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What's On My Desk: My Creative Workspace

Updated on December 30, 2010

Let me take you on a virtual tour of my desk and home office.

Our desks and workspaces are statements about us, and it's been said that if you really want to get to know someone, simply take a look at his or her desk.

I am now about to give you a little peek at where I spend most of my time - my creative workspace. This is the place where I produce all my artworks, designs, crafts, and of course, Squidoo lenses.

If you are interested in learning more about me, please do read on. I will be happy to take you through the stuff on my desk and around my work area.

All images are copyright 2010 Cynthia Arre except where indicated otherwise.

Ready to take the tour? - Let's go!

Home office entrance
Home office entrance

The entrance to our little home office. Please do come in!

What's on my shelf? - A mess of art books and other keepsakes.

My art & design books
My art & design books

Some of my art and design reference books, a small Andy Warhol figurine, a photo of my husband, hand-sewn birds on a twig (made by a friend), and part of my wish and inspiration boards -- among other knick-knacks.

Design books I recommend - Must-haves for a future in graphic design.

I've worked for more than 15 years in the field of design so I have amassed a collection of graphic design books (this is only part of the collection, I have an entire bookshelf of art books and materials on the other side of the room). If you are looking into a career in graphic design, some of my favorite books are below. These feature works by my graphic design heroes Stefan Sagmeister, Neville Brody, Paula Scher, and Milton Glaser.

Andy Warhol Inspiration Box - Inspiration from the king of pop art.

Andy Warhol is among my biggest influences so I keep a tiny sitting figure of him on my shelf to remind me of the quality of design I should always strive for.

Andy Warhol Inspiration Box
Andy Warhol Inspiration Box

The Andy Warhol Inspiration Box. This beautiful set evokes the spirit of Andy Warhol's Factory studio and invites creative inspiration. The set includes a hand-painted figurine of Andy, display stand, stickers, and 48-page booklet.


What's on my desk? - A computer, a fax machine, more keepsakes, and a steaming mug of coffee.

The desktop.
The desktop.

This is pretty much how my actual desktop looks like on a good day but usually it is riddled with post-it notes, pens, and a notebook for keeping track of ideas. A mug of coffee or green tea is always a consistent bystander too. My computer monitor is guarded by three angelic Momiji Dolls and oh, can you spot our curious little tabby in the photo?

What's beside my computer monitor? - It's another inspiration board!

My inspiration board
My inspiration board

By now you've probably noticed that I keep a lot of inspiration boards, also known as mood boards, wish boards or vision boards. I got into the habit of making them so that I will be constantly surrounded by inspiration, whether for the realm of design or life. This particular board contains cute postcards friends have sent me and cards with artwork that stimulate my senses. The hand-sewn owl is another gift from the same friend who gave me the hand-sewn lovebirds in the other photo.

How to make your own "Inspire Me" board - Get started with these lovely ribbon memo boards.

Now it's easier than ever to create your own wish board. Take your pick from the selection of charming ribbon boards below then insert photos or postcards that provide you with creative stimuli.

Learn how to make a digital inspiration board - Watch the video tutorial below.

If you don't have the time or resources to make an actual tactile inspiration board, follow the directions below on how to make one that doesn't require the use of scissors, pushpins, and glue.

What's on my top shelf? - Collages of ticket stubs and memorabilia from our travels, along with other keepsakes from my childhood.

my top shelf
my top shelf

My husband and I love to travel, both locally and abroad, so we've collected a quantity of souvenirs. I didn't want them to languish sadly in storage so I arranged them into collages. The collage on the left contains the ticket stubs of Broadway musicals and museum tours from our honeymoon and the other one is a collection of interesting flyers and pamphlets we picked up from all over. The collages are flanked by Garfield collectibles my parents gave me (yes I was a fan) when I was a teen.

Make a collage of your travel paraphernalia - Gather techniques from Collage Discovery Workshop

Collage Discovery Workshop: Make Your Own Collage Creations Using Vintage Photos, Found Objects and Ephemera
Collage Discovery Workshop: Make Your Own Collage Creations Using Vintage Photos, Found Objects and Ephemera

From the author: Collage is unlike any other artistic medium because one can use virtually anything to make an art piece and to tell a story. You do not have to be a great "artist" to create a collage or enjoy doing it! You do not even need to know how to draw! You simply need to open your imagination and let yourself be free to try new things and soon you'll be having a lot of fun.


As you have seen I have personalized each corner of my space in this tiny home office in a way that will inspire me to come up with work I can be proud of. So far, well I like to think that it's working...

