Alternatives to Renting Studio Space

Posted in: Artist Resources

Can’t Afford to Rent a Studio? Here are Some More Economical Ideas

Stop dreaming about having an art studio—make it become a reality!

Before you begin your search, ask yourself a few questions to better understand what you need to look for. It is important to consider location. Can you work from home? Do you want a space that is completely separate from your home and work life? And do you want an isolated studio or a studio that offers the company of others? Will you need a large space? Or will you be satisfied with a small space? This is dependent on personal preferences but also the size and scale of your art. Then ask yourself what you are willing to spend. Factor in rent, transportation, supplies, and time when making these calculations. If you decide that you really do not have enough money to spend on renting an art studio, don’t worry! Here are some more economical options.

Finances are a major obstacle that prevent artists from renting an art studio. Consider converting a self-assembly shed into an art studio. A self-assembly shed will be a great investment while also saving you money in the long run in terms of rent. Or take all of the junk out of your already-existing shed and transform it into a studio! You will have a super short commute to your backyard. No need to hop on a bus or drive to a separate location.

Try creating DIY home studio! Having your studio in your home could encourage you to create art more frequently! Here are some great tips for creating a home studio, even if you have limited space to work with.

  • Transform a closet, a home office or a garage into a studio. A home garage can serve as a wonderful art studio, offering great ventilation for paint fumes.
  • Divide a room to create a designated studio space. You can use a room divider or hang a bed sheet to physically divide the room.
  • Corners are frequently not taken advantage of in terms of space utilization. Place a small table or an easel in the corner!
  • Mount a collapsible table to the wall that can be folded up after you finish for the day. This method saves space in cramped living situations. You can then store your materials in a basket or tuck them away in a closet until the next time you want to reopen your temporary studio. It is not ideal to have to clean up the entire space in order to collapse the table against the wall, but it is an economical solution good for small apartments or homes.
  • A rolling cart or caddy is another way to create a temporary storage solution. Just bring out the caddy when you want to create, and then roll it into a safe place that is out of the way when you finish for the night.
  • Visit for more information on creating a DIY home studio.

Another option is to find another person to sublet a studio with. This way, you can split rent and have a buddy to keep you company. If you are not looking for a large space, explore the even cheaper option of co-working spaces. Co-working spaces are available either by the hour or by the day. Also consider renting a multi-room house or apartment in a cheap neighborhood and split the cost of rent with a couple of artists. This is a great way to bring together a small community of artists while lessening the financial burden. Take a look at for more helpful tips.

Consider asking friends and neighbors if they have any ideas - or better yet, ask if they have extra space in their homes that you could rent for a super low cost! Plus, it will most likely be cheaper than renting from an outside landlord who doesn’t offer discounts to friends.

You can also look for organizations around you that offer assistance to artists looking to find affordable studio rent. Some organizations exist to provide shared studio spaces to artists for an affordable membership fee. Some communities additionally offer local fellowships that grant studio space and/or funding free of charge. With this being said, it is most definitely worth your time to get to know the benefits of your local organizations. Do not be afraid to get involved!

Finally, expand your search outside of the obvious and typical art studio standards. Fractured Atlas and Artspace are online resources that will help you discover alternative spaces and think outside the box. These online directories show you different types of spaces that fit within your specific requirements.

February 20, 2018
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