In Search of Inspiration: 4 Tips for the Smoothest ‘Semi-Solo’ Art Studio Move

Visual arts have largely been, at least for most of human history, a plein-air endeavor. It is little wonder that the allure of unexplored horizons has been the siren call for creatives to drop all else and relocate. 

The history of art bears testimony to how changing locations influence an artist’s creative process. It has been found that new scenery can contribute to greater emotional depth, varied color palettes, and a shift in the thematic focus of an artist’s pieces. 

If you’re also planning to move in search of inspiration, the least exciting part can be moving your entire art studio. Nevertheless, it is the most crucial aspect to ensure every required supply or artwork is safe and sound. 

If you’re planning to do it all by yourself, we’re here to cheer you on from the sidelines. However, there is one aspect that you must trust the professionals with. This article will discuss useful tips for stress-free semi-solo moving. 

Start by Taking Inventory 

Unless you’re aware of what needs to be relocated with you, there is no way to ensure all items reach safely to the new studio destination. We would recommend considering decluttering as well during this process. 

Usually, artists have a lot of supplies at hand, much of which may be the product of anticipated needs. We daresay that those with a creative profession may be prone to hoarding their supplies. Once in a while, it is good to freshen things a bit even if a minimalist art studio is not what you aim for. 

Relocation is a good opportunity to go through your existing inventory, declutter, and carry only required supplies. According to the Joan Mitchell Foundation, it is important to store every art piece with proper labels and dates. 

As you ‘Kon Mari’ your way into a new art studio, there will be more scope and space to start afresh. As for the decluttered items, you can throw away the expired products or give away/donate those that no longer serve your artistic vision. 

Use Specialized Packing Techniques 

Packing art supplies that often include chemicals along with fragile paintings can seem complex. It is certainly not the same as packing any other household item. Let’s look at the common artworks and how to pack each properly. 

Paintings (Small and Large) 

When it comes to packing painting canvases, the first material that often comes to mind is the classic bubble wrap. It has been a considerable part of the packing culture for a long time now. However, one material you must consider if you have not is foam. 

Some of the top reasons to use foam include stability, affordability, ease of moving, and diversity. According to Foam Factory, a wide range of foams are available for different types of packaging needs. 

These would include polyethylene, polyurethane, antistatic, pick and pull grid, and eggcrate. For paintings, you can use custom sizes of polyethylene or polyurethane foam for support and security. Then, place each canvas inside a wooden crate, especially useful for packing large paintings. 

If the paintings are yet to be framed, first wrap the canvas in acid-free glassine paper. This will protect against moisture and dust. Then, follow the above-mentioned procedure of using foam and a wooden crate. 

Sculptures and Pottery 

To carefully move sculptures, ceramics, and other three-dimensional art pieces, the best packaging option would be wooden crates. They will prevent such delicates from breaking or cracking. You can opt for custom crates that come with internal framing that provides support. 

The crates can be a bit pricey but they’re worth the investment. You can store them away for future use or use them at the time of selling your art pieces. In case you’re good at carpentry and wish to get your hands on it, all you need is lumber and plywood to construct crates. 

Most importantly, do not just place the piece inside the crate and be done with it. There must be enough padding to ensure nothing gets out of place or damaged. A great option would be to use the pick-and-pull foam for cases and other packages. 

This is a unique type of packaging foam that is best suited for odd-shaped items like vases and sculptures. Available in a variety of thicknesses and sizes, all you need to do is pick and pull out the foam cubes to create relevant cavities for the item. This will provide the extra support that flat foam cannot offer. 

Art Prints and Sketches 

It can be tricky to safely transport valuable sketches and art prints. Your best bet in this regard is to invest in lots of acid-free plastic sleeves. These will become a buffer for photographs, prints, semi-finished sketches, etc. 

If the papers or canvas rolls are handy and small, simply shipping them flat in their sleeves or cardboard mailers would suffice. In the case of large paperwork, you can roll each sheet inside a cardboard tube for maximum protection. 

Digital Art Equipment 

If you’re also into digital art, this will involve electronic tools like iPads and computers. The best way to pack this equipment securely is to use sturdy cardboard boxes with sufficient padding. This will reduce the negative space and ensure the devices do not suffer damage during transportation. 

Do not forget to remove any loose media or hard drives before packing. Also, create proper backups of all the data before you shut them down for the move. Finally, place sufficient packs of silica gel inside each box to prevent the risk of moisture buildup that may damage the electronics. 

Invest in Climate-Controlled Transportation 

This is the part where it is best to not go solo. Being a one-man army and self-transporting your packed and sealed art studio may seem like a good idea. This process may be attractive since it is inexpensive. 

A recent study found that 53% of Americans were shocked to learn that their moving costs were higher than expected. However, there are additional challenges to consider especially since delicate artworks come into the picture. 

First, the loading and unloading process makes fragile art supplies prone to damage. Professional movers are specifically trained to eliminate any risks involved with loading/unloading. If you follow our previous tip and use specialized packing techniques, the risk of damage is significantly low. 

Even then, what about larger paintings or sculptures? It’s generally easier to handle and transport smaller items alone or even with a few helping hands. The fact remains that nothing beats industry experience and expertise. 

Moreover, paintings are often vulnerable to damage from temperature extremes. Professional movers will use climate-controlled transportation to ensure your artwork stays safe and sound. 

Set up the New Studio 

Typically, people move to their new location and start unpacking immediately. While that should be on the agenda, something else must be done prior to that. We would recommend setting up your new art studio first. 

In other words, plan out and designate areas where you wish to store your supplies, sculptures, paintings, and other furniture. Dust the entire room and ensure no unwanted item is lying around. Then, start digging into your boxes and crates. 

This will take a substantial amount of time depending on how well you’ve packed and sealed all items. Once unpacked, cross-check everything against your inventory list. Before putting each item into its designated slot, make sure there are no damages. If any supply or expensive artwork is missing, notify the shipping company as soon as possible. 

An additional pro tip would be to label all your boxes or packages as well. In case a particular box has different categories of products, name them all on the label. Then, keep striking out each item off the inventory list. This will ensure you’ve left nothing behind of what you need. 

Moreover, you will know exactly where each product or supply is to be found. We promised to offer tips that would let you have the smoothest art studio move, and we wish nothing less. Overwhelming as it may seem, a few straightforward steps in the right direction can streamline the entire process. Happy moving and art-making!