What is an art studio?
The short and practical definition of an art studio is a place where the artist works and create. But there are so many aspects that make it impossible be restricted to this: that’s why we will work with you on a geographically based list of your places with their realities so it can inform and inspire other artists. On top of that, we will appreciate the beauty of those places.
Art Studios in Australia
A creative Vortex
I am an experimental mixed media visual artist. My studio (or Vortex as I fondly refer to it) is my private sanctuary, and while I enjoy showing people my methods, materials and equipment, I prefer to do my creative work on my own.
Naturally, it didn’t take long before this space became way too limiting as I had discovered a passion for working with metal, glass, mirror and polished concrete. I had been sandblasting glass in my tiny garage, and the amount of time spent removing blasting grit from my paintbrushes and easel was becoming annoying. Eventually, I gave in and repaired a leaking roof and put clear café blinds around an open courtyard space attached to the Vortex which allowed me to double my working space. It was around this time a friend built a magnificent sandblasting cabinet and workbench for me, and I haven’t looked back since!
Hybrid working place
The Vortex has allowed me to accumulated bandsaws, sanding machines, polishing equipment and a host of assorted power tool goodies. Believe it or not, I still find myself working out the side of the house when I’m wet grinding/polishing concrete or acid etching aluminium, so clearly I can never have enough space! One of the many benefits of the Vortex is that I could then turn my office/studio into a mini gallery so that visitors could view my works rather than cram them under tables and behind beds.
Neighbours and visitors
The Vortex is located in the middle of the suburbs on the Gold Coast at the bottom of a residential laneway and while I love it dearly, I realise that my bandsaw and concrete polishing activities are not ideal for my very, very patient neighbours. I imagine it will only be a matter of time before I am given my marching orders, but for the time being, I enjoy being able to live and work on the same premises. Any visitors are by invitation only as I value my privacy and need to get prepared. I prefer one to two visitors at a time where I can thoroughly explain what and how I work.
Fortunately, using my home as a studio keeps costs down. I spend an extraordinary amount of money on equipment and materials – in fact, I’d say that art is worse than a drug for me. I am a graphic designer during the week purely so I can afford to create during the weekends.
Studio Equipment and materials
As you might have guessed from the equipment I have accumulated, I love to work with my hands. I use an ever-growing assortment of materials ranging from acrylic ink and signwriter’s enamel through to copper, acid-etched aluminium, mirror, glass, concrete and timber. I find woodwork a bit of a problem. However, as the sawdust takes over the entire Vortex rapidly. Ideally, concrete work should be in one area, wood another and any painting in dust-free isolation. At the moment I am struggling at juggling these zones. I try to keep any woodwork to an absolute minimum for this reason. Concrete dust can be hazardous, so I also keep a full complement of safety equipment. Face and gas mask unit, fire extinguisher, vinyl apron, gumboots, and plenty of gloves. Lighting is important, and each project has different requirements, so I use a series of LED floodlights that I can move around to suit.
Private or collective
My advice to a young artist starting out on a low budget is to keep costs down, build on the basics and work out which environment that makes you most comfortable. The type of art you are creating and your personality will impact on how you approach this. If you are private like me, converting a space where you live is perfect – you can eat, sleep and breath creativity 24 hours a day. If, on the other hand, you find your living space is not suitable and you find bouncing ideas off others stimulating and refreshing, working in a collective studio is a great way to go.
Art Studios in Canada
As my work began to sell, I looked to raise the level of professionalism in my practice. A room became available next to a friend’s office. The cost was reasonable when split four ways so I rounded up three artist friends and we moved in. We four shared the 14’x14’ room with no windows for a year and it was a very productive year. We left only when we were evicted because the building was being torn down and condos built in its place. This is a common occurrence for artists in Toronto.
Art studio cost
My share of our 320 sq ft space costs me about $85/mo which is ridiculously cheap in the current Toronto real estate environment. I’m the envy of my artist friends because commercial rent for a comparable space is about $500/mo. The downside for me is that it’s temporary. Most older buildings where historically artists could find affordable studio space are being torn down and condo buildings built in their place.
Every artist I know has moved or is considering moving out of Toronto for financial reasons including difficulty finding an affordable studio and living space. The developer of the building my studio is in has offered space to artists for a very low rent with the agreement that at any time with 30 days notice, they can ask us to leave. I’ve been there for two years and have the constant worry that today’s the day I’ll receive a notice and the knowledge that there are no other affordable spaces in Toronto.
Second largest expense
My studio costs are my second largest expense after-show fees. I do three major shows in Toronto which cost in total about $5,000. This takes the biggest bite out of my sales income.
