Setting up a Studio or Workspace

I have not set myself a “New Year’s resolution” as such, but one of the things that I have promised to do this year is to set up my studio so that I have somewhere set aside for my artwork. This has been an on-going project for quite a while and I’m delighted to be able to pass on my experiences via my regular blog in association with I’m sure that everyone has their own set of problems to overcome before they can have a recognised workspace.

There are some admirable schemes about these days whereby artists can rent a studio space for a relatively small monthly fee. Just such a scheme exists in Scotland at, a charity that provides affordable studios to support artists and arts organisations. This excellent scheme has expanded to accommodate 650 artists and 22 arts organisations at 19 buildings across Scotland. Unfortunately this was not an option for me as I live away from any large towns and any travelling back and forth would negate the value of having the workspace. So, for me, it was a case of renovating an old outbuilding.

I don’t think that I quite realised the enormity of the task when I first set about the renovation. Although I knew that the roof would definitely need replacing, such was the state of the rear wall that it was almost a complete rebuild! Like many people hoping to set themselves up as an artist, money is in short supply so it was a case of the most affordable solution. With the help of an excellent builder and many hours of toil, I now have the building almost ready for its intended purpose. There are still some problem areas that will have to be dealt with in the spring but nothing to prevent me from using it in the meantime (other than the “clutter” that has already found its way out there!).

I found that there were lots of things to consider during the renovation process including lighting, flooring and access. Depending on your finances, you may find yourself having to cut a few corners but the important thing is to have a space that you can call your own. There is nothing more frustrating than having to continually drag out your easel, brushes, paints etc., try to work in the wrong surroundings and then pack it all away afterwards. Whether I am working on a painting or a sculpture, I want to be able to leave it set up at the end of each workday ready to resume the next morning. This will encourage continuity in my work and eliminate the time wasted in setting up and packing away.

In the weeks ahead, I hope to be reporting good progress in my new working environment and would love to hear your own views on creating a suitable workspace. You can email me via on Whether you have tips on setting up on a limited budget or recommending the best way to go about designing a studio, I would love to hear from you! As well as encouraging feedback, we also want you to use the site to show your work. We have categories for everything from paintings and drawings to street art or clothing and design. Just follow the simple instructions to set up your own gallery and be part of the Bigvyor community.

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