Atelier is a French term that refers to an artist’s, designer’s, or artisan’s studio or workshop.
In an atelier, an artist or designer – working alone or with a small team of assistants – develops creative ideas and designs and produces artworks or products. The atelier system is closely associated with the apprenticeship tradition, in which young artists learn their trade from a more experienced master.
The word atelier is also used to refer to the method of teaching and learning that takes place in an artist’s studio, as opposed to academic instruction in art schools. The atelier method often involves one-on-one interaction between teacher and student and emphasizes the development of each individual’s creativity and artistic voice.
Historically, the atelier system was an important part of the training of many artists and designers, including such luminaries as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Pablo Picasso. Today, there are still many ateliers operating around the world, keeping alive the tradition of hands-on, individualized instruction in the arts.