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01.03 Studio Assessment Exercise

Studio Inventory Questions

The start of a new semester provides an opportunity to assess the working functionality of your studio. At the beginning there is likely an absence of the inevitable clutter and debris produced from the creative process. This “clean slate” allows you to set your studio up to work efficiently. It is best to ignore past assumptions and begin from first principles. Setting up your studio is a constant work in progress and no way is the “correct” way or “wrong” way as long as your studio works for your art goals.

These prompts are intended to give you a starting point to assess and think about your studio. Be open to the thoughts that enter your mind as you ponder your studio. Take notes and make changes to the physical environment as needed.

  1. What is in your studio? Why is it there? Do you need it?
  2. What is missing from your studio? Why isn’t it there?
  3. What is in your studio just because it always has been? Should it still be there?
  4. How does your studio promote creativity and frictionless making?
  5. How does your studio hinder artistic production? How can you change it?
  6. Do you use technology more or less due to the physical setup of your desk, electrical outlets, lighting?

Art Goal Questions

In addition to assessing the working environment of your studio, the beginning of the semester also affords an opportunity to consider your goals for artistic production. You likely have a sense of goals or things you want to accomplish. These existing goals may be perfectly suited for studio production this semester or there may be other goals that better align with your plans. One way to find out is to assess your art production goals.

  1. What art goals do you think you have already. Think about why these are your goals.
  2. Are the goals setup to satisfy course or graduation requirements? Would you have a different goal if you were not in this course or did not need to graduate? What would that goal be?
  3. What do you want to make or create? Why? Do you want to make it because you are familiar with the process? Because you have experience with it?
  4. What are 5 reasons why you should not keep your current art plans? Forcing yourself to argue for the opposite viewpoint can expose potential weak points in your plan. Arguing in the negative can also show which parts of your plan are robust.
  5. What is a lingering art thought in your mind that you don’t pursue because you are unsure how to start? What process do you avoid because you think you are not good at it or don’t like it? Are these good reasons to avoid them?
  6. If time and resources were infinite, what art project would you want to create? How can you transform some of these ideas into reality with limited resources?

Writing, Collecting, Assessing

Take time to answer these questions. You do not have to stick to these questions. You can use the premise to create your own tailored questions. Regardless, take time to seriously and objectively think about the current state of your art practice. This is not a fixed state, it is just the state that your practice happens to be in now. It might be in a different state tomorrow or it may stay in this state forever. The only way to track progress, development, and change over time is to record and collect assessment information at different points in time.

Write you thoughts down. You can dictate into a microphone, type into a computer, write in a sketchbook, or another type of capture method. It is important that you force yourself to pull the thoughts from your head and transform the concepts into a tangible media. You might think everything is figured out in your head, but it can be easy to consider thoughts complete while still contained in your mind. Making thoughts tangible shows where they are complete and where they need more work.