Whether or not you have a rented studio, an at-home studio or something in-between, this week’s blog outlines 8 personal preferences to consider when choosing your studio spaces.
1. Location: The time it takes to get to your creative space is important. A longer drive may mean less actual work time since the commute is long. An at-home studio may give you more time but can also mean you prioritize housework over art-making.
2. Space Adaptation: Some spaces allow you to change and adapt your space while others have strict rules. While normal painting and patching are often allowed, some spaces do not allow you to customize or adapt your creative space, even if it’s something practical like added storage or improved lighting. At-home studios allow you to adapt as far as your budget goes, how big your space is and how willing your family is with your creative space needs.
3. Storage: This is important for a creative person as we have to store the art after we make it and oftentimes this means we need space! While not all studios will have storage available, knowing you can create storage solutions and have options to safely house art is important.
4. What you need /Work habits: You often learn your creative space preferences when you have what you don’t need. My personal preference in my studio was that I needed windows and sunlight and I only learned this after having an underground windowless basement studio. Some of these take time but once you know your space preferences, they tend to be a necessity.
Other necessities may be dictated by your art-making. Think about potters who may need a floor that’s easy to clean, or power needs, or the ability to use equipment like kilns in your space. Each medium will have needs to make the art-making happen.
5. Neighbors: When the neighbors are great you will love your space but consider a neighbor who smokes in his studio, a pilates-yoga studio above you, and another neighbor who lives next door and watches football all day. These are just a few of my creative neighbors. When you are looking to lease a space, knowing who your neighbors are and how safe the building and community spaces are is important because it affects your ability to focus and make work.
6. Art Community: The need to connect with the local art community can often draw you to renting from a building with other creative people or choosing a city that has a lot of artists or creative small businesses.
7. Solo vs. Shared Space: Sometimes sharing a studio makes sense for financial reasons. Some art buildings also make it nearly impossible to be a tenant on your own due to rental costs. If you know you prefer your own space or want a space to call your own, this can limit or dictate or change your studio space options.
You can also consider group work or community workspaces like We Work or Spaces. A low-risk investment, used for short or long-term alongside people who want to use the space to get work done!
8. Cost: Often the biggest contributor to deciding on creative space is the cost. An at-home studio will significantly reduce costs while a studio in a local art building will ensure monthly rental fees, insurance, and maybe utilities. Knowing your budgets and your business income can help you decide if the cost of the space aligns with your business goals and values.