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  • Airlie Anderson

Long Live the Budget Studio


I’m working at home these days in a little space on a landing right next to a pair of closets. I’ve worked in lots of different kinds of studios over the years: my mom’s garage, shared spaces in big industrial buildings in San Francisco and Brooklyn, a tiny closet-sized spot in Manhattan, a storage unit, a barn.


If my apartment at the time was super tiny and I didn't have a studio space outside my house, I was a big fan of bringing everything to a coffee shop, preferably a big one that wasn’t short on seating. I liked to get to know the staff and make sure it was cool to camp out with my work. I did this when I first moved to Brooklyn, at The Tea Lounge on seventh avenue, May it rest in peace. How I loved that place! AC blasting in the summer, old Bob Marley on the speakers, giant cupcakes with whole Oreos on top, great coffee and tea. But I digress! Doing artwork in my living space used to be such a downer for me for some reason, but not anymore. I think I’ve learned how to carve out a space for myself and really get in the zone once I’m there. As long as it’s not actually in the bedroom, I can work with it!


In Stephen King’s ON WRITING, he says something about getting a lot of writing done in a tiny space under the stairs in his house. It was a humble spot, but it did the trick. There’s the temptation to say “if only I had access to some cabin in the woods, then I could really get some work done.” I have definitely had this thought. But I’ve grown to love working in my weird little nook, and it allows me to get right to the drawing table — no commute! Keeping costs down is key for most freelancers I know, and having a home studio is a great way to do that. So, if you’re craving a creative space of your own, consider that hallway/nook/closet! It might be more suitable than you think. In my case, all I really need is a table. Windows are a huge bonus.


Oh, and also that it’s somewhat ergonomic. I hack a lot of things together so I’m not injuring my body: Wacom tablet lifted a bit with a book, I wear dansko clogs and stand on a folded up yoga mat, etc. Don’t hunch, my friends! It will hurt later.


More studio moments from today:




👆🏼 Lightbox (actually a repurposed glowing sign) work


👆🏼 GOUACHE 💙💚💙💚

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