An Artist’s Life: The Home Studio

What are the perks (and quirks) of working from home?

The ever evolving technologies of the Internet has allowed many people to forgo the rush to clean up get ready and combat the nightmarish commute (especially in L.A.) to their workplace, and work from the comfort of their own homes. For some it’s the financial freedom away from the extra bills and monthly rents that comes with running a business. But of course there are some drawbacks to that, depending on your circumstances. If you are single and young it would be fine; if you’ve got a growing family, that’s another matter. Imagine trying to get some reports done under the stress of kids yelling from outside your room, if they even stay outside at all. You know what I mean. The same can be said about art studios.

Unfortunately I do not have the luxury of owning a spacious loft on the top floor of a skyscraper in the middle of downtown. Thanks to my parents I was allowed to set up my art practice in the bedroom I had shared with my sister for many years. Since scrapping the car studio I had searched around for some time for any affordable workspace near where I lived. But if you are living in California these days the word “affordable” is virtually nonexistent; or rather, it will probably get you a minimum of a 4×4 windowless room without a private bathroom (think Extra Space Storage). Now that I got a studio in the same roof where I’m living with my parents I am spared the hassle of battling traffic wasting precious time on the road as well as the expenses that follows such as gas and parking. It has now been six months now since I have started my studio and here are few things I have learned, the upsides and the downsides of working from home as an artist:

The Pros

  1. As I mentioned before, there is no need to dress up and hit the traffic. No waiting behind the wheels with every car moving inch by inch, no nutjob drivers trying to run you down, no worries about that shaky steel pipe that might roll out of the back of that pickup in front of you. And now with this coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe and goverments issuing orders for citizens to stay indoors makes it that much more convenient.
  2. Ease of expenses. Room rent, utility, internet, fully covered. My parents are not hounding me to pay my share thankfully; after all I am broke and unemployed. I do earn my keep of course by helping around and running errands regularly.
  3. Unlimited access to the studio space. Again since I don’t have to drive out through the nightmarish traffic I can simply walk in and out whenever I want, while living under the same roof. And I don’t need to go through the hassle of dressing up (or down)
  4. Security. All my tools and equipments right in my sight, so I don’t need to worry about any dumb burglars trying to break in and steal them. Yes the house is protected too.

And of course, there be the Cons

  1. Limited privacy. While my parents agreed to abide my working schedule it still does not stop them from occasionally calling me out when they need something. After all my mom is still a patient and needs lots of help. The bigger problem is Dad, who has a bad habit of poking his nose in whenever he darn pleases.
  2. It’s NOT my house. Even though I got my parents’ blessing it still no way means I can turn the room into a fantastic mess. I have to always take care to not stain the carpets with paint or chemicals, and tidy up the space when my work is done for the day.
  3. Isolation. There is that age-old belief that artists are loners and relish in the sense of isolation. That is true to some degree, but even artists need to socialize with their peers from time to time as a way to replenish their mind and spirit, as well as to keep up to date on local happenings and trends. Thanks to the Coronavirus scare however it’s become more difficult to step out to social events, and no matter how good virtual socializing can be it no way replace that natural human need to bond with other beings in physical presence.

When I think about it, it’s pretty clear that the Pros outweigh the Cons; I am learning to to adjust and adapt to everything I have listed in the Cons section. The last one is actually a doozy; I’ve been running solo my whole life since grade school that it hasn’t really affected me to this day. I still would like a large loft studio someday, but for now it’s best to hunker down and make my work at the comfort of my home (or rather, my parents’ home, hee).

I must make note here: Everything I write about here is solely based on my own personal observations and not a real scientific fact. So please for the love of God do not take anything you read here seriously and think it can work for you too. Because in this crazy world we live in there is no one-size-fits-all.

Take care everyone, and stay safe in this dark times.

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