by Lee Down

As an emerging artist, finding a studio space where your imagination can run free and your productivity can be supported is a major stepping stone in your career. However, to get there, you may have to approach this process from a business perspective to make it happen.

Discovering the right studio space, especially your first studio, isn’t always easy. There are many things to keep in mind, the most important of which is your budget. There are many costs associated with renting a studio that you might not be fully aware of — but that you need to be familiar with — if this is your first time securing your own space or pursuing art professionally.

Making Art for a Living

Perhaps making art is still just a hobby, but you’re looking to turn it into a full-time career. Going through the transition from a 9 to 5 job to self-employment is a big obstacle, but you can make it work.

The first step is to start saving early and save as much as you can. Assess your current financial situation, make a realistic budget that takes the transitional period into account, and make a financial plan for your first year.

The first year as a self-employed artist is among the most critical. Many small businesses don’t make it past the first year or two due to financial instability. And the last thing you want is to return to your 9 to 5 because you didn’t make it as a freelance artist. In addition to saving, this means you may have to get a little creative to boost your transition fund.

How To Budget for Your First Studio Space

Funding the Transition

If you don’t think your savings will be enough, however, there are other options for funding your first studio space and becoming an artist full-time. Numerous businesses and organizations offer grants for artists to help them fund their work and make a living. A simple Google search for artist grants will provide you with a wide range of places to seek funding this way.

You can go the route of crowdfunding your art career and studio space. There are many people out there with money that are willing to give. And even if each person only gives a small amount, that can add up quickly if your crowd-funding page reaches enough eyes. For example, if only 300 people donate to your cause, but each gives $20, that’s $6,000.

You could also look into auctioning off some of your art at charity events or simply save up your earnings from your sales at festivals or markets. After all, you don’t necessarily need a studio space to start making money off your work.

Make and Stick to a Budget

Once you save up enough to start working full-time as an artist, make sure you continue to stick to a strict budget until your business is more stable. You’ve worked hard to get your first studio, but you’ll need to continue that hard work to keep it up.

It can take some time to start generating enough revenue from your art sales for you to be comfortable, so you must continue to stick to a budget as much as you can to avoid running out of money.

One of the best ways to do this is to set yourself up with an income and spending tracker so you know where all of your money is coming from and where it’s going. You’ll then want to create a budget worksheet or use budgeting software to track all of your expenses, as well as other important pieces of information, such as the dates when your bills are due.

From there, start looking for ways to potentially cut costs so you can keep saving as much as possible. Save even just a small amount of money every month, so you have an emergency fund to cover any large or unexpected expenses.

Acquiring Your First Studio

Once you’ve got the money you need to start shopping for your first studio space, it’s important to keep a few things in mind to ensure you make the right choice for your needs.

Below are a few things to consider when renting an art studio:

Finding the Right Space

First and foremost, you need to find a studio that will be conducive to both creating art and supporting your business.

Consider how you plan to sell your art and run your business. For example, is this studio only where you will make and store your art, or do you want to display and sell it out of the studio as well?

Think about what kind of art you make. Will the studio space be conducive to your creative process? Is it the right size? Does it have the right amenities? Does it get good light? Is it well insulated in case your art-making gets noisy?

These are all questions to ask yourself to ensure you’re investing in the right studio.

If you’ve found the perfect spot, but it’s beyond the scope of your budget, don’t be afraid to negotiate on the lease. Not all landlords or owners are going to be willing to negotiate, but some will, especially if you are leasing from an individual and not a major leasing corporation.

Further, you can also consider creating an art studio in your current home. However, if you’re using your own home, you still need to ensure it has everything you need to use it as a studio space. This could mean making changes or additions to your home to accommodate your workspace, such as ventilation, lighting, and floor protection.

Selecting a Location

Location is another crucial factor to consider. For example, if this is a place where you’ll be spending a lot of your time, you likely want it to be easily accessible. If it’s too far from where you live, it could make your life and your creative process more difficult.

The noise level in the area around the studio is also something to keep in mind. If you can easily drown out background noise and remain focused, then this might not be an issue. But some artists need peace and quiet to be productive. So if you find a great space in a noisy neighborhood, you might want to consider how you will handle this before signing a lease.

Buy Art at Arts Artists Artwork

Considering Budget When Renting Your First Studio Space

When it does come time to create a budget for your studio space, there’s more to consider beyond your monthly rent. The items below are important things to keep in mind:

  • Travel costs:This is an expense that is often overlooked, but it can significantly affect your budget if you aren’t careful. If your studio isn’t close to where you live, you could end up spending a decent amount of money each month on traveling to and from the studio.
  • Utilities:This includes things like your water and electric bills. Depending on the type of art you create, what kind of power and equipment you need, and the lighting in the space, you can easily run up your utility bills pretty quickly. Whether you’re renting a studio or using your own home, you can always look into ways to lower your utility costs. Even small things — like using energy-efficient lightbulbs, unplugging electronics when they aren’t in use, and working on your art during the day so you can use natural light — can help you save a decent amount of money.
  • Cleaning and maintenance: Art studios can get messy, so you’ll want to budget for keeping your space clean. If you have the time and energy, you can clean it yourself, but if not, you’ll need to pay for a cleaning service. You should also have a budget set aside for maintenance in case any of your equipment needs to be fixed. As a renter, your landlord will likely take care of major maintenance items on your behalf, but you may still need to cover smaller costs or projects.
  • Materials and equipment:What about the cost of all the materials and equipment you’ll need to buy to have a functional studio? Though exact costs vary depending on the kind of art you make, materials and equipment can get quite expensive — especially when creating art at a professional level. You’ll likely need to regularly restock your supplies, so be sure to include these expenses as a part of your annual budget.
  • Insurance:Depending on how exactly you’ll be using the space, you may also need special insurance to cover you. This could include basic renters insurance or something more substantial if your space will also operate as an exhibit or storefront.

There is much to consider when transitioning to work as a full-time artist and renting your first studio space. This isn’t to deter you but rather to help you prepare, so you can be as successful in your endeavors as possible. Before making the leap, make sure you save up as much as you can, seek sources of funding, plan accordingly for the right space, and always stick to your budget.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.