An artist community
My future is quite uncertain. I know from past experience that I don’t enjoy painting in isolation so moving back to the corner of my living room would not be a good move for me. It’s unlikely I’ll find another studio as affordable in Toronto. If finances force me to relocate, finding a studio and an artistic community will be a big factor.
A dedicated place
My advice to a young artist would be to find a studio outside your home. Having a dedicated place of work will elevate your status and your sense of professionalism. Share space to make it more affordable. Use the support of your community.
From England to Finland
I have been working from my apartment for the last past years in Finland and before that in my loft in London. In the last few years, I have a dedicated room. There is a separate room that is a living space and a kitchen in my flat and one of the other room is the studio. The total flat is 65 sq meters. I feel comfortable in a homely environment where everything I need is there. A comfy couch, tea, a kitchen.
My own studio is an apartment overlooking the sea. It is located in Vaasa, Finland. Interested clients are welcome to come and view works in my studio. I feel connected to the natural environment and the seasons here: in winter it is dark early, in the day I have to use extra lights. I do feel connected to the natural cycles which is very much something I am exploring in my art. The rent is €650 and it is the biggest expense in my art as a business.
I would definitely like my studio to be more tidy, at the moment there are artworks, bits of textile, cans and ashes all over the floor. It is hard to find the balance between free flow creativity and experimentation and cleaning up and tidying up all the time.
As I work with a lot of recycled materials I find, it is easy to forget what you have if I neatly store everything away and I am also working on very different kind of works and with different materials and techniques simultaneously. A bigger and tidier space with clear areas for different types of work would be great, also working less on the floor and getting large tables would be great.
Out of the box
I use a lot of unconventional materials, natural materials like ash or stone and recycled plastic and rubber as well as materials from a hardware store, like bitumen. I think it is very interesting to me and it allows me to think out of the box.
What is an Art Studio: Germany
Berlin-Marzahn: Sandor Barics
Hungarian artist in Berlin
I am Sándor Barics. Creating Art since 1986. Born in Hungary, I studied art in New York City at the Art Student League. Currently, I live and work in Berlin. I have a part-time assistant, who helps me with logistic, stretching canvases or preparing for art exhibitions.
My current studio is located in Berlin. I had different art studios since the late 80s. This studio in Berlin ist my 5th studio. The studio is me. My space. Where art comes to life. We are getting a new door but the studio is pretty much like years ago. Berlin is a good place to create. Not for selling art though!
Investment for a studio
As for the cost, if you can find a place for 15-16 EUR per square meter including heating and electricity and water, its a good price in Berlin. My cost is 350 EUR / 22 sqm including heating, electricity, water usage, cleaning and waste collection. I do spend more money on artists materials and marketing expenses. A good way is to look at craigslist Berlin.
It is approx 45 min away from my home. I do host regular open studio events and I invite people to my studio. I never had a walk-in visitor ever. The people I invite to my studio are usually artist friends, friends, curators, photographers or Collectors. I like this part of Berlin. Berlin-Marzahn is an upcoming artist borough in Berlin. It’s quite industrial but charming at the same time.
Privacy for creativity
I do have a small garden right outside the studio. I like to hang out there and talk to other studio artists.
An artist studio is a place where art is born. So it is the most private and intimate place what an artist can have. A studio should be inspiring and comfortable. Equipped with heating, running water and a dry storage place. An artist should be always connected to his studio and feel home in the place.
Media and series
I am using Acrylic paint and other media. I often work with foam, rubber and plastic. Many of these objects are found objects. My main series is my “Mars” Series. These artworks have accompanied me for the last 20 years. And the topic ist more relevant than ever. So I keep creating pieces for that series.
Hope and plans
I would like to show my artworks international galleries and small museums. I have also started to work with digital media and would like to create site-specific installations for exhibition spaces.
I am a German self-taught artist who paints the human figure. My studio is my living room. I kind of share it with my husband and my two children. It is an advantage that I don’t have to pay for my studio because I work at home.
I live and work in Heppenheim (Bergstraße), Germany. It is a small town between Frankfurt and Heidelberg. I have not much space. Sometimes it’s a little bit difficult to handle it but the advantage at it is that I can work there at any time. Fortunately, my paintings are not so big that I get into difficulties.
From time to time I give workshops at home. At this point, I would wish I had a bit more space. But I don’t think it has an impact on my art business so far.
Most of the time I paint wet-on-wet with Schmincke Norma or Mussini and Old Holland oil colours. I love to work without any medium but sometimes I use Linseed oil or Megilp. I often work with a special brush from ‘Da Vinci’, Vario Tip and Vario Top. But I could also paint with any other brushes. Sometimes I buy some very cheap brushes.
