Coworking for artists: creativity and collaboration

Coworking spaces have skyrocketed in popularity over the past decade, offering flexible work environments and networking opportunities for freelancers, remote workers, and entrepreneurs across industries. While these spaces cater to all types of professionals, a growing number specifically serve artists, makers, and other creative communities. 

These creative coworking and makerspaces provide the tools, amenities, and collaborative environment many artists need to thrive. According to a 2022 survey by the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, over 80% of creative professionals say being part of a community of artists, designers, or creators is important for their work and career development. 

So what exactly are artists finding at these spaces, and why are they choosing to work amongst a community instead of alone in a home studio?

The benefits of a creative community

Shared creative spaces provide artists with physical resources they often lack at home, such as workshop equipment, production and design software, photography studios, rehearsal spaces, and more. But these spaces deliver professional advantages that go beyond physical amenities.

Creative coworking fosters networking and idea-sharing among artists in different mediums. Events and programs also connect members to the local community, art patrons, and organizations. This gives visibility to artists' work and creates opportunities for collaboration, commissions, and growth they may not find in isolation.

Surrounded by fellow working artists also provides motivation and inspiration needed to stay focused. The creative energy and zeal in these spaces pushes members to keep experimenting, learning new skills, and persisting through challenging projects.

Custom spaces to support unique creative needs

Not all creative coworking spaces are the same. While they share certain amenities like gallery space and collaboration areas, each caters to specific art forms, industries, and member interests. 

Some spaces have production equipment geared toward woodworking, metalwork, ceramics, textiles, or digital fabrication for makers. Others offer ample studio space for painting, photography, dance, recording music, and more. Spaces focused on design provide high-end computers and software for graphics, architecture, product design, and other digital creatives. 

Member skill-sharing and peer learning happens organically in these environments. Photographers brainstorm with graphic designers, jewelry makers give metal casting advice to sculptors, and painters connect interior designers to potential clients. This diversity of talent and exchange of ideas keeps members inspired.

Coworking for artists in action

Guild Row

Guild Row in Chicago has become a haven for artists, activists, entrepreneurs and other community-driven professionals. Their events encourage intermingling over food, drinks, and activities rooted in art, culture, and thoughtful discussion. Members also leverage the space to turn pandemic hobbies like knitting, woodworking, and baking into potential side hustles.

Fort Houston

Fort Houston in Nashville serves creators in event production, fabrication, design, and experiential installation. Their workshop provides the industrial tools and skilled technicians artists need to prototype large-scale projects or exhibits. The team also helps manage expectations between creative talent and corporate clients. 

Mass collective

MASS Collective in Atlanta is run by and for artists requiring professional workshop space. The member-driven nonprofit offers equipment, classes, and community support to foster artistic careers in the city.

Coworking perks for any creative career 

While every artist has different needs, all can benefit from the amenities, knowledge-sharing, and connectivity offered at creative coworking spaces. These perks can support artists across experience levels and industries:

  • Access high-quality equipment without making a personal investment
  • Expand skills through classes, demos, and peer learning
  • Surround yourself with like-minded creatives who inspire you to keep creating
  • Show your work in member galleries and studio tours
  • Attend industry/skill-building workshops and lectures
  • Leverage community connections for commissions, showcases, and partnerships
  • Get early feedback on works-in-progress from other artists
  • Save on overhead costs like utilities, rent, parking, etc. 
  • Enjoy amenities like kitchens, lounges, coffee bars, and cleaning services

For artists and makers seeking to expand their skills, connections, and careers, joining a creative coworking or makerspace can make a valuable difference. These spaces allow artists to do what they love in a supportive community of fellow creators and professionals.

Make operations an art form with space management software

It might seem counter-intuitive, but behind the scenes of any thriving creative coworking space is technology designed to optimize operations. While these spaces cater to artists, the logistics and business side still require efficient systems to manage members, billing, equipment reservations, event scheduling, and communications.

Cloud-based management platforms like Coworks provide all the tools creative spaces need to run smoothly. Software can automate member management, send booking confirmations, process payments, coordinate equipment rental, schedule rooms, and handle inquiries.

For small staff teams focused on serving artistic members, this automation and organization is invaluable. It allows them to spend less time on paperwork and admin tasks, and more time fostering the community.

Software also facilitates clear communication and transparency between the space and its artist members. Members can easily book workstations or studios, RSVP for events, make service requests, and access important documents online.

Robust data and analytics provide management insights too. Reporting helps staff understand member needs, popular amenities, peak booking times, and opportunities to improve the member experience.

While not as exciting as pottery wheels and printing presses, space management software is a beautiful aspect of for running a cooperative creative environment. Find out more about how Coworks allow these community-driven spaces to manage growth while staying focused on their real purpose: supporting artists.


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