Whenever I walk into the space of an artist for the first time, the conversation always begins the same: “I just can’t seem to get organized”. “Im not a very organized person”. or the classic: “I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a mess!”.
I love how artists and creatives see themselves as a ‘mess’. When we gaze into the creations they bring to the world, we certainly don’t see a ‘mess’. I marvel at the minds of all the creatives I have the pleasure of working with. There’s an incredible duality in the minds of all the artists I know that vacillates between chaos and clarity, madness and brilliance. It’s my favorite place to bring my unique perspective (and skills) to.
What I’ve learned over the years, is that artists and creatives need their space to support them in a very unique way. Creative ability is infringed upon by those closets, cupboards and drawers that are full of old, heavy stuff. An artists’ studio space should be a place of creative sanctuary. Cluttered surfaces and overfilled cupboards that are filled with outdated supplies, projects that never reached completion, and things that just need a ‘momentary place to be’ take over energetically. A once thriving, active, creative space can become dormant, uninviitng, and a creative roadblock.
I recommend they (and all the wonderful creatives reading this) approach their space like they would any creative endeavor:
• Start with a space to work. Clear your favorite workspace COMPLETELY. Dust it down, wipe it off, etc. Leave it completely empty for a bit. Let that clear “open” feeling settle into the air and your mind.
• Gather your tools. As you begin to mentally set up your workspace, go through your tools. Decide what stays and what s no longer needed or wanted. Place them with purpose on your workspace.
• Collect your materials. This can be overwhelming, I know. I recommend working on your space like you would any creative project…a piece at a time. It’s a process. Begin by collecting “details”. Go shelf by shelf, and drawer by drawer collecting the treasures that you love, and what inspires you the most. Let go of what has been holding you back, or simply doesn’t resonate anymore. Clean each surface as you go along of “all that was”, so you can make room for “all that will be”. (you may want to make a list while you’re sorting of what’s in need of replacing as you move through your space)
• Set up your space to support and inspire YOU. An artists creative space is unlikely to look like the cover of any organizing magazine! Just take a look at the studio Picasso called home, or the simple beauty Frida Kahlo occupied! There’s no one-size-fits-all here. Whether it’s piles, bins, shelves, or cubbies, set up your space so that it makes you feel inspired, creative and organized in your own way. As you move through your space, clearing and organizing, be sure to literally handle everything. Make a conscious decision about every item you choose to put back in, and freely let go of all you no longer need. Give your creativity full rom to grow!