My first art studio


Do I don’t I..?

I’ve been mulling over the idea of getting an art studio for a while. But there were always some niggling questions that would keep appearing in my head: ‘Would I use it?’; ‘Do I even need one?’; ‘Would I find something suitable and local?’… and so on.

As I already work from home I’m used to being there and had created a small space (in the corner of a room) where I could set up my art materials and work from without too much distraction. The pros being: it was local, tick; free, tick; and VERY convenient, tick. The cons being: I was still at home; the space needed to stay clean; it wasn’t very big; and distractions did occur.

Home studio space

So, I started to look around the local area, just to see what was out there. But I didn’t have much luck…some spaces were too big; some were too far away; and some were way too expensive for what I wanted. A bit of a Goldilocks story really. And then I heard about availability at some local art studios that were smallish, affordable and only a 15 minute drive away.

Hadleigh Old Firestation – HOFs

Moving in day at the studio

Hadleigh Old Firestation (HOFs) provides studio space for local artists. When I went for a viewing there were two studios available, so it was good to have a choice and a comparison. Both would have been suitable but this one felt right 🙂 With dual-aspect windows it has a view out onto the street and to the local supermarket (always handy). It has plenty of space for me to work and plenty of storage. The art studios, run by the arts organisation ACAVA, have a number of artists working there, so it’s good to have like-minded people around.

Moving in

Once the paperwork had been signed and monies paid, I picked up the keys in September. I was excited to move in and to start making the studio feel like a creative space. I already had furniture at home that I wanted to take (tables, stools, shelves plus books, art materials etc…) I just wanted some essentials like a mini fridge, a plan chest and a wheelie trolley for my art materials.

Window view and tea!

Have I made the right decision?

Well it’s early days yet but so far, I would say a resounding YES! This is how I’ve responded to my initial concerns:

  • Would I use it? I wasn’t sure if I would want to leave the comfort of home to go to a studio, but now I know it’s there I just want to be in it. I’m not there as often as I would like to be, so some changes need to be made.
  • Do I need it? Now I have a dedicated art space, I want to make it pay for itself, which is inspiring me to start work on a new business idea…
  • Would I find something suitable? If you know what you are looking for, it’s so much easier to recognise it when it comes along. I had decided that for my first studio I wanted somewhere low risk and easy to travel to. Moving to HOFs also has the benefit of being part of a ready-made artist community. Win-win 🙂
Working in my studio
Sketchbook work

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