Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Creative Spaces

A clipping from my grandmother's jade plant, on the art room windowsill.

I've been thinking a lot lately about creative spaces.

My environment is very important to me. Where I live, where I work, where I cook...atmosphere is everything. It puts me at ease. But it definitely takes me a long time to settle in and make a place feel like my own. 

When I moved into my new apartment last August, I was so excited to have an extra room to devote exclusively to art related endeavors. I couldn't wait to roll up my sleeves and get to work, painting and cutting and pasting, without any worry of having to clean up after myself or take over the dining room table with my projects. But as the months rolled on, I slowly decorated the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom...leaving the art room untouched. I didn't want to work in it because it was a disorganized disaster. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't functional--every time I went in to try to work on something, all I could think about was what to hang on the walls. 

Yesterday, I finally decided it was time to give my art room a little TLC. I moved the furniture, hung some things on the wall, and finally attached my desk lamp to my make-shift work table. I put away piles of crap, and paper, and magazines--and suddenly, it felt like a place where I wouldn't mind spending time.

Blogs these days are just exploding with tours of creative spaces. (For instance, did you see Shipley & Halmos' workspace featured on The Fox is Black this week? Heavenly.) I love to see where people work. Sometimes, it's a chair and a table in a corner; sometimes, it's a two floor art studio suite. We all have our own idea of what a work space should be.

I used to think it was silly, that I had to create an environment to work in before I could create anything else. But it seems I'm not alone. Search for "offices" on pinterest--you will be disappointed that you do not have access to at least ten of the spaces you see, I guarantee.

What is it about these spaces that makes us want to roll up our sleeves and get down to business? Are you the type that could work in a cardboard box, as long as you had the right tools? Is your dining room table covered in paper scraps and glue?

I'm still not 100% happy with my apartment space, but every day it feels more and more like home. Like a haven away from the outside world. Having that kind of stability to return to every day makes me more likely to be able to sit down and create things not only for myself, but for other people. 

Hopefully I'll have some pictures up tomorrow of my new creative digs. In the meantime...where do you get your creative groove on?


  1. I would love to have a proper space for being creative! When we move house that's a real priority!

  2. I haven't really found that place which is best for me creatively yet, but all you've said make sense to me -- you do have to sort of make a place your own before I think you can feel free to be completely creative there. That said, I think it's time I got some things up on my walls!

  3. I wish I could work just anywhere, but it never turns out that way. Things need to be just right. Things are certainly made confusing by the fact that I like to be creative in a solitary manner... but I kind of hate being shut away on my own. Contradictions: less than helpful.

    I'm glad you're working on your own space. It will be lovely to have a room where you can work and spread everything out and not have to take up space for visitors. Or eating (mentioned because I am currently typing at my kitchen table, since the only air-con was installed in here, for some unknown reason). Will you show us some more pics when you're done? I'd love to see it.

  4. @ Hannah: Totally! When I was looking for apartments, I was terrified that my budget would tie me to a one-room apartment--but then I found a space for the same price with MUCH more room, and it was a godsend. Hope you find what you're looking for soon :)

    @ Brandi: I'm glad I'm not crazy :P But yes, definitely start getting stuff up on your walls--it's incredible how different it makes you feel!

    @ Katie: I feel you on the contradictions. Even though I'm setting up the studio space, I know I'll still spend days spreading paint tubes out on the coffee table, if only to be near the television and the boy. I'll definitely have pictures up soon, if I can manage to catch more than five seconds at home in the next 48 hours. Verdict is still out.