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...feed your soul with art & creativity!

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Umpteenth Iteration Wise Words on Art Studio Renovation

I'm renovating yet another space for my art studio.  Every time I move, I have to start over.  It's been a little over a year since we moved here and we started working on renovations in March.  It's slow going as we are making the changes in our "free time."
The inside of my Florida studio door!
I feel like this is the Umpteenth Iteration of my art studio.  Let me give you a better picture of this...when I first began doing art, I had a smallish desk that I worked at.  This evolved into a larger desk.  Then I moved to a different state. After a year at that location, I had a set of shelves and a door that I used for painting--oh, and a table, but I didn't really use the table much--it sort of was more my catch-all for stuff.

Then I moved (in state but closer to where I did most of my social and work activities).  And I took a week long painting retreat wherein I came home utterly inspired and altered my smallish dining room into a full blown painting studio--at this point I was mostly doing tempera and acrylic painting.

Then I moved (still in state but needed a place with a better cost of living situation).  And I altered a bedroom into my art studio--again, mostly doing painting, but also starting to collage and make assemblages from found items.  I also began collecting art related books.

Then I moved to a different state when my sweetheart got a new job.  I had a room and instead of painting, found myself doing more collage and assemblage.  Due to a gift horse, I was able to finally buy a glass kiln and get my glass art studio set up.  And began taking some stained and fused glass classes.

Then I moved to a different state due to a job transfer.  I made our extra room into my art studio.  I painted, I made hundreds of Artist Trading Cards, and did stained and fused glass creations. Continued taking stained and fused glass classes.

Studio in Maryland--focus on glass work and ATCs
Then we moved to a different state due to a family health issue.  I made one of the extra rooms into my art studio--I did everything--painting, collage, textile collage, assemblage in there.  And wow!  bonus, we had a second house courtesy of my sweetie's job and I set up my glass studio there--where I later acquired an enameling kiln.  Being within 40 minutes of Thompson's Enamels, I took MANY enameling classes and acquired enameling materials.
Studio at House #1 in Ohio, focus on EVERYTHING creative

While functioning out of these two studios, I discovered a wonderful little community art center that had studio spaces for rent at VERY reasonable prices.  I had begun making so much art that I didn't have room to store it all and I decided this would be a good way to start getting my name out there and selling my art. So I transformed the empty space into yet another art studio.  Then I added a second studio there as a classroom space.  And shortly after that the Pendleton Art Center in Middletown was announced and I was the very first artist to sign up for a studio--I rented the largest space with the most window area that I could get.  And I closed down the studios at the smaller art center and most everything from my two home studios. But first, I had to renovate the room--including painting the walls, putting in vinyl flooring, and installing counters and shelves everywhere.  It was a labor of love and I ADORED this studio.  (at one point I had art supplies spread out in five different studios!!)

My sweet studio at OCAC in Ohio
My lovely studio and classroom at Pendleton Art Center in Middletown Ohio *sigh*
I STILL miss it so very much.

Then we moved again due to a job transfer.  For about 8 months, I had no real studio space at my disposal and my studio at Pendleton was still rented. As I went and closed it up, we installed an outdoor storage building that we added electric to, added AC and installed my shelving and cabinets.  It was VERY crowded, and VERY buggy--many frogs, spiders, lizards and even at one point a small black snake.  Also the AC got jammed up with frogs (ewww!) so the studio was very hot!

The partially organized studio in Ocala Florida in the Froggy Station Storage House
I had just gotten everything moved into our two extra bedrooms (just couldn't take the wildlife creatures in my studio or the heat) and was just beginning to use the spaces, when a job change happened and we moved to a different city.
Beginning to organize glass room in the Ocala FL house after giving up on Froggy Station

Which brings me to the present. For this first year, most of my art supplies have been in storage although I have increasingly brought more and more stuff to the house until it's a fifty-fifty split between storage and the house.  Much of it is currently stacked up in the screen room we are renovating into my art studio.
Installing ceiling insulation in FL studio space
YAY!  AC installed. MUST HAVE otherwise too sweltering to work.
Lovely buttercream yellow walls, the turquoise door and the ceiling fully insulated.

This umpteenth iteration of studio renovation includes having to find 7 windows at a reasonable price, a door, insulation for walls and ceiling, drywalling, painting, installing ac, lighting and fans, and installing cabinets/counters and shelves.  I'm beginning to see the light at the end of this tunnel and it is fully my intention to remain at this location until I'm able to buy a home where I want to live and have OTHERS do the studio renovation.

I am now an expert at how to create and re-create an art studio and how to renovate it on the cheap (this screen room renovation includes two ceiling fans, a second hand AC unit, a free door, 7 used windows, insulation, drywall and outside siding.

I'm ready to focus all this creative energy into my art work and art businesses. Word to the Wise:  If you plan to renovate a room into an art studio, realize that it may not happen in a day, a week or even a year. Best practice?  Work with an empty room instead of trying to work around stuff stored in the room--even if that means renting storage space temporarily, the cost will be worth the savings in headaches and slow progress.