When it's time to let your inner artist come out and play, you need a space all your own that invites your muse. As the first step in creating an art studio or room, choose one with a bank of windows that lets in lots of natural light -- preferably from the north to avoid piercing sunlight -- or at least lighting fixtures absent of incandescent bulbs. If you don't have enough natural light, use bulbs that provide the full spectrum of light so you can see the colors you work with or the items you create. It doesn't matter if you're a painter, a sculptor, a crafter or prefer working with textiles -- develop an art space that allows your creativity to blossom.
Take It to the Floor
If you work with untidy mediums, such as paints or clay, do so in a room minus the carpet, unless you plan to cover the area with painter's tarps. Art rooms can get quite messy; choose an inexpensive flooring material so you won't care if it gets mucked up with paints, dyes or clays. If you create textiles with a loom, sew or make crafts to sell, it really doesn't matter what's on the floor, as these are much cleaner artistic endeavors.
Size Doesn't Matter
But organization does matter in your art room. If you're a painter, set up an easel with your back to the light. Behind you or to either side, arrange a caddy to store your brushes and paints. Don't forget the small stool to hold your palette as you mix colors. If you work in oils, have plenty of cans for adding and mixing linseed oils or turpentine -- and make certain you have adequate ventilation. Floor-to-ceiling shelving that adjusts as needed or bookcases along the wall free up the middle of the room for work tables or drying racks.
An art room often appears creatively chaotic; artists and artisans alike make a mess when creating their pieces. This makes having an organized space critical -- even though most won't recognize the organization in the room. Create storage along one wall with cubbies that contain needed goods. A pegboard on the wall works well for drying paintings, sewing supplies or to hang tools of the trade. The medium you work in dictates the amount of counter space or horizontal surfaces needed. A seamstress or crafter welcomes a long countertop mounted on the wall, into its studs with substantial supports beneath. For a graphic designer, a drafting table, with light from behind or above, and a caddy alongside hold the needed tools.
Along with the supplies needed to practice your art, use found items or thrift store purchases to avoid breaking your budget. An old door secured to a couple of old filing cabinets with carriage bolts provides a large and safe working surface plus needed storage in the drawers. Typical art rooms contain an eclectic mix of old chests, cubbies, shelving, odd-shaped worktables and bookcases most people wouldn't bother even considering for use elsewhere in the home.
Some of the raw materials you use when completing your specific art can be dangerous or require specific handling instructions. Read all the labels on containers to ensure you store them properly. In a home with children, keep the door locked when the room is not in use, or store supplies where kids can't reach them. Follow any material safety instructions so that you can healthily enjoy the time you spend in your art room.
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