Art Studios

Setting Up an Art Studio in the Home

It has always been the practice that artists should have their own art studios, and most artists think that it could be expensive if they have to have rent one outside their homes. The best thing to do would be to look for a place large and affordable enough where one or two of the bigger rooms can be easily converted into a studio. It is not very hard to do once careful thought and considerations are taken objectively.

First of all, what type of artists’ studio is it going to be? This makes a lot of difference as having easels and paints do not take up much space as compared to sculpting using blocks of marble or tons of scrap material. Knowing what kind of studio is needed will put a firm hand on the budget that would have to well thought out.

If it is sculpting and there is a need to make a lot of noise, consider having it outside of a rented or owned home instead of an apartment. Neighbours can get cranky if the artist is in an artistic pounding mood at one or two in the morning. Painting, however, is a much quieter activity and a studio can be set up anywhere in the apartment, as long as there is enough light.

Some artists do not consider painting their walls colors that may distract them, but this really just depends on the artist. If the artist is one who likes to set a mood to a particular project, then they can always do that by painting the walls in the colors which will enhance the art rather than detract it. Others simply like white walls or cream walls as they are neutral colors and will serve as a display wall also.

Some artists may need a sink in their studio. Others need a full bathroom as they may just live and breathe in it once the muse sets in. An industrial type of sink would do well for a lot of artistic forms and it is also convenient to use because they could easily be cleaned compared to the neat and tidy porcelain sinks that would just get ruined by the various materials that are used by the artist.

The most important thing to consider would be the amount of light in the room. Painters need good sunlight because of the obvious reasons; some sculptors don’t really need the natural sunlight to work and could just depend on it as well as a fluorescent lamp. There are T5 lamps that are cool and economical to be considered. To widen the spectrum somewhat, there are also T8 and T12 lamps.

Then there are the supply racks to consider. Think about what is needed to hold the materials or supplies used in a particular art. Some do not need tables others may need two or more. Some sculptors need shelves and boxes to stow their equipment in and some just lay them on a table.

Last to consider are the furnishings. Artists’ studios do not usually look like a picture from Architectural Digest. A simple chair or stool and probably a folding table would suffice. Some artists forget that they have backs and may totally ignore the stool. Some simply lie down on the floor and pass out tired because they are too tired to go to bed, so a simple bed in a corner would be appreciated. The folding table would be used when they do finally remember to eat.

How to Pick a Martial Arts Studio

What To Look For In A Martial Arts Studio

Most parents who choose a karate school make their choice based on convenience. While this is an important factor in selecting a school, this shouldn’t be the only factor in your choice. So what qualities does a professional school have? Remember, martial arts training requires a commitment of time and money so you should know what to look for. There are many great schools and instructors out there and unfortunately there are as many not so good. How do you tell the difference if you have no experience? Having been in the martial arts industry for over 25 years, if I was searching for a school to train at, these are the things I would look for.

1. Positive and High Energy Classes-

Students and people in general thrive in a positive, friendly environment. Choose a school that brings out the best in yourself or your child. Does the school have friendly staff and instructors? Is the staff happy to be there with a smile, is it sincere? Do they cultivate an environment that you makes you feel better after every class? Are there parents watching their children in the audience area, or are they participating and encouraging their kids? Can you feel the energy when you walk in? A school that focuses on positive and high energy classes will do their best to encourage you, give you appropriate feedback, and ensure your success in their program.

2. Classroom Discipline and Management-

This might seem to contradict the first statement but in reality both concepts can exist simultaneously. While martial arts should be fun, when a student comes to class they should also adhere to studio etiquette and discipline. I would evaluate this by seeing if the instructor can hold class attention without being authoritative. Are students “hustling” from technique to technique? Does the instructor work from a lesson plan or just make it up as he goes along? Is the class moving as one unit or are kids being left behind? Can you hear the “snap” and “power” coming from the group or are kids just following along? A good disciplined and managed class should closely resemble the order of a military unit. Standardized movement,discipline, and order.

