The idea of a studio as a workspace comes from studium in Latin. The English word study can mean both a place and a practice: a study, to study. Is federated wiki both a studio space, and the practice of studying?
Historically the idea of a studio as a place for artists to work has included strong assumptions about the provision of light. A studio is a place with light.
A studio is also a place where things are made. It's tolerant of improvisation, mess and hoarding.
But the emphasis on the products that result from making has obscured the idea of studying as the process of learning. From Latin and French the idea of studying took on qualities of close attention and reflection: to study is to "regard attentively".
For some artists, a studio is an intimate and protected space where work can go on undisturbed. For others, it's more like a small business space where a team of employees contribute to the artist's output, or collaborators work alongside each other. The studio is part of the backstory to the art that is eventually made visible when it's shown or sold. Artists know the story of the artwork in the studio as well as the public, visible history of the artwork in the gallery and on the market.
Sanctuary (2012) looks at the studio practices of British artists. link
The space works really well. I have a team of people who are very good at different aspects of handwork ... What I try to use the studio for is what I call ‘thinking with material’. To do that you need an arena. You need a page to write on. You need a space to work in. That is what a studio is. (Tony Cragg, a sculptor who employs 20 people to work on his art with him)
My studio is somewhere that I find incredibly peaceful to come to. I sometimes come in for half an hour and look at books or just think. It’s an oasis I suppose ... I find it quite hard to have other people in this space. It taints it ... I know it’s a filthy messy space, but it’s my filthy messy space. (Chantal Joffe, who works alone)
When I was at college we all had our little chipboard cubicles that we worked in. Someone came up and went: ‘Oooh, you’ve got a meaty space!’ And I thought , yeah, I do like to have a busy space. I like the feeling that it’s got a density of creativity going on ... (Grayson Perry)
Jake: “The work in the gallery is not the work in the studio. You can’t go back. You think about it in a very different way. Dinos: “Everything you make is a massive disappointment because it’s not the thing you wanted it to be ... Once it is outside our studio, it isn’t ours anyway. We can’t be held responsible for what it is seen as. It becomes an object in its own right.” (Jake and Dinos Chapman, collaborators)