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.
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.
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
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.
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?