Why I Have A Home Studio


When I studied at OCAD University, my main studio space was on campus. In the first two years, I was ducking in and out of class studios to use the space when it was free, never really in peace, always surrounded by the noise - either the loud clanking ceiling fans or the crowd in the corner. During the last two years, I was lucky enough to have a dedicated space within the school to create, still around people - our desk chairs bumping into each other and my headphones never truly cancelling out their music. It was always loud, chaotic and I told myself I loved it. 


I am not a ‘true’ extrovert, but I do like being around people. The impromptu conversations, the bouncing back and forth of ideas, or even the quick coffee run that you should have definitely written down their orders for. I told myself I liked the chaos, that I will miss it after I graduate - since that is what all my professors told me. That community helps make the artist, keeps you sane, and keeps you working. 


Well…


Truth be told, I did miss it during my first six months out of school. I learned to create in the noise, and without it, I felt lost. I moved into a small one-bedroom apartment, and my studio now consisted of my old makeup table and desk chair, with a few drawers on each side.  There was no one there to bounce ideas off of or to get me inspired by staring at their colour palette left on the floor after a long studio day. I had to rely on myself to get started, and it took a while - but once I did, I never looked back. 


Having a home studio gave me the freedom to try whatever the hell I wanted to. There was no fear of being judged by a third party, because who is going to see it unless I let them. I started to experiment for the first time with photoshop, then printing on fabric, and now looming. I could work at any time I wanted to, and create to any scale - since I did not have to worry about sharing the space. When inspired I could stay up all night, or leave the desk in a mess since I didn’t have to shove all my supplies away to be safe.


It gives me the time to create most importantly. Since my studio is in my apartment, I don’t pay anything extra for it - just one lump bill each month. This means that instead of working five days a week, I can work four at my job and have three days off which always have a big chunk put aside to create art. With no commute, no unexpected studio mate drama, and no chaos. 


My studio space can grow when it needs to or shrink if I’m working on writing. For instance, when I took on Sweet Digs last year, I was able to take over the majority of my apartment in order to create it. I had fabric hanging from the ceiling, over my couch, and even encroaching on my bedroom. My friends were able to come over to help, no guest limit like most studios have, and it was open 24/7. Which was exactly what I needed in order to properly create such a large scale installation and I would not have been able to afford a studio space of that size.


Overall, I have been out of university now for close to two years, and even though I dive in and out of shared studio spaces - I still prefer my home studio. Through it, I learned that my actual favourite studio times at OCAD, was when I would get to school really early and hide out in the corner classroom while no one was around. I would sit and paint without the headphones, and the chaos - and this when I made my best work. Not that it always looked great at the end, but it was the best because I was pushing myself. I tried new brush strokes, or a weird colour palette, heck one time I only used my fingers to paint. I tried new things because I wasn’t worried about what my peers or professors would think, and having a home studio is the same.


So in short, I have a home studio because it gives me total freedom. I can create what I want when I want. No fear of boundaries or pointless limitations set by fear. Just to have some space, and dedicate time each day to it - to grow, and to explore. I make whatever I want especially if it makes me laugh, and I have built confidence in my practice because I don’t worry about peer or society judgement first - I focus on if I like it or not. Plus if I miss the community aspect, I just reach out to my friends and we go grab a coffee and talk art. I’m not saying everyone should have a home studio, but if you have some space and need some freedom then I recommend you try it out. I think you just might like it. 


- Sarah Zanchetta 




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