Small art space
My future plan is to have a studio, but I would prefer a room at home, or at least to have more space to be more flexible. Basically, it doesn’t matter how much space you have, you can create art in a very small room.
Art Studios in South America
but you can keep an inner journey
with the inner nature within you and use it for your work.
Path as an artist
The path as an artist has had many things that I consider of value, such as collective exhibitions where I was, publications in important magazines, a collective exhibition abroad, as well as important sales that allowed me to be able to go to another country and expand my knowledge as an artist. This is something continuous and depends on one to be open to continue undertaking it.
My studio is in the Miraflores district in the city of Lima in Peru. It is 15 minutes by bike from where I live. I have not invited many people in yet, however, I opened it recently for the first time to share a moment of gratitude closing the year. Thus, I was able to exhibit what I have been working on and selling what is available.
Close to the beach
I am happy with the location because apart from this it is close to the beach and one of the things that I also do is surfing then it is ideal. About my costs, I rent the place for $75 per month, it’s a small place but it’s enough for me to create.
The place as a priority
I think that to organize a study in the first place, a good space is needed. Once this is achieved, what I need is to feel the place, in relation to the materials and work elements. The good thing is that everything can be modified and you have to be open to those changes. Thus, start working, producing and using current tools such as social platforms to communicate and disseminate what is done. I think that if you have an external job that you can contribute with an income of money if you still cannot live from your art, it is very valid option to maintain the development until little by little you can grow more.
The artist residency in Pucallpa
Last year I won a scholarship to participate in the ‘Centro Selva Arte y Ciencia’ artist in residence program in Pucallpa – Peru. Pucallpa is a city located in the jungle part of Peru. So this residency was, even more, deeper than Pucallpa city where there was a very short signal for internet connection. Let’s say that the 99% of connection there was nature, so the whole environment was part of my space, my studio by those 20 blessed days I was there.
Tools and paintings
I really like oil, pastel chalks, Chinese ink, watercolors, pencils, stylus. All the tools I use are essential. My future plans are to be able to travel abroad and be able to live outside for a while, get inspired by the culture and continue creating the ideas that I have now. To be able to make my first individual show is another plan. And to make a comic that I have been designing for some time … One with such imagination always has plans.
My advice for a young artist who wants to find a studio over here will be that first start to ask the closest people around, familiars, friends if they have some little space, room or place that they are not using. I started doing so and it helped me a lot, even you could find it for free, and use it every time you can, until you can start selling your work and so pay for a better place.
Studios in Turkey
Home dedicated to studio space
My first “real” studio was at an apartment in Vegas in 2006. The only way to move forward was to put most of my furniture and other things in the garbage and dedicate my home space to a studio. Shortly after I rented a studio space but soon learned my practice when outside a “home” environment became stale and mechanical. Most of my studios since have been a large area of my homes dedicated to studio space.
Las Vegas to Turkey
In 2016 during my first year living abroad in Çanakkale, Turkey, I rented an office space in the city center. However, this proved to be disastrous for my work. Constantly being interrupted and not having that same feeling as working from home, I quickly realized this was essential to the soul of my work.
A year later I again, reorganized our apartment in Çanakkale to work as a studio.
Nickname and sales
My studios have always had nicknames based on the streets or areas I’ve lived. The last studio was known as “The Republic”. I hardly ever have walk-ins as that is my preference. My sales mostly happen online, although for good collectors I do have studio visits.
Most essential part
Arrangement of a studio is a personal thing. It can’t be taught. You can pick up ideas here and there from many people and places but ultimately you must learn yourself and how you work and learn the fee of the space your inhabiting. The studio, my studio is the most essential part of my art business, I’m without a good space to work in I have no product. Or the mental space to conduct it.
My main work is now oil-on-canvas for the last two years. However, I have worked in Acrylics and Charcoal predominantly prior. Sculpting in ceramic and plaster has been a huge part of my studio in the past and I am working towards having a space where I can have that again, as for the last four years it was simply impractical.
In the last four years with the absence of sculpting, I returned to a previous passion of mine: sound recording. Or as I like to call it, sound sculptures. Audio field recordings, looped and experimented with, sounds and frequencies of synthesizers overlaid to create an atmosphere that I feel really connect both my sculpture work and painting into a world uniquely their own. Currently, I’m working on a side project for sound and I am hoping to implement new tools and area in my new studio in America to take this ambition to the next level.
