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What are your essentials for your art studio?

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I plan to apply for funding to furnish my art studio (in home space). At the moment I use a shared family computer (more my husband's than me - he always gets dibs if he's home).

Here's my wishlist so far:

camera (for taking reference photos & for documenting larger pieces of art)
Wacom tablet
desk lamp
drawers (to turn an old table into a proper desk)
(would love to add my own computer to the list but the funding is limited & I do have reasonable access).

I can't get the laptop & the others because the funding is limited. I'm trying to think of how I can get the best bang for my buck and maximize my time.  Is this reasonable?  Is there anything you would suggest as being essential?
#1 - November 05, 2015, 12:29 PM
Pirate, year round 2019 Acorn Press

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A good chair if you sit a lot.

My husband used to be the security manager at a casino, and when they replaced their slot machine chairs he brought me home one of the old ones. That chair is amazing, (It's a counter height chair, I have a counter height stainless steel free standing counter from IKEA I work on) I guess they want people to sit comfortably for hours at the slots.

I do all traditional work still, so my essentials might be a bit different. But this is the light box I have (the 9x12) and I love it!

A cutting mat with a good knife and straight edge if you cut your own paper.

Also, if you don't have one already, a decent scanner. Mine is probably ten years old, but still does acceptable scans.

I also got a small track light for the ceiling as a desk lamp wasn't enough (they tend to throw shadows without good overhead light). I have three stations in my studio, a desk for writing, a craft table for cutting paper and using my lightbox, and a painting table.
#2 - November 05, 2015, 12:56 PM
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Not sure if you're working digital with the Wacom tablet on your list, or maybe traditional with the light box and camera for pics of larger art, and not needing the computer all the time, or a mix of traditional and digital.

If working digitally, do you have a cell phone with a camera, that might work for taking reference photos? (So you don't have to spend money on a camera.) Also, if you do a lot of digital work, you may need to put money in your budget or start saving for software and equipment - depending on what your work requires.

If working traditionally, can you wait to get the Wacom tablet so you can use your budget for other things you need sooner like paper and art supplies?

I second Arty's suggestions of a comfortable chair and a good scanner (how good a scanner you need depends on how you do your art and whether you're scanning for your portfolio or for final art).

Good luck! Hope you can get the supplies you need! Not easy to find funds to make art!

p.s. If you can't get a light box right away, sometimes a sunny window works just as well or better, though not as easy to use as a light box, it does work.

p.p.s. Is there a lamp or two that you already have that you can repurpose as a desk lamp(s)? That might save money too.

p.p.p.s. If you can't afford drawers right away, could you use file boxes to store your files and other things until you have money for drawers? Not as nice/fun as real drawers, but they work and could help you afford something you need more if money is really tight.
#3 - November 05, 2015, 03:37 PM
« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 03:40 PM by Stephanie Ruble »
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Thanks for all the tips! I do work mainly traditional, but use some digital too. My main concern is maximizing my time and creating efficiencies.

Unfortunately, if I am successful in getting the grant, I can't use the money to buy supplies like paper/paint.

I did have lamps that could be repurposed - but hubby sent them off to Value Village! Something is always just taking up space until you get rid of it. The moment you get rid of it, you realize you could have used it.

A chair might be a good idea - why didn't I think of that?

Thanks for the suggestions!
#4 - November 10, 2015, 09:24 AM
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If you use watercolors, a good investment for down-the-road may be a quality printer that has paper settings. When I received my first installment of my illustration advance, I bought a refurbished one which was a fraction of the price "new."  The paper size capacity is large and it has a setting for watercolor paper, as well as quite a few others. It was a deadline saver for revisions - no redrawing (and sometimes repainting-courtesy of Photoshop) entire scenes.  :liar - no lie.  :yup
#5 - November 19, 2015, 06:22 AM
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An artist's sketchbook with charcoal pencils and sometimes burnt cedar. And a bed to lay on my tummy on, as if studying for a history exam. I'm very minimalist. Pastel paints are a bonus.

I like to craft my own charcoal pencils. I prefer cedar.
#6 - November 29, 2015, 12:17 AM
« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 12:21 AM by SarahW »
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