by Lee Down

Having access to a studio space can be a positive influence on your art career. It provides you with an environment to focus fully on your commissions without external distractions. You’re also able to surround yourself with elements that inspire your creativity or support your productivity.

Nevertheless, there will occasionally be times that you need to vacate your studio space, either due to the end of a lease or because you’ve outgrown it. You might also find that you can’t immediately move into your new studio. While this can be a difficult situation, it’s vital to find ways to keep productive so that your business and reputation don’t suffer.

We’re going to look at some steps you can take to stay on top of commissions when you’re in between studios.

Schedule and Organize

One of the biggest challenges of staying on top of commissions when in between studios is keeping organized. The surroundings of a familiar studio space allow you to build a supportive environment around you and your practice. You develop routines that work well for you and utilize the space in ways that maintain these. The time when you don’t have a dedicated space can become an organizational purgatory that bucks your consistency and may devolve into chaos.

Therefore, it is vital to adopt strong scheduling and organizational practices to bridge the gap between studio spaces. You may find it helpful to spend a little time at the beginning of each week creating a digital list for the week ahead. Plot out the priorities for your commissions. Pair this with information about the resources you’ll need to complete them, the space you intend to complete them in, and the time required. Don’t forget to schedule social media posts and client outreach. You may find it helpful to do this in a calendar you can access via the cloud so you can adjust it easily no matter where you are.

Another important part of your organizational approach is accessing your materials in a practical way. Your studio space may have been big enough that you could keep all materials on hand whenever you need them. When you’re in between studios, it’s often wise to create a mobile case with all the essentials, such as the core paints you regularly use and a travel easel. You can always add things or swap them out as your commission needs change. This makes it easier for you to work practically for this short period in the no man’s land between spaces.

Embrace Mobile Tech

When you’re waiting to move into your new studio, in all likelihood you’re going to be taking a more transitory approach to your commissions. Yes, in some instances you may be able to do the majority of your work at home. However, there can be times that’s impractical, uninspiring, or just not preferable. By embracing more mobile technology in your commission process, you’ll find you have more freedom to create on the move.

If you’re a digital artist, this may involve switching out your cumbersome graphics tablet for a mobile tablet device. More of these tools on the market today are compatible with nuanced styluses that offer fine pressure responsiveness. There are also more advanced drawing apps, like Procreate and Adobe Fresco, that offer a wide range of digital brushes, vector options, and cross-device file compatibility that can enable you to complete commissions anywhere.

Alongside the artistic work of commissions, it’s also important to embrace mobile tools that help you keep up with the business side of your practice. You’ll need to keep posting content, updating your portfolio, and interacting with clients while between studios. Mobile hotspots enable you to use mobile data to reliably connect your devices to the internet from anywhere. Most smartphones have hotspots you can switch on via the settings menu. However, you might find it better to invest in a dedicated hotspot device with a plan from a network provider if you expect to need heavy data usage while on the move.

Arrange Efficient Moving Resources

One of the most difficult parts of maintaining your commissions in between studios is balancing them with arrangements for moving to your new space. The extra administrative and practical tasks can add an element of frustration to your already challenging work needs. So, it’s smart to utilize moving resources that are efficient enough to lighten your mental and physical load.

It’s worth putting a little time into planning the details of the move itself. Project management software can help you take a positive approach to the move. PM tools enable you to visualize all the tasks that need to be completed in the run-up to moving day and how you can fit these between your commissions and other duties. Most platforms also allow you to set up alerts that keep you on track.

During your planning, it’s important to consider how you’re transporting your belongings to the new space. Moving can be particularly challenging if you don’t have a car, especially if you’re moving across the city or to another state. You may be able to make use of ride-sharing services or friends for short distances. However, if you have a lot of items or need to travel further, you may find it more efficient to hire a moving service. Many will arrange packing as well as transportation. This will also allow you to focus on your commissions rather than the stress of the move.

Doing Art When in Between Studios

Keep Communicating

It’s important to remember that creating art as a full-time career isn’t necessarily the same as your personal work. You’re not making art in isolation. It’s vital for your reputation as a professional and for the confidence of your clients that you maintain communication even when you’re between studios.

You might find it wise to reach out to your commission clients in the lead-up to vacating your old studio space. Let them know about the situation and how this might affect the timing of providing work. Reassure them by providing swift responses to their questions and show them you’re still committed to working with them on a professional level.

There may be times during your studio purgatory period when unexpected delays occur due to fewer resources or surprise disruptions. Make communicating with your clients your priority here. Talk to them about the specifics of the issues and what solutions you are implementing. They may be more open to pushing deadlines on some projects if they have solid information from you on how you expect to move forward.

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Staying on top of commissions when you’re between studios is challenging, but you can navigate the difficulties. Adopt the highly organized work practices and mobile technology that can keep you productive. It’s also worth arranging resources that reduce the stress of moving.

Remember that communicating regularly with your clients can help mitigate the impact of disruptions, too. You’ve worked hard to build your art business, it’s important to ensure you maintain consistency on the way to your new space.

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