Photo by @russian_fckr / Unsplash

Artist studios are spaces for experimentation and discovery. They are a place for artists to dedicate time to their creative practice and find new ways of making work. In a way, studios act as counterparts to galleries and museums: studios deal with how art is made, while the latter deals with how art is displayed in a finite way.

While in you’re a studio, there’s a beauty in being in a mode of progress. Things are in a constant flux and the future of any piece is unknown. Even the exploration of one idea can lead to a web of other unplanned, spontaneous tangents. In this way, the artist’s studio can become an incubator for ideas, concepts, and future projects.

Sometimes, there are moments when stepping foot into your workspace can make you feel anxious or hesitant. You feel overwhelmed by the pressure of making the best work you can or researching a complex topic. You’re not sure where to begin. In those situations, you can start small with what you’re comfortable with. Just tinkering with quick exercises helps build momentum to get you started.

At the end of a studio session, it’s okay to have unfinished pieces or vague ideas. There’s no right or wrong way of making art; everything is a different experience.

I’ll leave you with an excerpt from Sister Corita Kent’s Some Rules for Students and Teachers:

“Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail. There’s only make.”

Taking a project to its completion might be the rewarding end-goal for most artists, but the art-making process is an underrated joy in itself. As an ode to the studio, we reached out to several students interested in sharing a glimpse of their own art.

Below is a photo collection of studio spaces taken by recent graduates from CalArts and USC. This blog post contains mainly paintings where you can see how each individual artist manifests their practice in their respective ways.

Works on canvas in acrylic. Photos courtesy of Joshua Winklhofer, CalArts BFA 18’ @jwinklhofer

Works on canvas in oil. Photos courtesy of Crista Kempton, USC BA 18’ @redfoxblacksox

Multi-media works on paper, cloth, found material and canvas. Photos courtesy of Scott Lee, CalArts BFA 18’

Works on canvas and paper in oil, acrylic, and watercolor. Photos courtesy of Yoojin Oh, CalArts BFA 18’ @candleshtick

Eager to get started on a studio project of your own? Check out some of our arts courses below:

Introduction to Graphic Illustration

Cornish College of the Arts


Custom Handlettering

School of Visual Arts


The Modern Genius: Art and Culture in the 19th Century

Otis College of Art and Design