Listen to yourself. What’s inside…. the silence within. Absorb what you can from other artists from the past or present but allow your own individuality and thought to prevail. Studio practice is sacred. Your space should be treated as such. It is your temple. And it can only be yours.
Çanakkale for an artist
it’s definitely a great place if you’d want a chance to chill, learn Turkish culture and history and have some great alone time along with beautiful summer. You can live very easily and comfortably for about $500 a month. The advantages are definitely the cost of living, especially for an artist. The other advantage is the history of the city, its people, was very inspirational. Some bad things were sourcing supplies. It is a fairly small city, so the only art store there was a small mom and pop shop that mostly had supplies for the school.
Jonathan T.D. Neil
2013-2019 Director of Sotheby’s Institute of Art
– Founding Director of the Center for Business and Management of the Arts (CBMArts)
– Associate Editor for ArtReview magazine
Artist Studios – USA
Art & Zines
I am a Mixed Media and Performance Artist who is Re-mything life through paint, movement, and color. I am the creator of the zines T H R I F T W I T C H, 52 Feathers, and 52 Facets.
The artist intention
Each of my paintings is created with intention, weaving symbolism, color theory, and sacred energy to manifest a powerful image for viewers to resonate with. My hope is for every painting I create to find a home with someone who is deeply moved by the work and is encouraged to manifest their own wishes or dreams when seeing my paintings, a visual reminder for their own path.
The artist intention
I am fortunate to have an extra bedroom in my home that serves as my studio. It is my sole domain and filled to the brim with papers, paints, stamps, found objects, and inspirations. I frequently collaborate with other artists and organizations around Boulder, CO where I live.
Beginning of a journey
In 2013 I moved to Chicago with the determination to manifest an art career. Even though I was still developing my artistic voice I was committed to my goals and found an apartment where I could establish a permanent studio. Thankfully my Husband was patient enough for me to convert the large bedroom, which had best windows, into my studio space and we moved our bedroom into the “den” which was a glorified closet. Since we were renting I covered the floors in rugs, made my own large standing desk to work at, and began to create.
The Studio in Colorado
Even though I have moved several times since then I have always prioritized having a dedicated space in my home for making art. When I returned to Colorado in 2016 my Husband and I were fortunate enough to purchase our first home. We were extremely lucky in the timing and had a fabulous realtor who listened to our dreams, finding us our dream home in the first tour of houses. We were only looking for our home for a month or so in what is traditionally a competitive market. For now, my studio is in my house, but I hope to someday transform the shed in the yard to be a more functional studio.
I live and work in Boulder, CO, which is a growing college town north of Denver. Many artists live here to take advantage of the natural beauty. As I mentioned my studio is in my home and I do feel there are pros and cons to living and working so close together. For one, I sometimes feel isolated as an artist. There are several collectives around town and the few times I’ve visited them I’ve left envious of the easy exchange of ideas and critique. In the vacuum of my home studio I crave more feedback at times. On the other hand, I have carte blanche to do whatever I feel like in my studio, and plenty of space to spread out, into my yard or dining table, if the scope of my project requires more space.
Process streaming on Twitch
I have also begun live streaming from my studio on Twitch and that has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me in terms of sharing my process and my space with outsiders. Viewers ask the most interesting questions about the supplies I’m choosing, the way my studio is laid out, and the inspirations for various projects. It has been so exciting to see how many people want to have an insider view of my art-making.
Open studios event in Boulder
Boulder has a vibrant open studios event in October that I hope to participate in this year. It has taken a few years for me to re-establish my studio practice in my new home and I finally feel confident enough to invite strangers from the community to my studio.
What you surround yourself in visually informs your values. Have a huge TV and media will dictate your attention. Fill a room in your home with beautiful art supplies, and creativity will reign supreme. This is how my studio space impacts my career. It gives me a sanctuary for my materials and my thoughts and my in-progress work.
Unlike a painter or a potter, I work with a myriad of materials for mixed media. For the start of the new year and new decade, I took on the monumental task of completely reorganizing my materials. I can be prone to hoarding magazines and fabric scraps and strange but interesting objects in hopes that they will inspire some creation in the future, so going back through and culling the collection to only the finest of pieces was extremely valuable to me.
Every artist has their own flow around the studio, and I tend to think that making it as easy as possible to get to the materials you use is the best advice I ever learned. Storing paints in the back of an easel where it’s hard to reach, or a drawer that won’t open isn’t conducive to the flow. Mine are in an open cart, sorted by type with the colors I use more frequently on the top. It takes but a moment to find the right tube of paint and continue to follow the muse for that piece.
