You Don't Need a Fancy Studio-Try These Instead

Don't let the lack of studio space keep you from sharing what you love and adding a new profit center to your business. You may be dreaming of a beautiful studio space with chandeliers and white chairs, paints and easels set up for each student, but you don't need the overhead right out of the gate.

Instead, get creative about where to hold your classes.

If you're feeling stuck, start asking people if they know of any space available to host a class. You might be surprised with what they come up with, like "oh yeah, my friend JP owns a yurt in the woods with a pond, horses and hiking trails that you can use for free..."

Here are just some of the places and ways I have taught, while dreaming of my own studio space:

  1. Skype or Zoom-You can use these platforms to teach live classes to people who don't live in your area. It makes it a little trickier than actually being in the room with someone, but totally do-able. Your students need to bring their own supplies to the class.

  2. Private Lessons in Student's Homes-I offer private lessons and will travel to people's homes to teach. I used to offer 1:1 classes, but now I just do groups, as it wasn't cost effective to do private lessons. My new favorite way to teach is group parties and these are growing in popularity.

  3. In a Library-I co-hosted a Mixed-Media Art Exchange Group in a Public Library. We used the space for free and were on their calendar too, so sometimes we had walk-ins from the public who saw it on the calendar.

  4. In a College Activity Center-I teach a painting class once a year for graduating seniors at a local college. I could also approach local colleges, particularly over the summer, to see if space is available to host a class. Some have space that is available to rent to the public.

  5. In a Non-Profit Agency-I host a local class at a non-profit agency. If you're offering a fund-raiser for a group, they often have space you can use for your class.

  6. In a YURT in the woods. OK, so these aren't generally available, but I'm lucky enough to have friends who have an outdoor classroom, called a Yurt, that they let me use for classes. We host an annual Yurt Yoga and Painting class there and I've also done kids classes there as well.

  7. In a Restaurant-I stumbled on a restaurant/gift shop that has an adorable little cottage and patio in the back, complete with plants and shade-the perfect Artist's Cottage. I asked if I could host an event there and we worked out a deal for a 1/2 day painting workshop that included lunch, tea and dessert. I've also taught jewelry classes in a restaurant and we worked out a deal where we paid $10.00 per person to the restaurant and they provided pizza, wings and a cocktail. We built this cost into the price of the class.

  8. In an Art Co-op. If you're a part of an art co-op, chances are they host classes or have considered it. Start a conversation and see where it goes. I host MANY of my classes in art co-ops I belong to. The added bonus is that people can see the work you sell and the co-ops help to promote the class and take registrations.

  9. In a Church-They often have community rooms available for public use for free, donation or low cost.

  10. In your own home-I have offered small classes and private lessons in my home every now and then. This can be a good place to get started.

  11. In a Field or Park-Set up a tent in a field or rent a pavilion in a park and teach outside in the fair weather months.

  12. In a Gift Shop-I teach art classes in a small gift shop. The owner moves items to the side and sets up small 2 to 4 person tables to make for a cozy teaching space.

  13. In a Community Center-I've rented space in a community center for very low cost. Lots of parking, accessibility and space.

  14. In a High School Art Room-I teach through a local Adult Education program offered by my school district and we use one of the Art Rooms for our class. This is actually ideal for our class and works out great.

  15. In a garage-I've both taught and taken classes held in garages. This is not unusual for jewelry making with torches or painting with messy splashing and spraying. I've also used a friend's driveway, come to think of it, and the neighbor's dog stopped over and peed on the paintings while they were drying..good and memorable times!

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