An artist’s workspace can say a lot about them. What they put on the walls or what tools they use can reveal more about the person and their process. Frame of Mind is a monthly Red feature focusing on Baton Rouge creators and the spaces they work in.
Just like his designs, Damien Mitchell's apartment is simple yet highly functional.
The tiny garage apartment, located down a driveway, through a gate and up a flight of wooden steps, sits in the green treetops of a quiet street in Baton Rouge's Southdowns neighborhood. Mitchell spends his work days as a graphic designer and runs his own business and workshop right there at home.
With a University of Louisiana at Lafayette degree in industrial design, Mitchell creates a variety of leather and canvas soft goods, including wallets and bags.
The small space opens up to the fresh smell of leather. Large windows on every wall allow natural light to pour in over the bright hardwood floors. On one side is the kitchen, with the rest of the main space dedicated to a work area for Mitchell's craft.
Matching wooden crates keep various tools and materials organized, and the storage space is full of leather scraps, clasps and canvas straps. Cabinets store water-based dyes and miscellaneous supplies.
Aside from Mitchell's sewing machine, the desks are kept clutter free and everything in the apartment has a place in order to keep the room feeling open and productive. Leather accents are found throughout the home — evidence of experimentation with prototypes and maybe just a testament to Mitchell’s taste.
Having tools and materials easily accessible is a great reminder and motivator for artists juggling day jobs and a creative career. Coming home to an inspired environment can keep you in the positive headspace it takes to feed a creative business.
Mitchell’s home studio does just that.