Renting in Boulder
Here in Boulder I have seen opportunities to trade for studio space in exchange of yard maintenance, shared studios in warehouses, memberships at maker spaces, art studio residencies with local art organizations, and rentable spaces from anywhere from $150 a month to $2000 with varying amenities. It may be more difficult in a large metropolitan area, but in a town like Boulder, an innovative artist can find a studio opportunity that’s right for them with a little invention, elbow grease, networking, and a pinch of luck.
Higland Park Los Angeles: Terri Lloyd
My life and workspace have collided for the past 30 years or so. I prefer it this way. Currently, I occupy my patio in what I fondly have titled the Backyard Emirates. I have two Easy-up tents that provide shelter from rain and sun and gives me enough space for two easels and a table, plus a chair or two (for the cats). I also have lighting, but prefer the natural light and usually shut down work once the light changes —which varies according to season
I live and work in the community of Highland Park, which is east of Downtown Los Angeles (California) and the L.A. River. I’ve been there since 2001. Highland Park is a vibrant and creative community with a rich history of art and culture, it is known as Old L.A. It also boasts the largest historic preservation overlay zone in the state of California. Which means my community is home to the largest number of historic homes in the state. The Arts & Crafts movement started here and the streets are dotted with craftsman style homes throughout the community.
I have killer views which cause me a moment to pause and appreciate that which is right at my feet. In the front, I see the foothills of Altadena backed up by the San Gabriel mountains. Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, there was a massive snowstorm which coated the mountains in a beautiful white blanket. Against the grey November skies, this view was breathtaking.
The Old Los Angeles
In the Backyard Emirates, my patio is lower than the actual yard, so my view there is eye level with the cats. I can also see into my neighbor’s yards and them into mine. It’s quite the Old Los Angeles experience. I would tend to think all of this informs my work or my thinking to some extent. In fact, in recent months I worked on concepts of anarchist philosophy from the perspective of my cats and their lives in the Backyard Emirates.
I work in several forms of media; digital illustration, video, performance (as Pink Buddha), collage, and am currently revisiting painting through a process of unlearning. Basically, I’m painting with my other hand and only allowing the dominant hand to give an assist.
Digital to traditional
On the digital end of things: my computer and Adobe Creative Cloud apps, Wacom tablet and stylus, printer/scanner, phone camera, the company I use for fine art printing of the digital works. For the more traditional work, it’s fairly straight forward, two easels, pencils, brushes and paint or whatever else I can get my hands on.
Artist common sense
A studio does not make you an artist. What makes you an artist is a commitment to a daily practice of art-making. As your art practice and art business grow, you will most likely outgrow where you are now and then a studio might make sense.
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Anna Karena
Shared Group space
My name is Anna Karena and I am in a group space with three other people. Two of them are tech guys who are computer-based, making videos and shooting commercials etc. Then there are two visual artists; me and Kim Heidkamp. She does beautiful paper, wall relief sculptures.
Meeting the owner
I had been on a waitlist for space for over a year for the buildings I was looking at. On a chance meeting of the owner, I was able to voice my needs and desires. It helped to meet her in person because I wasn’t just a name on a paper, I was an actual person looking for space and in meeting her I was able to get space sooner. Mainly because she knew my personality and could make a suggestion for group space which fit my budget best.
I have been creative all my life and got back into painting in the last seven years. I was painting in my small studio condo and I was literally outgrowing my home. I had run out of room to store my work and supplies etc. I needed to make the move to be able to keep creating as one issue, and the other thing I wanted was community. I needed the opportunities that studio life gives me such as art crawls and exposure to gallerists and other professionals who might see my work. I can’t get this kind of exposure at home.
Minneapolis Art District
My studio is in NE Minneapolis, MN (USA), which is about six miles from my home. The studio is in the art district so there are other artists around the area and it’s a vibrant community. My building is called the Carriage House Studios which is part of the Casket Arts building complex. It’s a bit slower building but I am an emerging artist with a full-time job so I don’t mind it being a little quiet as I don’t have the time to devote to being there a lot. I use the studio as workspace and storage, and a place to bring friends and clients as needed.
Art studio advantage
Being in the studio has allowed me to spread my wings a bit and I’m beginning to work larger. I recently bought the largest canvas that would fit in my vehicle (the abstract painting that’s about my height) and that has been exciting for me.
The artist studio cost
There are five of us on the lease and we each pay $220/month which I feel is reasonable for space I’m in. It has a small kitchen where we each have a small frig and there is a sink with running water. Not all Studios have running water so I feel fortunate. This is my biggest expense as I don’t do art fairs etc due to working full time and not liking to be out in the elements.
