5 Essential Tips & Inspirations On How To Set Up An Art Studio

An Industrial-Vibe Art Studio

Artists are always looking for ways to improve how they work. After all, it's how you create the things that people enjoy so much! But how do you work better? How can you make your studio space more enjoyable and productive? We've compiled a list of 5 tips on how to set up an art studio. Read on to find out how these steps will help you get started with perfecting your own studio space.

Start setting up your art studio with a workable layout for your available space. Assign functional zones for your supplies, get proper lighting, buy enough electric fans for ventilation during days you can't open your windows, and allocate storage spaces. 

What You'll Need

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Make a workable layout

Layouting is the first important step for setting up your dedicated art space. Find something that inspires you, depending on the size of your studio. In any case, the space alone doesn't matter; the plan does.

When layouting, consider the traffic in your studio. Keep supplies and tools you seldom use on top shelves and those you constantly use near you for easy access. Incorporate wall shelving and pegboard walls in your plan to maximize your spaces.

2. Assign zones

When layouting, it is best to assign a designated space for each task. For example, your easel should be near a monitor or screen, so you can use your computer for your reference photos while keeping these areas separate for their respective functions.

You should also have space for making your stretcher bars and stretching your canvases, and space for storage. Open up spaces for washing your brushes and get appropriate garbage cans and garbage bags to dispose of your waste.

3. Get proper lighting

Lighting need not be expensive. A good strip of daylight LED or halogen bulb is an excellent choice for indoor lighting. If you have wide windows or a skylight, it's another good choice, so you can get good lighting without spending a fortune on electricity bills.

A fold-down table also helps since you can move your working space within your home studio to get the best light.

4. Set up a good ventilation

If you're working with painting supplies other than watercolors, you'll need to have proper ventilation for your studio. Granted that the water from cleaning your brushes can get funky if left for a few days, it's less harsh than chemicals from acrylics, gouache, or oils.

You'll need several electric fans to ramp up the ventilation inside the studio. You can also open the windows on good days for more fresh air.

5. Open up storage space

Many artists love to have additional spaces for their art supplies. You don't want to end up rummaging every box for your supplies. Instead, you'll need to organize everything according to a system that works for you.

If you're working on several mediums, for example, keep your supplies for each medium separate - watercolors, acrylics, oils, including the brushes and other tools you use for each medium. Do not cross your brushes between mediums. The harsh chemicals in oil paints will damage your watercolor brushes.

Essential Tips for Setting Up an Art Studio

A Cluttered Art Studio

When creating art, you don't want to just paint anywhere in the house. You'll want your own space. Though the family room, dining room, or even the dining table may be suitable for painting, you'll need your own room with enough space to keep your materials organized. 

  1. Keep your ceilings high if you're still constructing or renovating. This layout will help increase the ventilation in your studio.
  2. Wear a cap when painting, especially if you have overhead lamps and skylights. The brim of the cap will keep the light off your eyes.
  3. Stabilize your workspaces. Put a weight on your easel to stabilize it and keep it down. Keep the rollers on your wheeled organizers locked. This way, your organizers won't move around while you're working with them.
  4. Document your paintings. Aside from signing your paintings, you can write your name. Also, indicate the year of the painting, and the painting's title on the back of the oil painting canvas. You should also take high-resolution photos and videos of your paintings.
  5. Attach the hardware for your hanging wires on the stable part of the stretcher bar. Attach the hanging wire to the frame if you're framing your painting. Use large head screws to secure the mounting wire on the stretcher bars.

Inspiration for Art Studios

Here are a few art studios to inspire you set up your own. Making art can drain your creative spirit, but with the right vibe, you can thrive!

Setting Up a Minimalist Art Studio

Minimalist Art StudioMinimalist Art Studio - Image by Lena Danya

If you have a tiny space, your best bet for a studio is a minimalist one. We recommend some collapsible organizers like a multipurpose display rack, freestanding bookshelves, a mobile storage cart, and a cart with drawers.