3. Quality Instruction-

Quality instruction is the hardest for a parent to spot without having any experience in martial arts. Since books can be written on this subject alone, I will describe what process it takes to have quality instructors. Unfortunately the way the industry is, anybody can say there a black belt by putting one on. Most martial arts schools that teach quality instruction do the little things to make sure they stay up-to-date on methods and training. Look for the not so obvious aspects of instructors like how long have they been practicing the martial arts, how long have they been teaching, how often do they go on courses to improve their own skills? Does the studio require CPR and First Aid qualifications? Some other important aspects to look at include: Do they do background checks, are they qualified to rank you once you get to black belt? Is their school a part of a larger organization that offers support and guidance to them? A quality martial arts school should have an infrastructure like an elite college institution. It should be stringent, have extremely high standards, and have a process of on-going training and development.

4. Effective and Challenging Curriculum

The signs of an effective, challenging curriculum is how many Black Belts are training? Are they able to retain students after their Black Belt? Does the program include life skills as well as martial arts? More importantly, do the instructors lead by example and live their creed? Are they able to retain 2nd and 3rd degree Black Belts? Can you study a lifetime and still not learn everything in their curriculum? Of course, with a new school you won’t have this option, but after three to five years of opening you should get a pretty good idea.

5. Clean and Safe Environment

Since a martial arts studio will have many kids, safety should be first in importance at a martial arts school. A good martial arts school makes safety its principal goal both physically and mentally. Is the training equipment in good shape? Are there plenty of instructors on the floor? Cleanliness goes along with safety in protecting students. A school should be hygienic from it’s waiting area to it’s training floor to it’s locker rooms and bathrooms. Is the school clean from the front door, to the bathrooms, to the training area? Are the mats washed on a regular basis? Does the school reinvest back into itself?


4 Advantages Of Having A Home Art Studio

1. It’s yours and no one else’s

One of the best things about having a home art studio is that it’s your own space. If you’re living with other people, it’s important to establish that it’s your working space. Whether you live with others or by yourself, a home art studio is a place where you can be creative and productive. This is your place where you can shut yourself off from the outside world and churn out lots of good work. You may be lucky to have an entire room as your home art studio, but even if you have to make do with part of a room as your studio, it’s still space that’s yours and yours alone.

2. It’s cheap

Having a home art studio means you don’t have to fork out money regularly to rent a studio outside of your home. Lots of artists enjoy having their working space away from home so they rent studio space, but obviously it’s a lot cheaper to just have your working space at home so you don’t have to worry about renting out studio space, as well as potentially paying for transport. If you don’t mind working from home, having a home art studio will save you a lot of money in the long run.

3. It’s accessible

Your work space is there whenever you want to use it. Whenever you feel like getting some work done, no matter what time of day it is, you can settle down in your studio and crack on. If your studio space is somewhere away from home, you might not be able to access it that easily. Most artist studios will be open 24/7, but depending on how far away from home it is, there’s the issue of getting there to consider, and getting there can take time. Having a home art studio could save you a lot of time.

4. It can help your schedule

If you work away from home, you have to factor in the time it takes getting there. With a home art studio, you don’t. Having no time spent travelling means you’ve got more time to yourself. Let’s say you rented a studio somewhere 30 minutes from home and you go there three times a week. Switch to a home studio and you’re saving 3 hours a week. Those 3 hours could be spent getting more work done or doing chores around the house. Not only can having a home studio free up more time, it can also help with your schedule because you can work whenever you want to.

Art Studio Air Purifier – 7 Features That Will Keep Your Art Studio Air Quality High

An art studio should be a place where the creative juices can flow freely. This means a space that has great light, the materials and tools needed, and indoor air quality that is healthy and relaxing to work in. Because many of the products used by artists emit volatile airborne chemicals and other pollutants, it’s important to select an air cleaner that can remove them. Here are 5 features that will insure your cleaner will make your art studio a productive and healthy place to be.

Has a Filter for Chemicals-Oil paint, acrylics, sprays all make for great art work, but are big contributors to poor air quality. The volatile organic chemicals that many of these products emit can cause symptoms such as dry or burning throat, watery eyes, headaches, dizziness, light headedness to name a few. Make sure that the cleaner you choose has a filter that is specifically designed to eliminate airborne chemicals. Check the technical specifications or call the company to verify that the filter will be effective in an art studio.

