A few days before I originally wrote this article, I was watching a painting video on Youtube. In part of the video, the artist was talking about how she finally got a proper studio and this made me think about the whole subject of studios and art.
Or, more accurately, it briefly made me feel like I was “less” of an artist because I didn’t have a dedicated art studio. Usually, when I draw or paint (using waterproof ink pens, watercolour pencils and a waterbrush) every day, I do it whilst sitting at my computer desk, with my sketchbook resting on my knee.
For a short while at least, this made me feel like I wasn’t a “serious” artist, because I didn’t have a dedicated art room. I felt like making art was just some random mundane activity that I did whilst listening to music, watching DVDs and/or surfing the web. For a short while, I almost didn’t feel like I was an “artist”.
Then I thought about it a bit more sensibly.
First of all, although I don’t have a proper studio, I still make art on a regular basis. This is probably one of the most basic qualifiers for calling yourself an artist. You can have the fanciest studio in the world and you still won’t be an artist unless you actually make art. So, even though I don’t have a studio, I still made art – therefore, I was still a “proper” artist.
Secondly, I started to think about how annoying it would be if I had to go into a separate room every time I made a daily painting. Not only would making art feel less spontaneous (my sketchbooks, pens, watercolour pencils etc… are literally right next to my computer and can be used at a moment’s notice), but I probably wouldn’t have any of the good distractions that fuel my creativity.
This is different for every artist but, whilst I find social distractions to be incredibly counter-productive (eg: if someone is talking to me or looking at me when I’m painting), I find non-social distractions (eg: listening to music, watching DVDs, looking at websites etc…) to be extremely stimulating whilst I’m painting. Having a “proper” studio would probably reduce the number of “good” distractions that I could use.
Thirdly, I looked at the art materials that I actually use. The materials I use are designed to be portable and quick-drying. In addition to this, I usually make fairly small paintings too. If I was making large oil paintings or something like that, then I might need a studio of some kind. But, having a studio (whilst using the materials that I use) would probably be slightly excessive.
Finally, I asked myself “what is a studio?” In essence, it’s the place where you feel most comfortable with making art. As I sat at my computer and looked at my sketchbooks, I realised that I already had this. I didn’t need a studio, since I had something better.
The thing to remember about studios or any of that kind of thing is that they aren’t essential. They’re an extra thing that some artists find useful, but they’re not a requirement. Plus, studios are probably also only really useful if you’re making certain types of art (eg: large paintings etc…) too.
So, don’t feel like you are “less” of an artist if you don’t have a studio. At the end of the day, the only real qualifier for being an artist is whether you make art or not.
Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