It's also a fact that how one fixes his/her workspace defines the person that he/she is. The following are links to articles that can help determine someone's personality through how his desk is arranged.

I would love to know what's on your desk, and I hope you enjoyed the virtual tour of mine.

How about you? What's on your desk? - Share it with everyone here!

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    • norma-holt profile image


      5 years ago

      A new blessing on this lovely lens and may you have a wonderful, successful and happy 2013. Hugs

    • norma-holt profile image


      6 years ago

      Enjoyed your office tour but have to say you are a very tidy writer. Love the cat as I have had to contain my very curious four month old kitten as he is chases the curser around the screen while I am trying to work. Featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012-2. Hugs.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice lens, a big thumbs up for you

    • themeaparty profile image


      7 years ago

      My desk is always cluttered, but I made sure to paint my walls a warm Caribbean brownish-red - makes my basement office feel warmer than it really is!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      7 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Hey, thanks for showing us around. This is a fun idea! I'm now looking around my desk and thinking, hm, I should make this space more interesting and fill it up with special things, keepsakes, photos and such. But this is kind of a temporary home, so I haven't put the effort into things like that. On the other hand, I'll probably be here a while, so I should do more with it. Thanks for sharing your creative space. *Blessed*

    • joanv334 profile image


      7 years ago

      Hello, nice to meet you!

    • desilegend profile image


      7 years ago

      You look like very creative person!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 

      8 years ago

      Nice! I like the way you organized and designed your desk.

    • Lou165 profile image


      8 years ago from Australia

      What a great idea for a lens. My cat passed away years before I got a home computer, but I can imagine his fascination just remembering his reaction to the television is funny enough - I have a photo of him looking behind the tv for some lemmings!!! Your cat obviously thinks that there's something good behind the computer for mom to be in front of it!!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Ah, yes! The curious tabby ... mine can be found not on my desktop, but actually on my lap a few times during my work day ... morning, new and evening ... she rather sends me a signal that it is time to wrap up my computer work and pay some attention to her!

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 

      8 years ago from London

      Very often there is a large black cat sprawled out with a paw resting on the keyboard. It's his and my favourite spot in the house. An old table, a comfy chair, a picture of snowdrops by Margaret Tarrant, a green lamp and a desktop screen saver of green grass and daisies. It's like being in the garden, and the way I get over my dislike of technology.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      8 years ago

      My workspace is a table rather than a desk. There are stacks of books, cups with pens and markers in, old mail, new mail... It's a mess, but I can find what I need when I need it.

      That counts for something, but its an unsightly mess. Time to do something about it.

      Thanks for sharing


    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 

      8 years ago from USA

      Very creative an inspirational. Thanks for sharing!

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 

      8 years ago from Croatia

      Love your workspace! It's really great place to gather creative ideas!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      8 years ago from United States

      I love this! I was so afraid you were going to show me a "home show" office, instead I got to see a real working home office. Love it and I picked up several great ideas. I need the " tabby kitty decor" and I love the inspiration board. I am surrounded by my son's artwork. From now on, it will be called "my inspiration wall," Just have to say Blessed by a visiting Angel:)

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 

      8 years ago

      I loved the tour. I loved the Andy Warhol section. I am from originally from Pittsburgh PA and love when something reminds me of my growing up years. Thanks for sharing.

    • justholidays profile image


      8 years ago

      OMG! I went to your home without moving from mine! How's that fantastic!

      Keep up the great job, Cynthia!


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I really enjoyed this virtual tour around your workspace! I learned much about you and it inspired me to reflect on my own workspace. Thanks for sharing!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      This is great. I learned so much about you by taking a virtual tour of your office. What would my office say about me? Well, it probably says that I have too much going on with not enough organization. I have papers everywhere - papers about organizations I am working with, papers about our upcoming Family Reunion, notebooks, address book, grandson's science project, many sharpies and other pens and a lot of legal pads. Whew! I have got to spend a week in here getting organized.

    • Addy Bell profile image

      Addy Bell 

      8 years ago

      My desk is also my studio table, so my laptop is sitting on a cutting mat. My desk also contains brushes, various kinds of paint, and some seeds that I was using in an art piece.

    • KarenTBTEN profile image


      8 years ago

      Desk? I gather that many people do work at desks. I rarely do. My netbook and I tend to sprawl out. I like how you made this both pragmatic and personal, with resources and pictures that people might explore even if they don't know you.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      8 years ago from UK

      Oh, no marmalade tabbies to be found on my desk, Cynthia! I don't have an 'inspire me' board either...but you have inspired me to make one. :) Really enjoyed this peek into your workspace.


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