Building a body of work
I am an acrylic painter and mixed media artist and my long-range goal for the studio is to build a body of work and gain exposure as well as showing opportunities over the next ten years or so with the ultimate goal of retiring from my job and then moving into a full-time artist. I hope to better established by then so I’m not doing all that legwork at that time.
Time and dedication
Advice to a young artist thinking about studio space is to weigh your options. I work a full-time job to be able to afford the space. My art is not self-sustaining at this time but I needed to make a move to continue working. It definitely changed the flow of how I work and the transition was a little tricky. I could no longer just roll out of bed and walk to canvas and paint. Now it takes effort to get dressed and drive to a different location. However, I have more concentrated, dedicated time to work so I’m actually more productive. I don’t necessarily go every day when I’m there I work hard and my home can be a place for living instead of trying to cram too much into one space.
From Chicago to Oakland
I am a mid-career artist born and raised in Chicago, and now live in Oakland, California. I have had a long and circuitous route to get to where I am now. My first studio was a pottery shop and studio combined in Chicago. I had just graduated college and only had two semesters of ceramics but I was hooked on the material and met another woman who also loved clay and was as much a beginner as I was, but we were very bold and a bit naive at the same time.
That is something I would warn artists about. Even if you are friends with the artists you are sharing a space with, it’s important to be on the same page in terms of your work habits, time spent in the studio, even what kind of music you are playing loudly, and issues about subletting to others, etc. One other issue to consider is what I call ‘conflict of materials’, meaning a clay artist or wood sculptor for example, whose process creates a lot of dust, probably shouldn’t share with an oil painter or photographer who really doesn’t want dust settling on their work. I did run into this problem.
The coop is made up of 3 buildings with 60 live/work spaces that are owned by the artists. You had to be low income to qualify for a space, and can only sell it for the same amount plus about 10% increase, and some improvement costs. There are wonderful aspects to being part of a coop, but also ‘politics’ come up when you have that many artists trying to work together cooperatively
Eventually, my husband and I were able to buy into the Emeryville Artist Cooperative in Emeryville, CA, located between Oakland and Berkeley. We were on a waiting list and it was quite competitive to get in, but I have a strong exhibition record and had a teaching position at Laney College in Oakland. My husband is Jerry Ratch who is a poet and novelist, so getting a large live/work space was perfect for us. No more driving across town to get to my studio, and no conflict of materials. I could just roll out of bed and go to work!
The actual workspace
While many artists have a studio at their home, I joke that we have a home at my studio, because the studio is by far the main part of the building. The big meeting hall that the club had is my workspace, with a 25 ft. high ceiling, and huge windows. It’s about 1400sq. ft., and also has a loft and outdoor work area, plus 12 parking spaces! We converted what had been the caretaker’s apartment upstairs to our live space, which is an additional 700 sq.ft. What’s even better is that we are in the lovely Rockridge neighborhood, and around the corner from numerous cafes, restaurants, groceries, and 2 blocks to the Bart train for easy access to San Francisco.
Studio and galleries
I am not open to the public and never sell out of my studio since galleries represent my work. I rarely have clients over but I do have tour groups from various museums and arts organizations come through for a studio visit, and close friends visit to exchange ideas, but I work alone. I don’t have an assistant, but my husband does help me when I do a resin pour and when I’m packing pieces up for a show.
My studio definitely helps my art business because it gives me the space to work in any scale and produce a lot of work. I have large walls to hang my work so I can see what I’ve done, and it looks like a gallery. We do have mortgage payments, but the studio is virtually free since we live here too. It’s taken me many years to get to this point!
From ceramics to oil paintings
Our studio was a large 1200 sq.ft. space with a loft and the rent at that time was $1,000 a month plus utilities. It was an interior space with no outside windows, but it had 10 skylights. This was fine when I was doing ceramics, but my work started to evolve into oil painting, and I couldn’t get enough ventilation without windows. After eleven years, we moved to our current location. We were looking for the right kind of property to buy for quite a while and even considered building from scratch, but it was too expensive and impractical.
Space hog artist
Then we had the opportunity to buy the Rockridge Women’s Club in Oakland, eighteen years ago, and converted it to a live/work space, where we are now. Although I still love ceramics, my own work has switched totally to mixed media photo-based oil painting with narrative text, as well as experimental photography. This space is perfect for my kind of work – it’s like it was built just for me. I only share the space with my husband since I have realized I really need to work alone on my art, and I’m a space hog!
My advice on arranging a studio
Put everything on wheels, like tables, shelving, easels, etc. This gives flexibility and makes it easy to move things around and rearrange the space as needed.
