Is your studio dangerous for your art?
Once you’ve spent time creating something great, the last thing you want to worry about is an accident happening in your workspace.
To minimize risk and protect your collection, we've gathered some tips from art professionals on how to minimize risk in your studio.
Create zones for different tasks
Get creative with your space and create zones in which to do different things. If you paint, have one spot in your studio where the colorful magic happens. Designate another spot as your packing and organizing area and another corner as the place to store finished works in preparation for transit.
Then, organize each area with the right materials and keep them in their “home.” Not only will your art be protected, it will be easier to fight clutter, and you’ll never waste time searching for the packing tape again!
Store framed art the right way
If you’re a two-dimensional artist and frame your work, always store it with the wire hanger on top—even if you aren’t hanging the framed piece on the wall. Otherwise, you could be stressing the hinges, which could lead to a broken wire and ruined art. This rule holds try for carrying art, too: use the two-hand rule and carry art in its upright position.
Use white gloves
Once the brush is down and the paint is dry, you should enforce a new rule in the studio: white gloves must be worn when handling any art. White gloves will protect your art from dirt, soil, fingerprints, and stains. This six dollar purchase can save you from an expensive mistake and a ruined piece of art.
Art is like Goldilocks: it’s only happy if the temperature, light, and humidity are just right. Most art mediums are very sensitive to temperature and humidity, so setting it next to an open window is an easy way to ruin a collection. Be strategic about where you locate your “storage zone,” and avoid windows, doors, vents direct light, and ceiling fans. You want your art to stay as dry, dark, and comfortable as possible before it’s presented to the public or sold to collectors.
For three-dimensional work, think “light pieces on top”
Pop quiz: where’s the best place to store three-dimensional work?
If you guessed on a shelf, you’re half right. The full answer is: on a metal shelf with padding, with the lightest pieces on the top rack. The heaviest work should always line the bottom shelf. That way, you’re mitigating your risk of heavy art breaking a shelf. The likelihood of art falling through on the bottom rack is much higher than on the top rack.
Keep photos offsite or in the cloud
If your insurance documentation is kept in paper form, and that paper form is kept in your studio, what happens if the studio is ruined? There goes your work. For this reason, it’s important to keep your inventory documentation offsite or use a cloud-based software organization system like Artwork Archive.
Control the environment
Even if your work is kept out of direct sunlight and away from cold temperatures, it can still be in danger of elemental ruin if you live in a particularly humid environment or if temperatures fluctuate. Fluctuating temperatures and humidity can make art expand and contract, which puts the art under stress and can speed up the rate of natural deterioration.
Keep your studio cool. The best temperature range for most art mediums is between 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit. And, if you live in a humid environment, invest in a dehumidifier. Tip: If 55-65 degrees isn’t realistic for your studio, just keep the temperature within a 20-degree range to avoid the damaging effects of fluctuation.