Ok, at some point in time you may outgrow your studio and need to secure a new creative space. If you are serious about your art and art business, then it is likely you are going to be spending a lot of time working in your creative space. Choose your creative space wisely as it can have a big impact on your art, productivity, attitude, customers and your overall brand.
You need a space to create your art but you also need a space to conduct business. This space could be your home, a studio, a coop, a gallery to multiple retail locations – whatever is appropriate for your business model. The use of your space could vary from just a place to create art to an elaborate facility with studios, warehouse space and a retail area. Your needs may also change depending on your business model and if your art business is growing or shrinking.
Types and uses of creative spaces
There are all kinds of creative spaces! When choosing your creative space be sure to consider all of the activities that you need to conduct in your art business. Some of the types and uses of creative space include:
- A home studio, basement, garage and maybe even a tree house…
- A rented, owned or coop studio
- A retail, gallery space or showroom
- A space to produce your art that is comfortable and contributes to your productivity
- A space for production or fabrication of large works
- A space for storage, warehousing, shipping and receiving
- An office space to house non-creative business activities
- A space to meet clients
What to look for
It is important to know what your studio and facility needs are and how they fit your business model and growth plans before making any commitment. At a minimum you will need a space to create your art. Don’t overlook the importance of having a space that is conducive to creating your products and services.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing your creative space:
- It is a place where you want to be – the space, the building, the neighborhood, the overall location
- It matches your lifestyle and supports your brand
- It is conducive to creativity and innovation
- It provides as safe and secure environment
- You have areas to create and take care of other business activities such as accounting, order processing, computers and other records
- You have space to store your materials, supplies and finished art
- It is close enough to the things you need such as suppliers
- There are no zoning or environmental concerns that would limit the work you do
- It is close enough to your customers and provides easy access and parking
- You can remodel or decorate the space as your needs change
- You have the needed access to the internet, phone and other services
- It is large enough to meet your needs and short term growth
- It fits your budget and doesn’t strain your finances
The bottom line(s)…
Your creative space can be one of your most important creative and business assets. Be sure to include your creative space into your overall art business plans. Before you commit to a new space take a few minutes to make sure that the space will meet your creative as well as business needs. If you would like to learn more about building your art business and selling more art I invite you to check out my book – The Artist’s Business and Marketing ToolBox. Good Luck!
Neil McKenzie is the author of The Artist’s Business and Marketing ToolBox – How to Start, Run and Market a Successful Arts or Creative Business available in softcover from Barnes & Noble and Amazon and as an eBook from iTunes, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. He has developed and teaches the course “Artrepreneurship” at the Center for Innovation at Metropolitan State University of Denver, and is also a visiting professor at University College at the University of Denver where he teaches “Marketing the Arts”.
Neil has over 30 years’ experience as a management consultant and marketing executive, working with some of the world’s top brands. Neil is a frequent lecturer to artists and arts organizations, a guest columnist for Colorado Biz Magazine, where he covers the creative sector of the economy, and the author of several articles for Americans for the Arts, a national arts organization. Follow Neil on Twitter: @neilmckenzphoto