Try a Murphy desk and a folding chair to save on space. Also, make up the most of your space by shoving some collapsible bins on the display racks. Cylinder glass vases or mason jars also keep your brushes and painting tools without the visual clutter.

An easel with a brush holder also helps you keep your art tools in one place while working on your painting. 

Finish the studio with good lighting, a circulator fan, and several potted faux plants.

Setting Up a Professional Art Studio

Setting up a Professional Art Studio

Setting up a Professional Art Studio - Image by Chase Langford

Setting up a professional art studio space is a lot harder than when setting up an amateur studio since they have more art materials that need organization.

Start with setting up several chest drawers to keep bigger supplies or a desktop sketch box for smaller ones. These stackable bins also keep you stay organized without having to rummage into drawers. Set up also some open cubicles. It helps if you label the drawers.

Several professional easels with a drawer and adjustable easels with a brush holder also allow you to work on several projects. Tabletop easels are also a must if working with smaller paintings.

You'll also need several industrial-type electric fans or ceiling fans to increase the studio's ventilation, especially if you're working with oils. A skylight helps bring in natural light, and if the light gets too harsh, you can always pull fabric window shades down.

You'll also need a small desk for your laptop or tablet and a metal shelving rack to organize and store your paintings. Have a bar stool so you can rest after hours of standing.

Setting Up an Oil Painting Studio

Setting up an Oil Painting StudioSetting up an Oil Painting Studio - Image by Florent Farges

If you have a spare bedroom, you can use it to create your own art space.

One of the best investments you need for an oil painting studio is a metal rack for drying your oil painting projects. You can also add some wooden bins to keep your supplies organized.

A desk with a hutch or a sturdier construction holds the weight of your art supplies and other materials. You may also keep a few art books on your desk for reference and inspiration.

You also need good-quality daylight LED lamps to illuminate your studio. On top of that, a good handheld vacuum helps clean out the dust in your studio, especially if you're drying your oil paintings.

Don't forget some circulator fans for ventilation. Aside from providing good ventilation, these fans are also easy on electricity and are very sturdy.

Transforming a Shed or Garage Into an Art Studio

Transforming A Shed or Garage Into an Art StudioTransforming A Shed or Garage Into an Art Studio - Image by Brianna Collins

While a home art studio is convenient, having a studio away from the house lets you immerse in your art better without unnecessary distractions. You can make an art studio out of a garden shed or garage.

Transforming a space into a small studio may mean tearing down or updating your built-in shelves for storage. It may also entail updating the walls, including insulation and other similar work.

After finishing with the walls, you may want to put up new shelves or metal pegboards and pegboard accessories. Don't forget to get some daylight lighting, so you don't rely on outdoor lighting.

Decorate your space with plants and other decorations you love. A hammock chair is a good addition for relaxing. Throw in a few art books, and you're good to go.

Transforming a Sunroom Into an Art Studio

Transforming a Sunroom into an Art StudioTransforming a Sunroom into an Art Studio - Image by Ashleigh King

One thing we love about sunrooms is the natural light. However, you also need thermal-insulated blackout curtains to keep out the heat and the sun. Blinds are also a good alternative. It also helps have a canvas drop cloth or rug to make cleanup easy.

For this art studio makeover, the artist used a glass-topped organizer rack, grass baskets for the oil painting mediums, glass jars for the paintbrushes and painting knives, and bamboo utensil holders for the paints. Larger grass baskets also help to corral your other painting supplies, such as primers and

Also, get a desk with drawers for your laptop or tablet, a comfortable chair, and several easels.


We hope you found these tips helpful in getting started with your dedicated studio space. Remember, it's always a process of trial and error to find what works best for you and what doesn’t. If there are any other questions that we can answer or anything else you need help with, please reach out by leaving us a comment. Thanks so much for reading. We'll see you soon on our blog again!

1 comment

  • I could not agree more when you pointed out that it is best to have your own space when creating art. This makes me think of finding an art studio where I can express my emotions through painting. My one-bedroom condominium unit does not fuel my creativity at all, so I will consider visiting an art studio at least twice a month. https://kreatehub.com/nashville/

    Shammy Peterson

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