You are here:Why create in a shared space?
November 18, 2015

Shared studio spaces for artists and creative people are popping up everywhere. It’s not a new idea, but I think it’s a great idea. Going into a shared space can be scary after working alone for a long time. But once you’ve made the leap, it can be a rewarding experience.

When I started my jewelry company I was in a small spare bedroom in the back of my house. I loved it because it was a place to work, easy to get to, and I could go to work in my PJ’s.  As my company grew I had customers wanting to see my work space, or meet me at my “studio” to commission a one of a kind piece. I felt really unprofessional when they walked through my house that I quickly cleaned up to let them into a small dark space that was not a reflection of my work. It did not feel very “boss” like, and I didn’t want just anyone walking through my house either. After a while I also felt distant from my art community. I wanted to share my ideas before they became a reality, and I missed other people’s crazy ideas rubbing off on me, and inspiring me to make an awesome piece of jewelry. I was born and raised in Bend. I know how supportive this community is, and I felt that I needed to make a change in my business that would be healthy all around. So I joined and artist’s space!

I was so nervous about sharing a studio with other people. I knew these ladies were fantastic in many ways, but after working alone for a couple of years I loved my privacy and alone time. Both of which I really had way too much of. I’m not an extrovert by any means so this was a little radical feeling. I signed the lease and swallowed my fear. I would say looking back the biggest thing I had to get used to was creating a flow again.  Over time this ended up improving immensely. All my household distractions were gone, I had more time to focus on my work, and I really became more productive. I also noticed that being around three other really talented people drove my creativity in new ways, and my designs got better because of that. I could be social with the other artists if we were in a light work mood, or I could put my head down and work quietly if I had major deadlines. My feeling of being separate was gone, and I made new friends. Best of all my customers knew where they could find me, and loved stopping by to see what was new.

All of this to say being a part of a shared creative space is one of the best decisions I made.

Outline time:

  • Inclusion in community.
  • More public recognition.
  • Professional work space.
  • More and better customer interaction.
  • More opportunity to sell work.
  • A place to “go” to work.
  • Better productivity.
  • Inspiration.
  • Make new friends.
  • Make new customers.
  • Share ideas in business and life.
  • Get out of the house.
  • Be part of something really awesome.

About the author:

McKenzie is a jewelry designer and artist at Willow Lane. She makes mixed metal jewelry for everyday wear along side her snoozing greyhound Hotwire.