Linux For Graphics Artists
Although Mac OS X is generally the operating system associated with computer graphics, Linux is in fact just as much or even more capable. With an efficient operating system, the user can customize it for the purpose of graphics, rather than using a regular desktop operating system. The ability of being able to run the operating system without running a window system is also a must for resource engulfing rendering tasks.
Stick with Kubuntu
Although there are several distributions specifically for graphics artists, it is a better choice to go with a distribution like Kubuntu that is well supported and has a huge community. Kubuntu has the advantage over the regular Ubuntu for graphics artists because Kubuntu uses the KDE desktop environment rather than Gnome. Both KDE and Gnome are incredibly capable, however certain applications run more smoothly under KDE than Gnome, including several high quality graphics applications.
Readying the Studio
Choosing the right applications for your studio really depends on your individual needs. Having done everything from raster graphics and 3D animation, all the way to designing fonts, I think I may be able to give a bit of useful advice.