Creative Digest

Jo Atherton

The Creative Digest is a monthly insight into websites that explore creative practice and the artistic mindset. In April we turn our attention to the studio space, given the large number of members opening their doors for the 25th Herts Open Studios this year.

The artist’s creative space is a personal thing. It is a place dedicated to focus, creativity and often solitude. Perhaps you rent a dedicated studio, retreat to a secret shed or have a room in the house where you can indulge your creative impulses and organise your materials. Often a private space, opening the doors to this hidden realm is often a highly valuable experience. Inviting feedback, demonstrating techniques, connecting with other artists or always a much needed opportunity to sell work, Open Studios is a worthwhile  exercise.

Creative spaces are as diverse as artists themselves and a quick glance on Pinterest will leave you with some ideas of how you might improve your own space, although don’t get too jealous as some of these are enviable!

If you are considering renting an artist studio space, there are some important questions you must consider. Visual Artists Ireland has an excellent article, I’m thinking of getting a studio, which considers the type of space, individual requirements and the different kinds of providers who make space available to artists.

The British Council Blog has an insightful post investigating what kind of workspace is needed to be creative. It includes tips for people working both at home and in an office to improve their creativity and productivity, taking Turkey’s first creative hub as a fascinating example.

Renting a space can provide a much needed place within an artistic community. Often artists spend a great deal of time working in isolation and if following your artistic dreams full time, it is easy to miss out on that much needed human contact often taken for granted when working for someone else. If you feel that an artistic community could be for you, it would be worth investigating local studio providers in Hertfordshire. These include Digswell Arts with facilities in Letchworth, Digswell and Stevenage and East Street Arts, also based in Stevenage. Further afield, check out Bedford Creative Arts and Wysing Arts Centre in Cambridgeshire.

Finally, Creative Choices has some good advice on renting an artist studio and some key questions to ask yourself if you are considering renting a studio to improve your own productivity.