This post contains affiliate links. We may earn money or products contained in this post. Please click my disclosure policy to learn more.
Creating an art studio when you don’t have space on a budget
I was scrolling through Facebook one morning and a group I’m a part of was sharing pictures of their home art studios. Many had large spaces with tons of supplies. And I wondered, how many people felt as though they couldn’t be artists or felt bad because they lacked these things? Now, I don’t want the people who have been blessed with space and supplies to feel bad. Good for you! However, I’ve been in both places, and I know how hard it can be on a struggling artist. Creating a home art studio can greatly help your art.
Everyone needs a space to create in, some area that allows you to set up your supplies and get in the zone. It doesn’t have to be large or fancy, just your own. For the longest time I needed a spot that was private. Creating art is personal and so is the development of your artistic skills. You don’t always need or want someone looking over your shoulders. Let’s find a way to transform a spot for your art.
Maybe you’re a student, maybe you’re not even 18 and you’re working at McDonald’s (been there) maybe your a mother and we all know kids aren’t cheap. Maybe you need some help finding space and a little pep talk that says it doesn’t matter if you have a lot, you can still create and be a great artist. A home art studio doesn’t have to be big or fancy.
It’s okay to have small beginnings
During a time when I was young I went to a private school. I wasn’t super wealthy, I was raised by a single mom who did her best. These kids had fancy art classes, fancy supplies, and you know what there art was like? Not so great. It was bland, strike, and unimaginative for the most part. Maybe these kids didn’t really want to be artists, who knows. But there is one thing I can tell you. Struggle always shapes an artist for the better if the persevere through the difficult times. Through the lean times of their life. I have two paintings that I think are the best I’ve ever produced. One was created medium great acrylics on a canvas I stretched myself with a mix of cheap brushes and maybe one or two fancy ones. The other was made on a store ought canvas with mainly cheap bargain acrylic paints that cost no more than $1.50. I had only cheap brushes and the only nice material I had was some liquitex gloss medium I got on sale at Michaels.
My point what makes great art is the heart and soul of the artist. That being said, let’s look at ways you can find some studio space to create a home art studio. I’ve personally done most of these!
1.) Clear a corner for your art
Clear a corner, any corner, anywhere. Clear it and claim it. Make it your own art space. Take everything off the walls and put up shelves for supplies. They are easy to put up and it helps to see your supplies and have them all arranged for you. Other things you can use to organize your supplies are:
- spice racks
- old suite cases
Even if you can get a desk, you can usually find small easels on sale or at thrift shops. Throw some pillows on the floor. The import thing is to have the space, even if it’s only enough to sit and paint a single painting, that’s all you need. A space to create, even small can boost your productivity.
You can also combine this storage and organization tools with the other options in this article such as a drafting table.
2.) Desk/drafting tables
Drafting table is the one thing I could not live without. Once it’s set up, instant art work station! It has a wide work area making ideal to paint and craft on. The thing I love most is it’s size and ability to turn into a table. I’ve seen drafting tables go for $60-$500 online and at craft stores. If you can find a cheap one grab it. The size, flexibility of it makes creating art a dream. You can put it in your corner, put up shelves, stores extra supplies underneath and you have a mini studio.
I have mine set up as a table. It gives me a lot of space to set up my paints, pencils, canvas or paper and still have a lot of room to work with. I love how adjustable they are. Since I’m tall I can raise it so I don’t strain my back or neck while I work. Sometimes I have shelves set up. Other times I use other art storage options that I set up next to my table.
This drafting table has drawers and separate table section so you can keep your table titled as an easel and still set up your supplies next to it.
The drafting table has allowed me to turn a corner of my room into a very functional home art studio.
3.) Folding table
I have also used this table. It folds easily, it’s about 6 feet long and gives lots of room to set up your supplies and still have space to work. It’s easy to move if you decided to rearrange your room.
This table is particularly good if you use a sewing machine in your art. It has a lot of space so it won’t crown your work. This option is more affordable than a drafting table. Some people may even prefer it. You can spread out all your projects and supplies and still have a lot of room to work with. You can set up under a window or in a corner, put up the shelves or space racks as mention earlier, and again, instant home art studio.
It’s also cheap enough that you don’t have to feel bad if it gets stained or if you decided to upgrade. It can always be useful. If you decide to sell your work at art fairs having an extra table can really come in handy.
3.) Take command of the garage or basement
This might not be for everyone, especially if your garage is detached. It can get quite color and hot depending on where you live. However, if you have a climate controlled garage you can make a nice spot to work.
I suggest getting some big area rugs to help with the atmosphere if you are in a garage or basement, especially of the basement is unfinished.
Whether you work in the garage or basement you’ll have privacy, you can blare the radio and make a mess without too much fear of ruining the floor. Just remember humidity can affect your artwork and you may want to take note if there is no natural lighting and perhaps invest in a good sun lamp.
4.) travel studio
A rolling cart with drawers can do wonders! You can also grab a basket, caddy, box, or large bag arrange your items and you can take them to the dining room table or snag a TV tray and sit with your fam in the living room.
You can also find mini easels at Michaels that are easy to move around. Some people actually love being where everyone else is hanging out while they make their art. This also gives you an excuse to buy a cool bag or hit up Target or a the first store for a fun caddy. If you go with a rolling cart for art supplies you can just roll your studio where you want it.
I know, this sounds crazy, but it works. You don’t have to have a huge walk-in closet, either. When I was 12 I shoved my desk in the closet and I actually climbed up on the top shelf to paint. I’m not sure that part would work as an adult, but the closet can be an option for a home art studio.
Take out your clothes and anything else in the coset, put up shelves and set up a small table or desk and you have a very cozy art studio.
Get creative, make it work. Decorations can go a long way, as well.
6.) Hang your work up
Every art studio features the artists work. Your home art studio should be no different. Get your work up. The more you see it the more you’ll be inspired to create more and watch the walls fill up with your creations.
You can also hang up art that inspires you. Having visuals is very important, especially for artists. I also suggest making aviation board and hanging it up in or close to the space you work in.
7.) Stocking your home art studio
Stocking your home art studio with supplies is important, but should not be stressful. You can read about art journaling supplies here to learn about what they do.
I had a fabulous art mentor. He taught me so much. When I first started to study under him he took me to an art store and I started with black, white, and blue Liquitex Basics acrylics. There are very affordable and I made great art with it. The small craft acrylic paints can be great, too. They let you get a feel for color and experiment without the fear of running out of paint and not being able to afford to replace it. They range from .50-$2. I use them now still. They aren’t as pigmented as the professional paints, but they can still create gorgeous art.
Creating art with what you have forces you to get creative, use the materials in new and expressive ways. Don’t feel ashamed for using anything you want.
Putting it all together to create your art home studio
You can combine the options listed in this article in several ways to create a pace that works for you. Any variation of table with selves and storage options is simple, yet effective. It doesn’t take much money or space.
Then you can begin to add to it with pictures, rugs, lamps, even plants to make it personalized to fit your needs. The more personalized the more it will feel at home and give you the vibe and inspiration to create. Do not underestimate the power of your own space (if you filled in that phrase with “the power of the force” we should be friends). In the books A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf talks about the importance of a woman having a room and money to write fiction. It does make it easier if you have these, however, I firmly believe in improvising and making the best of your situation. Not having these forces you get get even more creative. I don’t have a a full room just to create art. My studio is in my bedroom.
Do not feel selfish for spending money on your art or for taking over a space. You and your art are both worth it!
Creating art in a small space
Creating art in a small space can be challenging. You can check out my post about tips How to make small spaces work for you here.