While this may not be practical for everyone, professional painters and sculptors usually rent a studio if adequate space is not available where they live. You can find studio spaces for rent by looking in the classifieds section of your newspaper or on Craigslist. If you can’t afford one on your own, many artists share studio spaces, either by renting out an entire building and splitting the rent between 10 or 20 artists or by renting a single studio space (one room) and sharing it with an artist friend. The Brewery in Los Angeles (http://www.thebreweryartistlofts.com/) used to be an actual brewery before artists started moving in. It now houses over 500 artists who have the option of living in their studio space as well (not all commercial buildings allow this—if you’re wanting to live in your studio space, make sure it is zoned for residential to avoid fines and possible eviction).
As with anything, there are pros and cons to renting a studio space.
- Dedicated space where you can leave your supplies and materials set up 24/7
- Distraction-free zone (no kids, no mailman, no t.v.)
- Sense of community (if you’re in a space with other artists)
- Storage space for all your supplies and canvases
- Studios can double as show spaces. You can hold your own exhibition in your studio space and invite the public to view your work. The studio is also a good place to host clients or people interested in purchasing your work.
- If you’re working with a live model, often a studio space is more comfortable for the model than a home. If you’re working from a still-life setup, the studio is a good place to leave it set up without being disturbed or having to re-set it up every session.
- Cost (the price varies wildly depending on where you live—you may be able to find a guest house or barn for rent or you may find an office space in a downtown area).
- If your studio is away form your home, it may be difficult to get there. Do you have adequate transportation to and from your studio? Can you dedicate enough time to go to your studio and work?
- Make sure the studio is in a safe area if you plan on working at night.
- Sharing with other artists is great as long as they respect boundaries. If you don’t have a locked, private room, you run the risk of becoming a victim of theft (also known as permanent borrowing).
- You may need to pay for internet access, water, or electricity.
- Access may not be available 24/7.
If you’re going to rent a studio space, come up with a list of considerations to ask the landlord before you start shopping.