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"What Elements Should You Include when Creating Your Own Art Space?" by Jennifer Lueders, M.F.A.

Updated: Jun 1

The first and most important element to take into account when creating any art space is the lighting. The best would be natural lighting from large windows. An alternative would be using lamps. There are some lamps that purport to simulate natural lighting. Unfortunately, a lot of these types of lamps can be rather expensive. Another kind of lamp would be one that holds a regular light bulb or an LED lamp. I personally use all three sources, because I only have one window in my space and no over head lighting. Recently, I have been considering putting in inset lights into the ceiling, a sky light, an additional window, or a new ceiling fan with a light within it. Without proper lighting you can not see the true colors of your paint, color pencils, or ink. These things will also effect your mood and creativity, as well as any filming, if you desire to one day start a Twitch or YouTube channel. As far as documenting your work, or soft box professional photography standing lights. The latter is a big investment but worth it.

You can find these lamps in multiple places online, such as:

  • Dick Blick

  • Michael’s Arts and Crafts

  • Hobby Lobby

  • Jerry Artarama

  • Joann Fabrics

  • Amazon

Besides lighting, how you work in terms of table space is critical when you think of things to consider. When planning your workspace you must think about what you plan to do on those workspace components. For example, you may need:

  • A drafting table

  • A table with which to work on your table easel

  • A table on which to mat and frame

  • Workspace for your printer, scanner, computer, lamp, office supplies, paperwork, and more

You can use a wooden desk or card table or drafting table You can also use the heavy-duty, plastic fold-out tables, or IKEA furniture, or yard sale finds. I prefer a combination of heavy plastic fold out table, a drafting table, and a corner desk that I got from Amazon.

A lot of artists will need a close water source. This could be a sink within the studio space itself or in a nearby bathroom. The alternatives to a running water source might be water spray bottles, jugs of water, and lots of baby wipes.

Some other elements to consider when designing your studio space are having:

  • Proper shelving for art supplies, books, manuals, and office paperwork

  • Organizers for business records, receipts, applications, completed expenditures, and other tax-related forms and supplies, as well as for cleaning products, paper and canvas, and other miscellaneous items

  • Adequate containers for pencils, pens, paintbrushes, and tools

In your mat and framing station, you will need:

  • Logan mat cutter

  • X-ACTO blades

  • Box cutter

  • Pencils

  • Ruler

  • T-square

  • Measurement guide

  • Matboard

  • Frames

  • Hanging system

  • Dual Driver

  • Professional tape dispenser with reveals

  • Tape measure

  • Wire for hanging

The brands that I like to use the most are from Logan for the mat cutter and the dual point elite, and the Scotch ATG professional tape dispenser. The rest of the brands are just standard brands that you find with Office Depot, Walmart, or Amazon

In designing your studio space, you will need technical equipment and supplies. I have following:

  • A desktop Mac computer

  • A telephone

  • A professional-grade digital camera

  • Scanner

  • Office Printer

  • Professional fine art printer

  • An adequate amount of lamps

  • An iPad with a digital writing tool

  • Wall clocks

  • Photo light ring for videotaping

The brands I prefer are Apple, Canon for the printers, and the Epson V550 photos scanner.

When designing your studio space, you must consider air-quality. Unfortunately, there can be toxins in art supplies. Besides the lead in pencils, there is a multitude of other toxins within various paints and solvents. For example, when acrylic paint dries, it puts out a form of formaldehyde. There are paints, both oil and acrylic, for which it is advised not to leave on the skin or inhale.

My best solution would be to keep your air quality as clean as possible with fresh air coming from the windows, and utilizing an air quality machine. The type of machine that I use on a regular basis comes from a company called Thera Pure. Their machines are relatively inexpensive and the filters can be cleaned pretty easily. You can find these machines at Walmart, Target, or Amazon.

In designing your art studio space, remember that it is Yours. Personalize it, install your favorite salt lamp or favorite plant. If action figures inspire your work, display them prominently in your space. I personalize my studio space with a bench by the window for my cat to birdwatch. I have a salt lamp; a collection of animal figurines; twinkle lights here and there; sheer drapes; my favorite candle warmer; and the Bible and various children’s books, and comics, as well as art history books and other reading/resource materials.

I hope these few pointers on how to design your creative space might be of help. Next up is to get out your pencil and paper and sketch out where you want to place all of your items. Have fun establishing the creative space that will best get those creative juices flowing!

Have a creative day and don’t forget to like, share, and make a comment below. What did you find best that works in your space for you? Do you have any great design ideas or suggestions to share with others creatives like yourself? Please leave your comments in the space below.


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