Looking through storefront windows, I have often fantasized about having my own gallery space. It would have a huge work studio and a showroom displaying that work. I would like to imagine that there are many other artists who share my dreams. However, the reality is that studio space can be very expensive. And many artists can’t afford this luxury, especially if they are just starting out. It’s important to have a balance of income and expenses. Business expenses can add up quickly, and having a decked out studio is an unnecessary expense.

Luckily, there are more affordable studio options for artists. Many people work at home, share studio space with others, and even set up their easels outside. Depending on your needs, one of these options can be a great alternative. The ideal situation would be to have an art studio away from home. You would be able to make art without distraction, host potential buyers, and lead art classes. However, this may not be an option for everyone. And I don’t recommend leasing an independent studio space until you make enough profit from your art to afford it.

In Home Art Space

The benefit of having a studio in your home is that it’s free. The disadvantage is that there are constant distractions, like family, pets, neighbors, chores, and about a thousand other things. If you plan on having a home studio, make sure it is a space that is off limits. Even if it’s just a closet or a shed; set boundaries and let others know that when you’re working you can’t be distracted. Work on self-discipline, and don’t leave the studio during your work hours. You wouldn’t leave a regular office unless it was an emergency, it is the same with your studio space. Do yourself a favor, and take your art seriously.

Another benefit of this arrangement is that your home studio is tax deductible! You can write off your studio space as a business expense. However, it might be a challenge to show off your work to potential buyers, host events, or teach classes in your home. If you’re still debating this option, consider the most important factors and decide for yourself. There are also others options available such as shared studio space and painting plein air.

Shared Studio Space

This option is a happy medium if you’re not ready to have an independent art studio, but have difficulty working at home. You get the luxury of having a special place to make art away from home, and Scruffy the hamster will never get into the paints again! It’s obviously more expensive than working from home, but if you are willing to pay for it then there are many options available to you. Check your local classified ads, or ask around on social media to see if someone wants to share an art studio with you! The cost of rent can be greatly reduced when you are sharing the burden.

Plein Air Painting

If you’re looking for a free space, with lots of light, and plenty of inspiration. Look no further than the great outdoors. Plein air painting is the act of painting outdoors. You have the added spontaneity of your painting subjects constantly changing. Some of the challenges include the unexpected weather and strangers walking up to you while you’re working. If that sounds like the perfect day to you, then plein air painting could be your studio option. Many artist switch between painting outdoors and inside their studios – I would greatly recommend this options for you!

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