He was engrossed in a passionate pastime no one knew about.
It started innocently enough. Rashaad Black, a writer and photographer, began painting to blow the steam off after work. He enthusiastically explored his new hobby until he realized that his paintings were aggressively taking over his apartment.
“I wanted to paint and paint and paint,” Black says. “Every year that came, the space would be filled with more and more paintings that came out of nowhere. And last year, with the pandemic, I started going crazy, so in madness I created a storm.”
As his paintings began to creep into the kitchen, he knew he had to put his foot down.
It is clear that something needs to be done. “It was getting out of control,” he says
Enter Zero empty spaces (SIX).
Billed as an affordable option for artists looking for studio space, the company offers a range of in-house studios ranging from 100 to 300 square feet at a monthly cost of $ 2 per square foot.
The seats are open to everyone.
“Many places are very harshly rated,” says Evan Snow, co-founder and CEO of ZES. “In general, places are allocated to established artists and artists who have very long CVs, and it is very difficult for a new artist [to get space]. We are proud to have these new artists, or even middle-level artists, as well as established artists, interested in the program and having an affordable place to create outside of their homes. ”
ZES offers several locations throughout Florida, including one located at the Miami International Mall in Doral.
ZES co-founder Andrew Martineau says the company is also giving a boost to the surrounding neighborhood.
“Many people find it quite advantageous in terms of being able to highlight an otherwise vacant space,” says Martineau. “I think there is a real win-win-win all the way around for both the property owner and the artists when they work. [together] in this symbiotic relationship. ”
Snow says the properties make art more accessible in communities that might not otherwise benefit. “No one really wants to be a place devoid of color, life and culture.”
That’s why Alex Schreer, director of experience marketing at Gulfstream Park Village, welcomes the addition. He says the company, which recently expanded to Hallandale Beach, has added an artistic flair to the community. He also notes the appeal to working artists.
“Tariffs are rising so high these days, so there really is no possibility of that [artists] to take the first step in building their brands, “he says.” Some of them may not be able to afford or staff to get online and create different accounts through social media and post all the time. So this is an opportunity to help them. ”
Snow adds that just being out in public can make a huge difference.
“It’s important for artists to have a space to create outside of their home, which provides a myriad of benefits and opportunities for artists to be discovered by the public,” Snow explains. “We’ve just had countless people who have had their lives changed from interaction from sales, [and] through art exhibitions, and who have come through a random person from the public who stumbles into their studio space, which does not always happen when your studio is at home or even in a more private or hidden place. ”
Monika Jones can attest to that.
“I’ve never been part of an art community,” says Jones, who specializes in oil paintings. “And from talking to people who have stopped in, it’s something they also long for. They want to be part of the art community and be able to be among like-minded people who can understand from a more artistic point of view.”
The feedback she gets from other artists is invaluable.
“Artwork is a two-way conversation. It’s a conversation between the artist and the one who sees it,” Jones says. “If you’re an artist and you have no one to talk to [or anyone] to reject your ideas from is like talking to a wall. You need the feedback from another set of eyeballs looking at your stuff. Where else are you going? You’re just a crazy person talking to yourself. What’s the point? ”
Fellow artists, she says, can offer a nuanced look that others sometimes cannot.
“People mean well and they don’t want to hurt your feelings,” Jones explains. “You need the feedback from someone who is not your mother, who is not your father, who is not your husband, who is not your family or your friends. Hopefully [other artists] will have enough courage to tell that you are doing something bad and that it does not look good “.
Unexpectedly, the new space has inspired her to branch out in a completely different direction.
“I started making mosaics when I came to Zero Empty Space. I’ve never had room in my own home to make something like that because it takes up a lot of space, and you really should not mix oil paint and shards of glass in the same place. is not a good idea, “she says with a laugh.
Black says that ZES has also allowed him to explore various stylistic forms, including neo-impressionism. He encourages others to come out and see where the new environment can take them.
“A lot of artists that I know are very withdrawn,” he adds. “The idea of the open space, and having these open spaces where people from outside can come in and spend some time in your world, is a little nerve-wracking, but at the same time it’s amazing. It pushes you to be the best you can be. . ”
For those interested, Snow points to the website for further information.
“The application is open online, and we encourage artists at different levels to apply. And what we want people to know is that you would never really know what would happen before entering the space. We have had very established artists, [that] did not necessarily have to participate in the program or study room, but by doing so [they encouraged] artists who were still in the early stages of their careers who might have been a little intimidated or afraid of stepping out of their comfort zone and using it in their space. It has been nothing but positive reactions, so for people who may be on the fence, just give it a try. ”
– Sergy Odiduro, ArtburstMiami.com