Cyber Corner

Renting Studio Space

By Libby Kyer

Originally appeared in The Botanical Artist – Volume 16, Issue 1


So, how motivated are you to paint? How often does your work get interrupted by phone calls, interruptions, or just too many other things that seem to take precedence over your artwork? Is your output of artworks what you hoped for?  I have in-home studio space, about 120 sq. feet dedicated to my work as an artist. It has computer resources, good lighting, natural light, not enough storage space, and books…everywhere! 

However, I find I can work well there, and limit distractions if I really work at it. Sometimes I think I should just find a studio space for rent, and move the essential bits to that. Less interruptions, opens space up at home for a more clutter free office/reading room, and I wonder if I wouldn’t get more done if I had to bike or drive to the “important” studio I’m actually paying to rent.  

To research further what I felt about this, I went online to see what studio space looks like, rents for, includes. I found that about 250 sq. feet rents for anywhere from $600 to $250 a month. Most include good natural lighting. Some include essential equipment that is very expensive to afford individually: presses, photo equipment, clay prep equipment, etc. Most have a gallery space with hanging arrangements on site, available to studio renters individually for a fee, with the added possibility of group exhibits. Many have a website that previews the studios and highlights exhibits, a virtual online gallery you can participate in.  

How do you find the best studio space? I’d ask artists in my area first. A good friend rents a terrific space in a suburb of Denver for less than $400/month, including water resources, utilities and restrooms. Or, I’d surf the web, by location. In the examples below, I entered “studio space” + location name in my search engine (I still find Google has much better results than any other engine does for non-scientific topics), and came up with lots of possibilities around the country. Here are a few of the results: Located in the Baltimore, MD area, this space touts wood floored studios, each with natural light and common kitchen and restroom spaces for use by all tenants. A gallery space is on the main floor available to the artists in the building. This group also has a nice website that includes images from previous gallery exhibits. Right now, you’ll find a lot of fun images of scooters! This site from Sausalito, CA asks, “Do you want your studio in a more upbeat, eclectic and positive vibe atmosphere?” Well, who doesn’t! There are 250 sq. foot individual studios available overlooking the gallery. And there is a shared studio space available. They offer a website with current and previous exhibits information, regular exhibits for members, and are located where drive- and walk-by traffic enhances sales possibilities.  

And finally, is a treasure trove of resources, including resources for studio space, health insurance, gallery opportunities, presentation tools and legal support. Even if you’re not looking for studio space, you’ll find so many useful resources at this site.  

This small sample is typical of the sites I found. Every geographical market I looked in had possibilities. I have decided to continue with my in-home studio space for now, tweaking the storage, work surfaces, floor surfaces, lighting, and access - French door with frosted glass keeps the cat from sitting on my artwork, always a plus, and I can close the door without affecting light. I think though, once I develop some methods and materials for working in a more cost-effective fashion, I will revisit this subject. Three days a week at an “away” studio might just pump up the volume on my art!