Contains a HEPA Filter for Particulates-A high efficiency particle arresting (or HEPA) filter is a must if you are working with a medium that generates fine particles of any kind. By definition this type of filter will remove airborne particulates as small as .3 microns. A micron is defined as one millionth of a meter; and the period at the end of this sentence is over 600 microns. Not only will this type of filter remove particulates related to your art, but it will also remove normal sorts of particulates such as room dust, mold and mildew spores, pollen, pet dander, bacteria and viruses.

Has Pre-Filters for Longevity-Pre-filters are just what their name implies-filters that come before other filters. A cleaner that has several pre-filters will be effective for many times longer that one that has none. The purpose of these filters is to keep the inner HEPA and chemical filters from filling with big particles. By trapping the big particles the HEPA and chemical filters are slower to fill up, and are given a chance to fill with the pollutants that they are best at removing.

Contains a Split Capacitor Motor-An art studio needs the air filtered 24 hours a day so that as your art dries and sends the chemicals airborne, the cleaner is there to remove them and prevent a build up of unhealthy air. A split capacitor indicated in the technical specifications means that the motor is designed to run safely, efficiently, and effectively 24 hours whether you are there or not.

Is Flexible In Its Placement-Your studio should center on you and your art, not the purifier. Be sure that your cleaner only needs 6 inches clearance from any wall. This will allow you to use floor space as you wish.  Steer clear of those units which require being placed in the center of the room. This is another feature that is worth checking on before you purchase.

Has Variable Speed Control-Being able to determine how fast your air is filtered is a really important feature to have. If you are doing a lot of sanding or a lot of spraying, being able to accelerate the rate at which the air is cleaned keeps the air quality high simply by turning the speed up a notch. When there is less going on, you can likewise turn the speed of filtration down, and still keep ahead of the pollutants.

Is Portable-Choosing a unit that is portable gives you control over studio air quality wherever your studio is. A cleaner with heavy duty casters is a nice feature to have. Wheels allow you to move it within your studio or to a studio in a completely different location. Portability means clean air is always as close as the nearest outlet.

Eight Tips For Selecting a Martial Arts Studio

The main reason most people drop out of the martial arts — besides life taking them in different directions — is because they didn’t take the time to do any research and found out later the studio they joined wasn’t what they expected.

The time you invest researching studios will pay you back a thousand fold. It will also help you find the right studio for you. You’ll be more enthusiastic about your training and you’ll get more out of it.

Here are eight consumer tips to help you make a more informed decision before starting at any martial arts studio:

1. Belt Rank Isn’t Everything. Just because an instructor is a high ranking black belt doesn’t automatically mean they’re a good instructor. What’s important is if they can help you reach your goals and teach you what you want to learn.

2. Size of Studio. Quality of instruction can vary from studio to studio no matter its size or what they teach. A larger studio may have more convenient hours, but may not offer you the personalized instruction you’re looking for that a smaller studio may provide.

3. Watch a Class. Don’t overlook this step. This will tell you more about the studio than anything – especially when you show up unannounced. Most public studios welcome walk-ins.

4. Visit Several Studios. Just because a studio is close, doesn’t make it the best place for you train. Wouldn’t you rather train at a place Five or ten minutes further away if it better matched your needs? Visit at least three places before deciding just to be sure.

5. Talk to Students. Students will tell all. They will tell you what to expect and why they decided to train there. This may help you make a better, more informed appraisal of the studio and its instructors.

6. Read the Fine Print. Not all studios require a contract, but if they do, pay particular attention to the terms of any contract and make sure you fully understand your rights before signing on the dotted line.

7. Ask Questions. Don’t be worried that you will offend the instructor because you look for clarification. If an instructor or studio owner doesn’t answer your questions to your satisfaction, then maybe you should move on to the next studio.

8. Try Before You Buy. If the studio you’re interested in offers a trial program, it is recommended you take it. This will tell you a lot about how you will be taught and what you can expect from the studio.

Art Studio Air Purifier – 5 Things It Must Do

Having an air purifier in your visual art studio is as necessary as having the right lighting, proper tools, and enough space to work effectively. Here are 5 things your purifier should be able to do to keep your air fresh and healthy while you create.