Advice to young artists
Don’t let your age or lack of experience hinder you. Get a studio somewhere, somehow, as soon as you can, whether it’s in your apartment, house, or warehouse with other people. Get to know yourself and your own needs, such as do you prefer to be alone, or in a group situation. Take bold steps. Things don’t always work out perfectly so stay open to making changes. I had numerous studios and situations before arriving where I am today.
My future plans include getting a live/work studio space in New York City. Jerry and I visit NY often since much of my work is based on photos I take at Grand Central Station, the Metropolitan Museum, and on city streets. I have seen some of the spaces artists have in NY, and most are tiny – one artist was even working in a space the size of a closet, so that might be a bit of a problem for me since I’m used to a large studio. But, I love the energy that NYC has and we hope to live there part-time, so somehow I will make it work!
My studio is in Vancouver, Washington, about 20 minutes from Portland, Oregon.
I rarely have clients in, but the space is in a common area and works for occasional studio visits by collectors/brokers. The shelf space is great for swapping out paintings in order to display a specific series.
I created a studio space in my current home about five years ago. It is actually half of our good sized living room that used to be a library. The biggest perk is that it has a skylight!
The way it evolves
The studio has grown and changed gradually over time. I started with a 30-year-old drafting table, an even older easel which my father-in-law built for me, and a swing arm lamp. My minimum. Gradually I added leftover and thrift store furniture including:
- a 50s cedar dresser that was my father’s;
- a ten-dollar bookcase from Goodwill turned on its side to use as storage for small paintings ((great idea courtesy of Pauline Gough);
- an old oak table used for attaching hanging hardware and for wrapping and packing art for mailing and/or exhibition transport. My husband installed two (then three more) Ikea shelves for display and storage.
A lonely business
Because making art can be a lonely business, I have a few gifts and mementoes from friends and family in the studio to keep me company. And because I am a messy painter, I bought a cheap patterned rug, so the many paint stains would blend in. (I should have bought the rug before I ruined the carpet – lesson learned.)
Storage and access
It is a comfortable workspace but will never have enough storage. Starting last year, I stow overflow (paintings and fresh canvases) in the guest room closet. Taking off the doors means easy access.
I paint with professional-grade acrylics and water-soluble oils on cotton, linen or wood. I would rather paint with oils, but I worry about solvent fumes and flammable rags – especially since my studio is in my living room. I sometimes use mediums that retard drying time but find they can cause my colors to shift and dry darker than expected, so I prefer to use water-soluble oils to extend blending time (Open by Golden or Duo by Holbein) and mix them with acrylics and very little water.
Never enough storage!
I’ve lived in many places and had many small home studios over the years. For me, a flat surface, good light, and quiet are the minimum requirements – and that has sometimes simply meant the kitchen table at 2 a.m. As far as advice to young artists – they will find their own requirements and they will adjust; they are on a mission. Also, they will never have enough storage!
What is an Art Studio – New York – USA
I’ve always worked at home if it wasn’t at the studio space at school when I was younger but painting in a NYC apartment obviously presented its challenges so when I moved into my house I knew it was time to convert my garage into a workspace which I’ve had since 2017. By then I’d already had a few gallery showings in NYC and a solo in Europe of works that were done primarily in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in NYC.
My studio is in middle village, Queens NY in my garage underneath my living space. I’m usually very private about my work and care about the energy I allow in my studio so only collectors and clients have ever been here but I’m always happy to welcome those interested in seeing my completed or work-in-progress projects.
No excuse not to create
I primarily paint in oils although I’ve been known to mix it up with spray paint and another medium such as oil stick and charcoal powder. As far as any advice I’d give to a young artist, especially regarding studio space… It would definitely be to not let lack deter you from working. There are times that I’d lay canvas down in the park to paint because my apartment at the time was too small to paint in. There was never any excuse for me not to create.
Art in Queens
About Queens, I would say it’s wonderfully diverse with lots of talented artists. Because we’re so close to Brooklyn and Manhattan we don’t feel separate from the NYC art scene.
New York Art tips
For artists arriving in NYC, my advice is to not get discouraged because the art scene is very fickle. Remember why you started creating in the first place and don’t get caught up in the “I want to be famous” mindset. JUST WORK! Studios are another story but the best thing is to find a shared space if you’re not into working at home or find it’s too small. There are tons of shared space options, you just need to find one.
Home art studio in Saratoga County
My studio is in Saratoga county New York. I have a 3 bedroom home and one room is set as an artist studio. I own my home and live with my girlfriend and two dogs. It’s approximately 20×15 feet (6×4,5m), it has a good light (installing better overhead lights). It does need to be cleaned a bit but it has been busy this week. I really like working from home because I get to see the artwork daily even when I’m not working on it. I’m a slow progress painter.
