Studio Aesthetics - The Artists Workplace
I had an interesting discussion with an artist about the aesthetics of my studio. He noted that I had approximately 30 candles burning throughout the room and wondered why I would light so many each day and was it religious in nature.
In a way it is religious, but not in the way he was thinking. I've written before about the sanctity of the studio and that the artists studio is as holy as any church or cathedral is. Creativity is the closest that, I believe, we can come to the true nature of our spiritual being.
I explained this to him, but I also took time to explain the importance of the aesthetics of an artists workplace for conducting business. For me the candles create a very special feel that guests instantly sense when they enter. There is an other worldliness to this space that it is important to me to impart to those who visit.
It goes past just candles though. Its how the room is lit, its the music or sound playing within it, its the smell of incense or scented candles, its the way the art is arranged. Its so many things that are taken for granted when entering, but are immediately felt.
The internationally known artist Francis Bacon was notorious for the state of his studio. He managed to take trash and hording to a level of aesthetic fascination within his workplace. So much so that after he passed they preserved his whole studio, moving it in tact to the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin and reconstructing it perfectly in all its incredible chaos.
For plein air artists their studio is nature. I envy these artists. There is nothing more incredible than using nature as your cathedral.
However you get there, the way your studio is set up says a lot about you as an artist. It tells the visitor a wealth of information. If your studio is austere with nothing but an easel in a corner of the room and tubes of paint, it says something about both you and your art style. Your work space may be small or large. Size is not the issue as much as what the small or large space contains.
I know some artists believe that its not the space but what is created within that space that is important. They are right. But I take the approach that a visitor will remember me and my work far longer if both the work and the space it resides leaves a lasting impression.
The way I see it is that my space should be as creative as my art. It should impart the same messages I would want my work to say. If I have nothing in my studio but supplies then this message may say that I am a dedicated artist, but does it say anything else?
In the opposite, if my space is so messy that it creates confusion in the visitor, this also imparts a message.
In the end though there is no right or wrong way to how your studio looks, but you may want to put a little thought into it. First impressions are often the most important.