One of the things that many people do not understand about art—especially in terms of turning it into a living wage—is that just because it can be done anywhere doesn’t mean it should be done anywhere.
It is actually incredibly important (and not just for tax purposes) to have a separate space that is just for your art. Here’s why:
1. You’ll have a better work-life balance
Even when we love creating art, it is important to create specific and distinct boundaries that separate our work from our lives. Without those boundaries, it is way to easy to convince ourselves to just “get a little bit of work done” while we are supposed to be doing other things like spending time with our families or sleeping.
Bringing the tablet to bed to do a little sketching or taking the laptop out in the yard to work on your invoices while the kids play is a slippery slope that leads straight into working all the time and, eventually, burning out. And, one of the best ways to reinforce the boundaries in your work-life balance is to literally separate the two.
This is particularly helpful for your kids and your friends. When you have a separate art space, they are more likely to respect the seriousness of your work and your art than they would if you regularly worked from the couch. You are interruptible when you work at the kitchen table, but not when you are in your studio.
2. You’ll switch gears more easily
As artists we all know how hard it is to switch gears when working on our art. It takes time to find the focus we need when we first sit down and maybe even more time to mentally put it away when we’re ready to be done for the day.
Having a separate space for your art and business forces you to move your body from one place to the other. Moving your body helps reinforce the idea of switching from one gear to the other and can help you create some distance between the two.
3. You’ll end up “training” your brain to be creative
Did you know that you can train your brain to be productive at specific times of the day? Focus and creativity can be turned into habits just like remembering to get up, brush your teeth, eat dinner and go to bed.
The same holds true for spaces. It’s a continuation of the “switching gears” theme we just talked about. If you make a habit out of going to a separate space to work—especially if it is a specific place—you can train your brain into habitually thinking “when I’m in this space, I need to focus on X.”