Horse art business
Saratoga is known for thoroughbred horse racing. A good portion of my art is equine. I’ve been going to Saratoga racecourse all my life. I get both local and tourist buyers. I communicate with local Saratoga artists. Some of which I consider to be good friends. I have learned a great deal from them on the business end of the art world.
Location is crucial
As far as advice for young artists in this area. Studios’ can be found on the cheaper end outside of Saratoga.
NYC is a few hours drive from here (around 3). Someday I would not mind having a Gallery/studio that people could walk in anytime. Location is crucial. Small studio space can be found around the Saratoga area (not in town, too expensive). I’ve heard of spaces available as low as $300. Old warehouse spaces for example.
I believe sales are getting better because my work is getting more interesting. I am adding great texture and involving large typography to my art. I think the larger pieces are appealing to art buyers. I’ve slowly gone up in size from approximately 24×36 paintings to 36 x48 paintings. That also drives up that asking price.
Living with your artworks
Advantage of living with your works gives me time to study them even when I’m not working on them (or as my girlfriend says, staring at them. she is not an artist even though the art flows throughout the house she is very supportive). I’m lucky I don’t have any push back what so ever. Also, I can blast music really loud when I paint. It’s all mine so I can be really messy!
I went to School of Visual Arts, New York, for Illustration, spent huge swaths of time learning the art of visual communications, typography and design as well as making a general nuisance of myself throughout Manhattan’s seedier circles.
Then, got pushed into the workforce, the real world of commercial illustration and design. Many years of this, media management and direction has turned me into the juggernaut of commercial illustration and fine art you see here. Currently enthralled in some maniacal trance involving painting robots.
Finding the studio
In order to find a studio, I just looked on Craigslist for studio space, got really lucky. Found NP Artist Studios run by Suzanne Russo (shes awesome!) – a shared studio space that has separated individual studios inside. Getting a studio, well it had been on my mind for quite some time prior to that… roughly about a year as I began painting and branching out to a working canvas size I felt more comfortable then and realized… “We’re gonna need a bigger boat!” – Police Chief Martin Brody
This was a big step but like most things in my life – I let my instinct guide my decision to get the studio. I trust my instinct completely – If I needed a bigger space, I was going to get it – I knew it was not going to be free, but I couldn’t keep my pace of exploration and growth working in a cramped environment. When I did – it was the best thing I could have done. Yeah, it was a struggle but what kept me going was seeing the amount of progress I had gotten to when I found a space that I could really work.
The location is Passaic New Jersey, it’s not a glamorous location like Williamsburg or even Jersey City, but it has its charms. You get to know the neighborhood a bit and I like the surrounding areas a lot – Montclair is very close, so exposure to that art scene as well as the fantastic artists in the shared studio. That is definitely a boon.
Distance from home
It’s 30 min from my home. That’s the best part – I work a 9-5 during the week in NYC so my only real studio time is on the weekends. This is where you will find me most weekends – unless I have to travel for work.
My studio visits are collectors of nerd art, video game and movie art collectors. I like bringing them in especially when I get a movie scene commission -we watch the movie they want the scene from.
Joe Fig about the artist studio. He is known for a series of artworks portraiting artists by making a diorama of their studio. He wrote two books about this art project: “Inside the Painter’s Studio” (2009) and “Inside the Artist’s Studio” (2015)
Your art space in this article
You can propose to share about your studio. We will need 2 or 3 photo of your art studio (with you or without you on the picture). We won’t share anything blurred, pixelated or of low resolution. And answer to the questions below. It is mandatory to know about the city location and the more specific you can be with your answers the more it will help other artists. A link to your website will be added if you have any (the website has to be https).
Send it to veryprivategallery’@’gmail.com
Questions about your art studio
And in the email answer the question you think relevant:
Who are you? Who do you share the studio with? Do you have any assistant?
When did you decide to get a studio space? How far were you in your career? Did it take you long to find a studio?
Where is your studio (city)? How far is it from your home? Do you receive walk-in clients or host any events? What kind of clients do you bring to your studio? Are you happy about the location? Has the studio location influenced your work?
How do you think your studio has an impact on your art business? Do you have any advice about arranging an artist studio?
#5: How much?
How much are you paying for your studio? Is it your biggest expense for your art?
What kind of medium do you use? Is there any special device or tool that are specific to your creative process? What projects you couldn’t do without it? What are your future plans? What advice would you give a young artist who is wanting an art studio?