This is not a complaint, it’s just reality. Every inch of wall space in my studio is covered with shelves, file cabinets or work tables. I have piles of supplies and reference books under the tables and bins of wood in the floor. There is just enough room for me to walk between tables and easels, if I’m careful.
So, today, I am in the kitchen gessoing canvases and getting ready for my apprentice to come over to work. This is not ideal, particularly if a cat decides to jump on the table, but it is the current situation.
For the last 15 years, I have been seriously working on my art; first in the few minutes I could fit in around work, then while staying home with my son, and now full time. I have always worked out of an extra room in the house and though the current situation is the best, it has also become too small.
I have enjoyed being a stay at home mom and didn’t mind sacrificing time and space to work on my art in exchange for time with my son. But, now he’s becoming a teenager with friends and interests outside of the house. This means more time for art, but not more space.
I’m currently doing research and looking at properties, meeting with consultants and local business owners, and trying to figure out the budgetary responsibilities that will need to be met if I move my studio outside of the home. It is a very overwhelming process!
The first big step will be for me to launch a crowdfunding campaign asking for help with the acquisition of a space. Though I prefer to buy and renovate a historic building on mainstreet, it appears that renting a space first may be the better option. I will post more information as I finalize the campaign, develop incentives, and partner with local businesses to offer in-person opportunities to view my art and discuss my goals. I hope you will follow my progress and let me know what you think.
Frances Byrd is a stay-at-home mom, community volunteer, and artist. She loves all things old, living in the country and keeping chickens.