Inside the Artist's Studio: The Studio
HOW DO I SET UP MY STUDIO SPACE?
I tend to arrange my studio to be open, airy and minimal. I like to work large and need space to be able to move large canvases around.
I paint directly on the walls and keep as much floor space open as possible for fluid techniques, trim work or storing stacks of canvas for a new collection.
I like to hang inspirational quotes, color swatches, fun finds, and gifts from my students to cozy the place up.
Rolling carts have not been useful for me, and seem to always in the way. I find myself moving them all the time.
Instead, I keep a working table with cabinet storage underneath and a set of 5-6 short shelves for quickly grabbing commonly used tools that won't fit on top of the table.
I also enjoy an abundance of light and will utilize a central light for the room and track lighting all around with floods for brightening the walls.
Along the walls I paint on, I will keep anti-fatigue mats so my feet don't tempt me to quit painting too early.
Oh...and I can't forget to mention: I tuck away a mini fridge under my table—drinks make the world go 'round!
DOES MY STUDIO LOCATION INFLUENCE MY WORK?
I have worked in my bedroom, and I have worked in a private studio alongside other artist studios in a co-op, and I currently work alone in my own space.
Having experienced a variety of work spaces, I can say that it definitely does have an affect on my work. Distractions, noise, isolation, the commute, the exposure for your art are factors that come into play more than you can know.
I will always highly recommend for artists to work in a community setting—especially if you're wanting to propel your work forward. It has helped me grow as an artist for sure!
Creative people need other creative people and to work in creative settings, surrounded by creative work, in order to make their best work.
WHAT KIND OF EASEL DO I PAINT ON?
I have long ditched using a traditional easel. Instead, I paint right on the wall.
I use soundboard from Home Depot (for pinning paintings on paper) and 6" long 1X2 wood blocks anchored into drywall for my stretched canvases.
Some blocks I arrange close together for smaller sizes, others for medium sizes, and one set for oversized.
I have noticed a few benefits from working on the wall: I don't get my hands messy working on the sides, I can view more than one piece at a time to get a sense of what a collection will look like, and I can work more assembly line style.
I will use 5 gallon buckets or low benches as props for my oversized canvases if I can't reach the top very well.