box of goodies is excellent… nice styling :) it’s so great to see the sunny warmth radiating off your pictures too- can you tell i’m in the deep dark winter here argh. Looking forward to seeing your design for the first challenge!

  5. Holly Helgeson on said:

    Hi Alice!! Your studio blog post is refreshing and so inspiring! I am so glad you wrote about your your creative process and inspiration during such a huge transition! I adore the photo of your box of creative supplies and how you described arranging everything! And WOW….what an amazing library to work in! Very cool! I can’t wait to see your design for Challenge One!
    Holly :)

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