It’s been a while 👋🏻so many things have happened this year so far, some good, some bad, some mundane and some exciting. I feel like I’ve been on a rollercoaster of emotions and decisions and I’m definitely not out the other side, but I am feeling more excited and more aligned with where things are heading than I have done in years.
What can you expect from me then…?
More sharing of my full creative practice
Tips and advice to help you be more creative as I go through my own journey
Interesting information about creativity and wellbeing and how they’re linked
…and don’t worry, there will always be flowers too❤️
But I’m not here to ‘launch’ anything new, because it's not really new, it's just me! I’m here to give you a bit of inspiration based on what I’ve been doing recently to kickstart a more fulfilling creative practice in my own home!
For the last 3 months(ish) we’ve actually had one of my best friends living with us! She’s been staying in what can only be described ‘the box room’ and before it was her cosy cave it has had every usage label a room like that could have - office, storage unit, spare room, workout space, craft hub, art studio, music room - and more often than not, its been a mix of all those things! So when it was emptied before her arrival, I was faced with the prospect of a bit of a blank canvas when she eventually moved out, and it got me thinking… what do I even want this room to be? Because I had to face the reality that it had never really worked as any of the above, and mainly I think, because I’d tried to give it too many purposes for such a small space.
I chatted it over with my other half and my incredible housemate and they both encouraged me to try and make it into a single use space… so was born my new, in house, art studio!!
My friend only moved out the other week so we’re very much in the early stages of making it what I need, but I think more than anything, more than new shelves and desks and chairs, the most transformational part of the whole thing is knowing it is my dedicated space.
Most of what I’ve been learning over the last few years, with my decluttering journey, my business journey and my personal journey, they’ve all been about finding, making and protecting space.
So I thought it would be fun to share some of the things I’ve been doing, and build my ‘top tips’ for starting to honour a creative space for yourself.
Actually make space!
The number one thing to do is to dedicate some space to your creativity. It might only be as small as the corner of your bedroom, but marking that spot as yours for creating is a powerful mindset marker! Telling yourself that this space is a non-negotiable priority in your home/workplace will really help cement your focus on the creating.
Once you’ve picked a spot, clear the physical clutter in the space as much as you can to create a clean and open environment. Organise your belongings in a way that makes them easily accessible and visually pleasing. A clutter-free space can help clear your mind and enhance focus.
If you’re really stuck for space you could try a mobile approach and have a trolly or art bag set up so you can work anywhere, but I would say the best way to honour your future self and how deeply you want to commit to your work has a lot to do with finding a permanent space, however small.
Think about accessibility
Design your space in a way that supports your creative endeavours. Consider the flow and arrangement of furniture, equipment, and supplies to facilitate ease of use and efficiency. Make sure you have ample workspace, storage solutions, and a comfortable chair to enhance your productivity and overall well-being.
For example, I still haven’t found a suitable chair solution for the space and I am actually toying with the idea of working mostly stood up at a standing desk or easel so maybe a cosy armchair would be a nicer addition so I can relax when I need but not have to sit at a desk. I’ve borrowed a very squashy desk chair from somewhere else in the house and whilst it is comfy, its also bulky and annoying to manoeuvre. I was working in there the other day and it get me really frustrated and really interrupted my workflow and in turn put me in a bad mood. I’ve got to be careful to not ‘wait for the perfect chair’ before I begin working, but I also need to observe that this doesn’t work for me in that space!
I've also realised from failed attempts in this room before, that I need things in either open topped or better clear boxes. The phrase 'out of sight out of mind' really plays into my creative brain apparently. I like to have things at my fingertips with very few barriers in my way!
Find your inspirations
Surround yourself with objects, artwork, or items that resonate with your personality, interests, and aspirations. Display inspirational quotes, artwork, or photographs that evoke positive emotions and motivation which will make the space uniquely yours to foster a sense of belonging and creativity. This is a little bit like creating a ‘vision board’ but it doesn’t need to be so fixed and focused, it can be like part of a rolling project or sketchbook. I’ve loved doing this for the first time in years, bringing so many elements together and moving things about to sit next to other bits. This is something we would do a lot at art college and university and it really does help to bring more ideas out and inspire you.
Bringing elements of nature into your creative space, such as plants, natural light, or a view of the outdoors is also really important if you can do so. Studies have shown that exposure to nature can enhance creativity, improve mood, and increase productivity! I plan to add some indoor plants and I’m lucky that the room I’m in has a huge window that my desk can sit near so I can benefit from lots of natural light and some greenery and sky.
Keep it tidy, but don’t pack it away
This might be a controversial one here, but I think you need to leave some of your creative makings out at all times as a reminder that this space is yours for using. I know that’s not always possible when its a multifunctional space like a dinner table in a shared room, but maybe you could pick a spot on the wall to clip up your works in progress or clear off one shelf to keep your work on. As noted in my point above (finding inspiration), you’ll hopefully have at least one section of wall/pinboard/shelf that you’ve dedicated to holding your inspiring images and words, make sure your work and your pieces are also on show.
Stimulate the Senses
Engage your senses to create an inspiring environment. Think about the lighting, or what scents and sounds create a pleasant ambiance for you. Depending on your preferences, try to think about what might help you get into a calming or energised mood. This part has been so important to me in lots of parts of my life more and more recently, building a bit of a blueprint for how I feel with xyz input and stimulation - essential to getting me into my creative zone. I have certain smells, candles and diffusers that help me find focus, I have times of the day I know the light is most beautiful and I have various playlists that I know I can go to to create an atmosphere that promotes focus, relaxation or creative thinking.
Building a creative space is such a personal process, and it's really important to customise it according to your preferences and needs. You’re going to have to experiment, explore, and adapt the space to support your unique creative journey as you go - if something isn’t working for you have a think about why and how you can change it up. The more barriers in your way to creating, the less likely you are to thrive.
I’m by no means ‘done’ with my space, but I’m excited and energetic about making it work for me and my creative space goals.