I’m often asked about the environment in which I work; more specifically how I tailor my workspace to create the most inspiring environment that I possibly can. I understand why people are so interested in this question, merely because I have always loved looking through pictures and videos of other artists layouts to see how they organize their own creative work space.
I regularly scour Pinterest to get a wealth of ideas for my studio, for example how to use space effectively, what others display that I would like in my own space, alongside techniques on how other artists organize their materials and accessories in general. I like to shake up and move around my working environment on a regular basis, to reflect my current mood. However, I do have a few tips of my own that I can offer for budding artists who are looking to recreate an inspirational place of their own making.
Make Good Use of Everything Around You
We often buy so many products without thinking about re-using what is right in front of our eyes! I’m not sure if it’s the creative person in me, or my father’s endless reminders to reduce, re-use and recycle, but there is defiantly something to be said for creating something new from something old – and in doing so it makes for a great arts and crafts project!
Many household furniture items can be upholstered, refurbished and restructured to make shelves, boxes and drawers for example. I wash and re-use food tins for pencil pots and brush holders and, when I find a decent cardboard box, I reshape it and cut it to size to house card and paper that doesn’t quite fit in drawers. Any other materials that I find lying around my room that I like the look, feel and colour of, are used to make several mood boards that I like to work on for various projects.
As creative people, we all need to find inspiration in life, objects around us and the immediate environment. In fact, our immediate environment can be key to supplying us with all that we need; so, view your surroundings in a new light and remember to keep your eyes open and your head up! Don’t be afraid to try new things, or aim for a new look that changes your perspective – you never know just what inspiration you may derive from doing so.
A Change of Scenery Does You Good
We all need a change of scenery and nowhere does this apply more than to the creative professional! I am generally to be found in my studio most days of the week, putting in many hours through personal choice, but I always ensure that I add variety to my working week – after all variety is the spice of life!
I make sure to go for a walk almost every lunch time, taking a different route each day. Midday is often the best time of the day to people watch. I get to see the local business people and the students who frequent the local colleges, and I always meet or see someone who gives me that bit of inspiration. By changing my view every so often, I also feel like I open my eyes more to what is around me, which always makes for a great canvass piece!
Whether it is a walk through the local forest, checking out the latest building developments progress, or even exploring the area around abandoned houses, I make sure to carry a pocket-sized note book when I head out. This small size means I only have space to jot ideas and draw small and rough sketches, allowing me to pour all my creativity energy onto the canvass when I get back to my studio, refreshed and revitalised and ready to create.
Bring the Outdoors into Your Indoor Space
Many artists like to work with the seasons, taking advantage of mother nature in various ways in their work. For me, I cherish the changing of seasons because it gives me an excuse to incorporate each one into the decoration of my work space. Most of us only decorate for special holidays such as Christmas, Halloween and Easter, to name a few, but I think why wait until then; why not make every day a special occasion?
I prefer to decorate my studio space, specifically my work space area, by season. During autumn I collect, gloss and scatter leaves around the room to bring the beauty of the fiery autumn indoors. During Winter, I hang numerous lights around my shelves and place a few candelabras on my units to create that magical feel. When summer comes, I utilize as many of the available flowers as I can for their sights and smells, and hang crystals and suncatchers of bright colours on the windows to catch the sunlight that filters throughout the room.
Most importantly of all, if I can offer any words of creative wisdom on how best to create the most perfect inspirational environment, it would be to make your place your own. No matter where you choose to create your inspirational place, and no matter how big or small the area may be, ensure you claim that area as your own place of creative heaven – signaling to those around you how important this area is to you.
Whether you inhabit a small section of the living room, a large desk in the corner of the dining room or maybe even a huge bench in your own workshop, you should feel a surge of creation every time you enter this zone, leaving everything else behind.
However, it is also important to ensure that you don’t let this space define your creativity in its entirety. Understand the value of getting out every so often and changing your view but, most of all, ensure your work space is somewhere where you look forward to returning to day after day; that way your creative energy will continue to flow…