Our Studios, Our Sanctuaries
There are few things artists are more passionate or opinionated about than their personal workspaces. In the past we’ve touched on many aspects of individual studio environments including the kind of sounds that artists prefer as they work (Episode #95 of The Messy Studio Podcast). Today we’re going to further explore what makes art studios unique and special to those who work in them, as well as offer some practical considerations for those in the position of upgrading their spaces.
In spite of the importance of studios, they can be created almost anywhere and with minimal space and equipment. Studios range from tiny and poorly equipped to enormous and fully functioning. Many artists carve out a work area in a basement, a spare bedroom, a garage, or shed. Others have large, well-lit, purpose-built studios with plenty of wall space and storage, perhaps even more than they actually use or need. Art can be made anywhere, and many of us have experience in a variety of studios to prove it.
While it’s always important to make the most of whatever we have available, most of us do dream of a perfect studio and take any steps we can--even small ones-- to improve our current situations. If you’re fortunate enough to be in the position of remodeling, designing or relocating to a new studio, where do you start? Location, amount of space, how to pay for the space, and what you need for equipment, utilities, and storage are all important aspects of your planning.
But there are emotional as well as practical considerations in thinking about studios. An interesting exercise-- whether you are keeping your current workspace or planning a new one-- is to create a detailed mental image of your perfect studio. How big is it, where is it located, how is it outfitted, what supplies are on hand? This fantasy studio can help you recognize what’s important to you in a practical sense, even if the reality is a more modest version. But it can also help you to enter a create mindset if used as a meditation before starting to work, or if you hit a slump. Any studio is as much an inner space as physical one, a sanctuary where we are most ourselves. Your fantasy studio can provide some powerful personal symbols that connect you with this truth...