Artists studios like office spaces are as diverse as the people who work in them. There is no hard and fast rule as to how they should be laid out or what you should have in them as essentials!
Lighting is important however, as the final outcome of your artwork does depend on you being able to clearly see what you’re working on doesn’t it!
To give you an idea,
Over the years Ive had several spaces including an awesome little cottage room in my neighbours backyard when I was in my teen years through to spare rooms in flats Ive lived in. These days I work mainly in my extended dining room area as I like the light in there, it also allows me to be available for my children rather than being isolated in my studio as well as being able to do my artwork. This is only a temporary measure however as the plan is to move to bigger brighter more purpose built premises very soon!
When we brought the house we are in currently, I personally chose to convert a single garage space for my current studio and although it has its good points it also lacks in some areas hence the working in the main house in the meantime.
The biggest problem with the garage space is that it gets icy cold in winter and stifling hot in summer so its only really good to work in, in the in-between seasons or during limited hours over the hot or cold months. Generally this isn’t a good environment to store artwork in either so it’s something to consider when choosing your space.
The lighting in the converted garage space isn’t the best either, although there is a window that gets all day sun, it only allows for moderate natural light and the rest of the time I need to rely on artificial lighting, which although plenty of light is available from this source, it does affect the look of some colours of paint to some degree so it can be hard to work with.
The storage space is great in my garage space, it only needed minor adjusting for drying racks and storage for canvas’s that are either finished or waiting to be started.
There is also plenty of space for my 5 easels, two which are for display only and the other three vary in that one is a table top easel which I use on my work table when needed. I sit on a mobile stool I used for hairdressing way back when I was doing hairdressing; its ideal in that it is height adjustable, comfortable to sit on and can I race around the studio from the table to my standing easel or to the computer with ease making it a good buy.
The other two easels are large studio type free-standing ones, one of which adjusts from a vertical position to horizontal which is ideal for those of us who work in mixed media art. Read my post on easels for more in-depth advice on easels if you are thinking of purchasing one.
Another key item for me is a see thru hanging rack where I have my tubes of paint, each pocket holds different colours as in reds, blues or greens etc, and this makes it much quicker to find the colour I am after than having to search through a box of paints! You can buy these from places like the Warehouse in the storage solutions area.
I like to store my brushes upright in jars and have my favourite ones in a special holder for taking away with me, it converts from a protective wallet to a free standing holder giving me easy access to them, you can buy them from here artsupplies.
I find that a small mobile bench-top is useful also so I have a trundler type one with drawers in it that is useful for wheeling around beside my easel or to the larger table where it works as my shelf for putting brushes, palette and other small items on (and lets not forget a glass of wine too!)
A good studio space would also have a sink with running water to clean things up in, as all artists know it’s a messy job so this is pretty much essential to a good working studio environment; otherwise it’s a personal choice as to what you have in your studio and what layout you might choose.
Have a look at other artist’s studios if you can, in fact if you look on Google images under ‘artists studios’ you will be able to see a variety of other artists studios and get a better idea of what others do with their spaces.
Posted: Monday 8 March 2010