It’s tempting to think, (especially when fed other creative’s beautiful images on social media) that in order to be creative we need a special place. Not only do we need our own office/study/studio/tower/spare bedroom/garden room/attic but we need a perfectly inspiring space full of art and practical yet beautiful storage. Oh and don’t forget a beautiful view, preferably of mountains or the sea. This space must have its own desk and chair and we need all the best equipment and storage that is perfectly designed for each individual tool. And of course it’s always perfectly tidy and clean with tools at your fingertips! I’ve had this dream, and I actually have a space that could be used for this, but I don’t use it because it’s cold and it’s often a mess, it’s become storage for bits that I need to get rid of.
I’ve been too busy actually doing the work to focus on the space.
See I can use the excuse of I need to tidy my space before getting any creativity done, and sometimes that’s true. But what if we stop being creative because the space is too untidy or because we don’t have a space or it doesn’t look like it’s ‘supposed’ to?
Wouldn’t that be disappointing? I know I would feel frustrated that I hadn’t found the time to do something that I love to do, that is a form of self-care and helps me to feel that I’m contributing something.
Like most things it’s a balance. A balance between having a space but not letting our creativity get stuck in having the perfect space. A balance between starting anyway but having the space to do so. The space is meant to serve you, not you to serve the space.
So how to deal with this conundrum? Here’s my thoughts.
Simple creative space tips
Always have one table and chair where you can be creative, if you only have a few minutes. It could be a multitask space if necessary, desk/dressing table in your bedroom, a side table, or having a bookshelf in the kitchen to transfer equipment to when you need the table for meals.
If you only have 30 minutes for creativity but your space is a mess, use 15 minutes for some tidying and 15 minutes for being creative. Similarly you could schedule time to be creative in your week and make it a priority, no matter what else needs doing. There will always be cleaning to do.
Tidy as you go, I suggest having a table top bin, so that if you are making something you have a bin to put scraps in as you go.
The best storage is what you already have – recycle, move stuff from other rooms, don’t shop unless you have too. I’ve used golden syrup tins as pen pots, cake stands for storage, bookshelves with baskets for crafty bits.
Be determined to be creative despite your circumstances, because they will never be perfect, and if you wait until then you might find that your inspiration has up and left!