Having a dedicated, private area to create is essential to a working artist. Call it a studio, call it a workshop, call it an atelier – the point is you have room to think, to try, to bring the idea that’s been percolating inside your mind forth into the world. In the privacy of a studio, an artist can push themselves, challenge themselves, face tough questions and find their truth – but not all studios are created equal.
Some environments are simply more conducive to the creative process than others. While there will always be some individuals who do amazing work in noisy, chaotic, squalid or even dangerous conditions, the majority of serious professional artists tend to value stable, safer settings. That baseline achieved, here are some other factors to keep in mind when choosing a studio to help you do your best work:
Pragmatically enough, one of the primary concerns to keep in mind when choosing studio space is its location. If your studio is convenient and easy to access from your home, that’s more conducive to getting work done than having to make a lengthy commute. Having your art studio nearby makes starting the day early or working late into the night logistically simpler.
The physical characteristics of the studio space matter. Large, open spaces with natural lighting are preferred by many artists. A studio must be large enough to accommodate everything you need to do your work. And as an artist, you spend a lot of time in your studio. It must be an environment you enjoy being in. What this means aesthetically will vary from artist to artist; in terms of functionality, many artists prefer a studio that has space for working, space for meeting with clients or colleagues, and space to think through ideas.
While having space to work alone is critical, many artists enjoy and benefit from having a creative, vibrant community around them. This community can be located in the same building as your studio, as is the case in the American Fabric Arts Building, or exist on a larger scale – Bridgeport, CT, for example, is known for its thriving art scene.
Financial considerations are important. Choosing a studio space that works for your budget makes sense. Studio space that’s too expensive can create excessive pressure to create and sell work in order to make the rent – a factor that many artists finds stifles, rather than drives, their output. Studio space that’s too cheap often has hidden costs built in, in terms of quality of life or safety concerns. Ideally, studio space will be reasonably priced compared to other similar local neighborhood spaces.