If you are hoping to make a career as an artist, you will need to create an art studio in your home. There are several components to creating a workspace that is convenient, organized, and most importantly, conducive to creative thought. Here are a few things to consider when creating your own art studio.
Lighting is the most important consideration for any artist. Ideally, your studio will have plenty of natural, northern exposure lighting. If this is simply unavailable, you'll need to look into purchasing full-spectrum lighting for your workspace. Full-spectrum lighting is artificial but mimics natural light, allowing you to see colors and textures accurately and easing potential eye strain. Full-spectrum lighting is available in most home-improvement warehouse stores.
Depending upon your chosen medium, you will need a work space that gives you the support you need to get the job done. You may need a tilted drafting table, an easel, a big empty table, or simply lots of floor space. This area needs to be well-ventilated, as many art supplies have strong fumes.
Aside from your chosen work space, you will also need an organizational system for your tools and supplies. Again, depending on your chosen medium, you might need lots of shelving, storage boxes, cabinets, or drawer space. Having an organizational system in place will help you keep your area clean and tidy. It will also help you keep tabs on your supplies, so you won't waste valuable time searching for things, or money reordering stock you already have.
The ideal art studio is easy to clean. Depending on your medium, you may have to have a clean-up sink close by. If this is the case, find an area in your home in which plumbing is already installed, or one in which adding plumbing won't be a big deal. You will also want to choose durable surfaces that are not easily damaged, and are easy to clean up with soap and water.
Finally, your art studio should be a space that inspires you. Paint the walls in your favorite colors, or even create murals on them if you are so inclined. Hang pictures on the wall (either by you or other artists) that give you a creative jolt whenever you see them. In her later years, the French writer Colette wrote under the light of a blue lantern--the cool colors inspired her imagination. Monet was inspired by his gardens and the way light changes and shifts throughout the day. Your art studio should be a place of creative inspiration, so make sure you only have colors and textures in there that move you.
Most artists are used to making do with whatever they have to get the job done. However, taking the time to set up a comfortable and inspirational art studio will really pay off in the long run. Creating a work space that provides you with ample light, good organization, and easy clean-up will leave you free to explore your imagination and produce memorable works of art.______________________________
Sarah Baker is a documentary filmmaker and writer currently living in New Bern, NC. Her first book, Lucky Stars: Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, will be published December 2009. Read more about her.