The first question to ask yourself – is a dedicated, separate studio necessary? While a separate building or room may not be necessary or even possible, if you are taking your art seriously you at least need a dedicated artist space.
You need a personal space that you don’t need to clean up afterwards and can easily store your art equipment and supplies, particularly essential if you have an artwork that is in progress.
A few tips to consider when creating a studio or artist space:
Stay away from your bedroom: While it is important to keep your living and work spaces separate, it is more important to keep solvents and other materials out of the air that you sleep in.
Keep out of the kitchen and dining room too: For similar reasons, paints and solvents should not be stored or used in areas where food is prepared, cooked and eaten.
Ventilation: Proper ventilation is essential in the area where you are working with oil paints and solvents. You can use an exhaust fan to help move the air from the inside to the outside. Try to take frequent breaks and get fresh air too!
Comfort: You will find that you are better able to create in a space that you find comfortable. Paint the space in a colour that you find relaxing and inspiring, include a couch or seat if possible to allow for rest breaks and ensure that the temperature is comfortable for both you and the medium that you are working with.
Lighting: If your space has fantastic natural light then you are very lucky, if not, or if you prefer to work at night then you will need to replace standard light bulbs with full spectrum lighting. This lighting provides the full spectrum of sunlight and so mimics natural lighting, allowing you to see true colours.
Utilising the space: Consider the available space and have it work best for both the creative process and storage. Consider an easel that has a dual function. You can get space saving easels, they can be used in a traditional upright manner, but convert easily into a flat surface for easy storage. If you run out of room to store your completed works, consider lending them to friends and family that have admired them, hanging on their wall, will free up some of your work space.
Regardless of whether you can utilise a granny flat, a garage, a spare room or just a nook in your home, it just needs to be a space you feel comfortable in and where you can pick up a brush and create without constraint.
So claim some space as your own, clear out items that are not needed and let your family and friends know the purpose of this space.
Contact Ellen Michel Art School directly if you have a specific question you would like answered.