The most common question we’ve been hearing is, “How’s the new studio working out?” Two months ago we moved our work outside our home to a more spacious studio space inside the 4th Avenue Marketplace building on 4th Avenue and C Street. Many people think this is a gallery space with regular hours, but it’s just a studio where we work. We open it to the public on First Fridays, and customers and friends are welcome to visit when we’re here. If we wanted to open a retail space, we would have chosen a much better location. Most of our sales happen online at our Etsy shop, at Dos Manos year-round, and at galleries around Alaska in the summer time, and the two solo exhibitions at Midnight Sun Brewing in January and June each year, and at Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge in October.
So, how’s the studio working out? Well, it’s nice not having our small home cluttered with work supplies, and now there’s a definite separation between work and personal life. We’re more productive in a shorter period of time. The studio makes us look more professional to clients who stop by to pick up paintings, and having a First Friday event space is definitely a bonus. We love the view, and the extra space. On the other hand, we had to adjust to leaving home to go to work, sometimes forgetting things at one place, and having to plan a bit more carefully. That’s not a big deal though. So far we haven’t noticed the extra cost of the space in our day-to-day lives, but it definitely hasn’t generated enough revenue to cover the extra expense. With the summer tourism season coming up, that may change, but we’ll miss about half of that, because we’ll be in McCarthy finishing up the cabin.
Eventually the plan may be to open a gallery, but we don’t want it to be a conventional one, because those seem to be empty most of the time. So we’ve been brainstorming about offering beer and wine and an area dedicated for kids. What else would make a gallery more of an attraction?
Several people who stopped by on First Friday asked what the studio looks like when we’re actually working, rather than hosting a reception. So here are some photos of the “action”.