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My First Art Studio Ever
I have always been a big believer that the place I live, and the city where I spend most of my time, and my creative space in, is very important, and shapes me as an individual. I know I am not alone in this kind of reasoning.
When I got my first studio in July 2011, I was overexcited.
My first studio ever. It was not acquired through a residency program, scholarship, fellowship, or school, it was a studio rented at Rogue Artist Studio. Where I started off with was small and had no windows.
Then, I moved to the 4th floor at the same place, where I got a studio, equal in size, but possessing a window. Since then, I have always tried to have some sort of naturally-sourced light in “my space.” It is in our nature to want to look outside through the window, so we can process our thoughts, and maybe, not feel claustrophobic.
The size of the studio does bear some importance, but it is not a crucial aspect of being an artist. There are instances where I find myself without any access to a studio, yet, still find my creative spark. Creativity is in my blood, my veins get me to work, and they never stop.
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A little less than a year after, I was already thinking about a bigger space. I knew that I needed one, and that, I had to secure it before leaving to resume my scholarship program at Dresden Academy of Arts.
If you are an artist, you probably know how hard it is to secure space for a studio or a workshop. And once you find it, you want to get it, no matter what, before it is gone. It was the same with me. I wanted to make sure that when I got back from Dresden, Germany, I would have something I liked waiting for me.
Going back to that time now, maybe I should have waited. Because two months after I came back home to Manchester, United Kingdom, I left for the United States. What this meant was that I used my new studio fully for just two months. As time passed, it became a storage room and a shipping station for my work.
Looking back, I recall it being a corner studio with lots of windows, but not much wall to work on. However, I liked it there and do have fond memories
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After my scholarship in Dresden, I did a lot of intense work in the studio. I also traveled several times across England and Europe with my wife, and at that time, girlfriend, who was a Japanese-American artist.
She had just happened to visit me again in Manchester. Then came the time when I decided to fly to the United States. Before leaving, I had my return ticket booked as well. My initial plan was to stay there for about 40 days, however, it also crossed my mind that I might just stay there longer if I got a studio space.
Luckily, with a help of few people, I rented a nice space in Moscow, a rural part of the United States and decided to stay. Not Moscow in Russia, but in Idaho. Yes, I know, it sounds rather very funny when an Eastern European guy says where he lives and everyone gets confused.
There has even been a couple of moments when I was accosted by an officer when I was aboard a plane, they would often say I was on the wrong plane. No kidding.
I spent five years in Moscow, Idaho. During this time, I had two art studio spaces.
My first space was a shop on the back of a house. It had a good size, with some nice walls that allowed me to work on a big scale. In this studio, I produced a body of work for my solo exhibition in Spain, Colombia, United Kingdom, and my first solo exhibition in the United States.
About a year and a half before I left Moscow, Idaho, I had to move out of this space, as the owner sold the property. This time I decided to go for something bigger. I was in a small town, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, you would have thought that spaces would be affordable and cheap, but they were not.
Of course, it cost less than what I would have spent renting the same in New York, but it was still pricy.
A downside to living in a small town is you would be restricted to only a few opportunities, especially if you don’t have a vision for your career. My new studio was large, beautiful, and clean.
Renting an art studio space in Dallas, Texas.
In the summer of 2018, I moved to Dallas, TX. Renting a studio was a big challenge. Granted, the space was available, but I wanted something large, but not huge. It also had to be somewhere within a 20-minute drive from downtown.
I wanted to have an office in front and a warehouse at the back. I found a perfect unit that fit these needs, but as always, the price was another challenge.
I had to choose between the nicer parts of the DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth), which was more expensive, and the other parts of the city, where rent was low despite the big spaces but was not as nice. I decided to go for cheaper rent, of course.
Another important aspect was to rent an art studio that was not in a shared space. I had a studio in Manchester that was in the building with 100 other artists.
It can be quite nice and important to have art community around you; but sometimes, it can be a distraction, as you would find yourself adjusting to the needs and preferences of others. This doesn’t always bode well with the flow of work.
The space I have right now is 1000 square feet. It has a nice long shop part that I use for the studio. And a big office area that I have decided to use as an office, project space, and for other production needs. It needs some work, just like every other studio I have previously rented.
I am now in the mode of creating and adjusting to a new space. I don’t know if this is a space for the long-term or short-term, but I definitely appreciate it.