Making a living as an artist is challenging. Many creative professionals have to travel frequently for their work. This can involve traveling to locations to paint, photograph, or otherwise capture the local scene; it also, for many of the American Fabric Building’s resident artists, involves traveling to teach classes, work as an artist in residence, complete commissions, and more.
With that in mind, let’s talk about the value of the artist’s studio for the creative professional who travels frequently. There are some definite advantages of maintaining studio space, even if you’re not there on a daily basis. These advantages include:
Having a Base of Operations for Your Business
The professional side of being a creative professional requires having an address. You need an address for bank accounts, website hosting, and a myriad of other business functions. Having your personal life and professional life insulated from each other is a good best practice, which is why many artists maintain their studio as a base of operations.
Staging & Storage
No matter what medium you work in, there’s always an element of planning and preparation. The artist’s studio is the ideal location to conceive of projects. It’s also the ideal setting to stage the materials you’ll need for your next project, and store materials for future projects. Having a studio space gives the creative professional the ability to let projects sit while they work through their creative process to determine what needs to happen next. Because the space is yours, there’s never any pressure to clear it away or find room to store it: your work can wait for you to be ready to work on it in peace.
Review, Reflect, Review
After working on location, the artist’s studio provides a place for the creative professional to come home to. The studio is a private, self-contained space where the artist, free from any distractions or interruptions, has the opportunity to assess the work they’ve done while they were away. Many of our resident artists have remarked that the work they do in the studio after a time away is particularly fresh and exciting, influenced by recent experiences yet created in a familiar setting.
To Meet with Clients, Colleagues, and Collectors
As lovely as the idea of working quietly in isolation may be sometimes, the truth is that making a living as an artist requires connecting with other people regularly. Artists who work on a commission or contract basis can use their studio space to meet clients; in addition to being a safe environment, the studio space provides an opportunity to display the work you’d like prospective clients to see when they’re considering hiring you. The studio is also a great setting to meet with other artists about creative collaborations. And of course, it’s always nice to have a place to entertain gallery owners, art lovers, and anyone else who’s interested in purchasing your work.