by Mayi Carles of Heartmade
Do you shove your supplies into a dusty corner? Do you pile your desk with crap, including yesterday’s meal? Do you throw away your receipts into that drawer you know looks like Bermuda’s Triangle? If so you might be creating the grounds to a real inspiration killer + as creatives we really can’t afford that.
Your creative space might not even be the dungeon I depicted below, but if it’s not making your heart sing, you’re still in deep trouble. Your workshop needs to be your sanctuary, where dreams get made + ideas get visualized + products get unraveled. And if your space is not doing just that, then you seriously need to rethink how you’re keeping your creative space.
But there’s no need to hit the panic button, I’m here to help. Today’s post is all about teaching you some simple + fun techniques to keep your spaces inspiring + empowering. And specially designed for creative types, this list includes some of my favorite tips for supporting + encouraging the right hemisphere of our brains as much as possible. Let’s begin!
1. Surround yourself with beautiful things. You are inspired by the things you have around you, so make sure to bring in lots of eye candy to your space – a beautiful art piece + a vintage object + a colorful wall + picture frames filled with pretty photographs + an inspirational board – these are all great ways to keep your space looking fabulous.
2. Keep it organized. Easier said than done, right? But there’s really no way around this one. You need to organize your space in a way that’s both appealing to your senses + practical. Appealing because a basket full of tangled threads kills all inspiration, while a color + shape coordinated thread cabinet is such a booster. And functional because you should easily be able to find everything you need in the quickest + most efficient way possible. For example if you are sewing a headband keep your needle + scissor at hand-grabbing distance. Whatever makes more sense for your creative process, that’s how you should organize your space.
3. Let there be light. No intent to offend darkness here, but don’t you think it’s a little depressing? Bring in some invigorating + clear natural daylight + when this runs out make space for plenty of white light bulbs, they will be your loyal companions + life-savers during those intricate projects + detailed masterpieces + long reading/writing sessions. Your straining eyes will be so thankful.
4. Get comfortable. Get yourself a nice comfortable chair that supports your back + accommodate it to the just the right height for your desk table. Keep the A/C at a soothing temperature or open the windows to let in a nice cool breeze. Wear supportive shoes + arrange your hair so that it doesn’t get in the way of things + get into comfortable clothes. And sure, if being in your pj’s all day does the trick then I say heck yeah, go for it!
5. Minimize distractions. Turn your cellphone off + shut your twitter + facebook windows + close the door + get the TV out + ask grandma to take care of the little ones. Do whatever you need to regain focus + minimize distractions + time wasters + procrastination catalyzers + productivity killers.
6. Remove unwanted clutter. Throw away anything that you find unappealing + bothersome + annoying. That ugly throw pillow that serves no purpose or your husband’s college poster you’re sick of seeing. If you are tired of it, take it out.
7. Keep it neat + clean. The best way I know to keep your studio looking impeccable + inviting is to clean up after every single project, no excuses. It’s like cleaning the dishes, if you leave it for later it will transform into a horrid task. I say, postpone present pleasure for future gain. You’ll be amazed by happiness that will consume you the next time you enter your craft room only to find it ready for action. It’s priceless.
8. Bring in some music. This might be my favorite inspiration fire-upper! There is nothing that uplifts the soul more than a jamming session to my favorite tunes. Make a couple a playlists for every occasion + mood + have your speakers always readily available to play some music.
9. Bring in some help. When you’re feeling overwhelmed + utterly uninspired + a little down, be prepared to take out your help kit. I know a cup of hot chocolate + an inspirational quote always does the trick for me. But what’s on your help kit? It can be a love song + a cup of hot chamomile tea + a post it note + your daughters Mother’s Day card + a book of poems. Whatever refreshes your spirit counts.
10. Store it nicely. The space of a creative is always bombarded with stuff. It seems we can never have too many supplies + books + tools + materials + more, so for us it’s key to keep everything properly stored, not only for organizational purposes but also for conservation ones. Humidity + dust + water are just some of the few menaces that can damage the life of our precious creative things. That’s why proper storage is fundamental. Think clear containers + cradles + cabinets + bulletin boards + folders + shelves – all properly labeled.