Remove Chemical Fumes—Many of the products that are used to create beautiful works of art contain volatile organic chemicals that evaporate into the air. These chemicals are contained in oil paint, inks, varnish, turpentine, and many other solvents. Inhaling even a small amount of these fumes can cause headaches, watery and burning eyes, sore throat, and dizziness.

Studies have shown that breathing these fumes day after day can cause long term health problems. And if your studio is connected to your home, these fumes can expose others in your family such as children and pets to the hazards of these chemicals.

Carbon has been shown to be the most effective type of filter to remove gaseous pollutants. An air purifier that is to be effective at eliminating these chemicals must have a carbon-based filter with an additive that increase its effectiveness at airborne chemical elimination

Eliminate Particles—Sanding, chiseling, and grinding can all send millions of particles into the air. Wearing a mask is effective to a point, but many of these particulates remain in the air for quite a while. An effective air cleaner must be able to effectively and continually eliminate these particles.

HEPA or high efficiency particle arresting filters are the best for removal of airborne particulates. By definition they must be able to remove 99,997 out of every 10,000 particles that are.3 microns or greater. This is the same type of technology used in hospitals to insure clean air.

Adjustable Filtration Speeds—Because no 2 days are probably the same in your studio, your air cleaner must be able to adapt quickly to the conditions around it. When you know there are more chemicals and/or particles in the air, you need to be able to filter the air faster to keep air quality high. A cleaner must have the ability to clean at various rates in order to keep the air fresh regardless of how many pollutants are being created in your studio.

Run 24 Hours—-It may take hours for fumes to dissipate and particles to settle from the air in your studio. A cleaner with a split capacitor motor is able to run 24 hours a day every day. This is important because it can continue to clean the air while you are away. This means you are always able to enter a studio that smells clean and encourages the creativity within you.

Be Cost Effective—-You are much more likely to use an air purifier that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to run. There can often be hidden costs such as frequent filter changes, and the cost of your time to maintain it. Your cleaner should be able to run for years without a filter change. And maintenance should be as simple as vacuuming the outside whenever you vacuum your studio. Any thing more in terms of maintenance is too expensive in both time and money and should not be considered.

Basement Ideas – Creating an Art Studio

If you are an artist it is more than likely that you long for a studio. Not everyone has enough space in their own homes, yet a basement might be studio space you did not know you had. A lot of folks use their basements for storage only. Converting a basement into an art studio can be a perfect solution for an artist needing more room to create in. Here are ideas and considerations for converting your basement space into usable artist workspace.

The first step is to go through your basement and do an inventory of what things you really need and what things you can live without. There might be enough for you to do a yard sale or else donate to charity. If there is clutter that you are keeping, box it up and confine it to a specific area. You will need to make sure to leave enough room open for your art equipment and supplies. Once you have a space cleared it is time to dust, sweep and organize to create a pleasant, clean studio area.

After you have set up your essential art gear, be sure to decorate. If there is a particular color that inspires you, paint the walls for added ambience. Hang some art to spruce up the walls since the windows are all going to be small and above eye-level. An interior design trick often employed in underground living space is faux windows. You can have a mirror floor-to-ceiling, or any size you prefer, with window treatment such as drapes or curtains pulled to the sides. This will also reflect light and make the room feel bigger. On the same note, due to insufficient windows, make sure you have ample lighting. Especially of value are the lamps that replicate sunlight for creating a bright inviting space that stimulates creativity.

The next thing to consider is climate control. Basements have a tendency to be dank due to being closed off. A dehumidifier is a necessity if you want to keep your art in progress safe from the harm a damp environment can cause. Also, if you are keeping paper, canvas or any other supplies prone to mildew or warping in such conditions you may want to seal them off in plastic bags or containers as an additional guard.

On a positive note, art mediums such as clays, paints, inks, and liquid-based supplies such as glues and solvents will benefit by being stored in the dark and closed-off basement. For your own comfort, make sure there is sufficient circulation while you are downstairs in your studio making art. A nice oscillating fan should do the trick. Having this artist getaway within your own home should improve productivity and make a happier artist.

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