"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas Edison

Setting Up Your Studio
© 2000 Nita Leland

my studio doorYou don't have to have a studio to make art, but you do need a special place where you can get into art mode and have all your tools and materials close at hand. I started out painting on the kitchen table, but I kept having to put everything away just so my family could eat (no surprise there!). So I moved my art stuff to a corner of the bedroom, using a card table and tv tray table as easel and taboret. This worked for a long time, but it was wonderful when I was able to transform a porch into a studio and have a place for everything. You'd be surprised what you can use for a studio. One artist I know moved into a small condo and turned her guest coat closet into a tiny studio complete with built-in drafting table, storage drawers above and below and a good work light. It served her well until she was able to rent a larger outside space.

You're invited to visit My Studio.

Here are some of the basics for an art studio, in no particular order:

  • work surface (easel or drafting table)
  • taboret or small kitchen cart to hold palette, paints, brushes, water, etc.
  • comfortable chair, correct height for work surface
  • flat storage for paper and paintings
  • shelves for art materials (old bookcases)
  • good lighting (full spectrum)
  • floor covering that doesn't matter (Get cheap carpeting and throw it away if you move.)

On your bookcase/storage shelves you can use hardware cabinets with drawers for your paint tubes and small items. Put plastic-coated stacking on shelves to add vertical storage to shelf space. Use deli food cartons and boxes for pencils, crayons and markers. Keep related materials together--drawing, painting, framing, shipping, etc., so you can find what you need in one place. Try to keep as many things as possible in the open and within reach, so you don't have to dig them out when you need them.

  • easy access to cleanup area
  • light box
  • radio or tape player
  • electrical outlets
  • slide projector
  • wall space to hang art
  • bulletin board

You might want to set up a corner with desk and chair for the business side of your art, but if possible, try to have it in a separate room, so it doesn't distract you. Get an answering machine for your phone and train yourself to let it pick up your calls when you're painting. You'll be surprised what you can accomplish!

Let's Talk and share ideas about studio setup.

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