I often find that I want to draw, sketch, and paint at different locations in the house, not just in my studio. In fact, we have a giant leather couch with multiple recliners in the living room that is quite nice for lounging while arting. Because I'm the type of artist who craves lots of diversity in my supplies, moving around spontaneously is a problem. Who wants to drag around a bunch of loose supplies and notebooks just to work in another room? I decided that this was the sort of problem that could be solved by online shopping --
I first looked at art bins and plastic totes. There are a lot of these out there, but everything seemed too small and limiting. Many were designed for scrapbooking materials and missed the mark for me. I didn't want to deal with plastic lids or drawers I had to pull out and arrange before I could begin working. I started looking at carryalls for organizing tools for jobsites, and I found some open topped, soft tool bags for handymen. This seemed like the right track.
I finally settled on a Dewalt Open Top Tool Carrier:
This is a super tough carrier with lots of room and a hollow metal handle bar that folds down on either side so it's out of the way. These carriers come in different sizes, and I chose the 18 inch one. The main compartment is a big, rectangular opening, which wasn't going to work for me without some modifications.
I wanted lots of different holders for felt pens, pencils, paint sticks, paint markers, and so forth. I went to a dollar store and bought some cheap acrylic organizers and pencil holders. I added in a couple small cardboard boxes, and was then able to compartmentalize the main space exactly how I wanted it. Two of these acrylic organizers fit nicely on either side of the main compartment of the carryall:
Now I've got all my stuff organized into like kinds so I can grab what I need quickly. I can see all my supplies at once without having to open a lid or pull out a drawer or whatever. I even attached a little sidecar to hold paper towels for blending and cleaning up messes.
I also use a cheap lap desk thing for when I'm couch surfacing and doodling:
OK. That's what I do. What about you?