How to make
your art studio
a safe and healthy
place 

Mostof the artists who work professionally spend majority of their working hours in their studios, surrounded by the supplies they need to create, and work on their art. Some of these supplies can be toxic or even harmful to your health. 

The first step towards trying to get things in order is to make sure you have a compartment of everything so that you are able to know where everything you have is. This is like creating a zone for specific functions like the packaging area, storage area, artwork area and so on. Once your things are in different zones, take time to label them, especially the supplies so that they are easier to find when you are looking for something you need while working. If something isn’t labeled, it should be tossed away. This will help you make space for the things you may actually need.

Make sure you enclose all harmful substances. it's important to read the labels on art materials, sometimes its usually has the word "CAUTION" on it. Do your best to choose non-toxic, environmentally sustainable supplies. Make sure to also check the labels of products for safe use and disposal. Replacing harmful materials from your studio with non-toxic alternatives can protect not just your body, but can also reduce harm to the environment. Keep everything in its original containers and keep all jars tightly closed when not in use.

Keeping your art supplies and tools clean is especially important, because leaving them lying around could cause them destruction. With the right cleansers and proper maintenance, you'll be able to keep your art tools in great condition year after year. Liquid brush cleaners and restorers are perfect for getting all of the stubborn paint out of your paintbrushes. Most cleansers will remove all types of oils, acrylics, enamels, and varnishes from synthetic and natural hairs; some can also be used on your hands after a long painting session.

Another important thing is to make sure you have enough air circulation in your studio! Whether it is a little space or a large area, proper ventilation and air circulation is important. If you’re using items you know might be toxic, wear goggles, gloves, fume hoods and other safety equipment. It’s important to protect yourself, especially when dealing with lead-based paint.

Do not buy too many supplies at once, only buy what you need for one project at a time. That way, you’ll have an easier time monitoring what’s in your studio. As soon as you buy a new can of paint or any other supply, mark the containers with the purchase date. When you need red paint for example, find the older inventory first and work your way towards the newly purchased paint.

We should not forget about the body. Working is important, but listening to what your body is telling you is equally important. Take a break while working to stretch, have a proper sitting and standing postures. This is important for the back and neck to avoid pains later. Handle your tools in the proper way so that you can keep the hands and wrists in good condition and lastly, make sure the room you are working in has proper lighting so that you do not strain your eyes and cause them damage in the long run. Do not use your studio as an eating place or a smoking area. It will lead to having unnecessary fumes and wastes that are not needed. Also regularly emptying the trash in the studio could be important in making sure it is in a clean state most of the time.

by Sylvia A.Zajc