11. Stock up. Make sure to keep a well-stocked studio with plenty of supplies – pens + glue + scissors + needles + thread + paper + staples. It’s such a mood killer to be during the middle of a project + have to run to your local craft shop to get more or even worse having to order it online + wait days to get it. Talk about melting my fire. To prevent this from happening always keep at least 2 of your most used items in stock.
Now, with this list in hand, I invite you to take a look at your creative space again + evaluate it carefully. Is there anything that needs changing? Could you make small improvements that could really benefit your creative business? Take a look around + be the judge. Rethink anything that needs rethinking + rearrange anything that needs rearranging. A life of epic inspirations awaits you. Embrace it head on!
Mayi Carles is a Panamanian multi-passionate artist + avid eco-friendly designer + heart behind heartmade blog + creative coach. To connect with Mayi, follow her tweets at @mayicarles.Image Credits:
4: via everyeskimo
I am seriously unbelievably excited about this post! I needed a good reminder that my creative space needs to inspire not injure my process! Thank you Mayi for a wonderful 1st contribution: )
Yay , Mayi ! So glad to see you here ! Congrats on an awesome first post here at OMHG.
I like your comparison of cleaning up workspaces to that of cleaning dishes . It’s a simple analogy but paints the picture so clearly . Nothing hampers creativity like cluttered spaces … So I better keep on top of it !
Jessika: it was my absolute honor to be invited to contribute to OMHG. Thanks for agreeing to be home for my posts once a month 🙂
Lakshmi: So happy to see you here girl. Always too happy to see a familiar face in the comments. I’m glad my dish analogy resonated with you! Let me know how that studio revamp goes 🙂
This is so what I needed to read – perfect timing, now the real challenge will be putting into practice so many wonderful ideas. Thank you.
Thank you so much Stephanie 🙂 Glad this was helpful. Let us know how it goes. We can be a support group to each other 🙂
I have just taken over the sunniest, lovliest room in our house and I am s l o w l y, getting it organized with my wonderful bits that clutter my life, cause me stress, and stop me from getting anything done. I wish I were done so I could share my wonderful space. thanks for the push to get me there
This is the most useful blog post I think I’ve ever read!! So true and inspiring to create change! Thank you!
Great post Mayi! I’m in the process of getting my crafting space set up so this is PERFECT timing. Now I just need to find the “pretties” to organize my space with!
I just spent 19 min. writing a comment and when I finally finished Firefox crashed and my comment was gone. So now I will keep it very short and straight to the point. I find something interesting to read on your blog every time I visit it. Respect!
Mayi – Thanks. I’m thinking of taking a before and after picture – If I get that far, I’ll let you know and show you the results.
Stephanie: Ohh I love Before + After shoots. Please send them my way when you’re done. I would love to share with my network 🙂
Emma your comment made my whole year! You are the sweetest. Thank you so much!
You make me want to run and add more items in my studio to inspire me. Thanks for some lovely tips!
I loved this post. I recently redid my studio and need to take photos of it.
I recently turned my garage into a creative-girl-cave…(as my hubby calls it).
We’ve been trying to come up with a more creative name.
What do you think of calling it my “grotto”… like Ariel’s in The Little Mermaid.
This post is awesome!!!
I have no real workspace so far. Right now I am making my buttons for sale literally on my living room table! I probably do not have to tell anyone how inconvenient this is …. talk about inspiration-killers and time-waste!
But we are going to move soon and as much as I am dreading this move I am looking so much forward to the fact that I will have my own workspace! Finally! And I can not wait to implement your ideas!
I love the idea with the music. Because honestly – I often just work in silence and enjoy it because the day with two kids is a little too noisy for my taste. But often when I do listen to some music I realize how I seem to have completely forgotten that I can enjoy it so much! And it defitnitely can be very inspirational!
Also I love the idea of the help kit! I SO will do this! I have never read about anything similar before – the idea is amazing! I am sure every creative person has those “down” days where everything is just not flowing as it usually does. How awesome would it be to be prepared and have something ready to cheer yourself up. Amazing! Thanks for that!!!
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