Recently, I did a thorough clean out of my workspace, (in reality= a corner of my desk, which included my computer and various piles of other paper work) as I was beginning to realise that it was frustrating and unproductive environment for two main reasons:
1. too many ‘other’ things cluttering the area– receipts, work things, letters, they all take up work space and brain space (even if you don’t realise it at the time)
2. the laptop. What a HUGE distraction. In the past you may have found me nursing my healthy collection of pinterest boards and searching for ‘inspiration’. I have since come to realise that this results in zero work being done. And that I am actually going to get nowhere by somehow waiting for the day when my own work will suddenly become cool enough to be pinned. Not cool. Its hard to create your own work but even harder if you don’t try at all.
All up- not a hugely motivating work space! Which leads me to…
In attempt to change this- I decided to make the area mine , and mine alone (no distractions!)- creating a clean and fresh environment to (hopefully) develop my own work. While finding inspiration is very important (and there are hundreds of wonderfully inspiring illustrators/artists out there), it shouldn’t be (completely) replacing your own work time.
So, instead, I did a few things:
– Seperation: I bought a new desk (actually an old wooden table which I stripped the paint off and restored with painted white legs!) which now houses my computer, paperwork and blog stuff (ie all the distractions), seperate from my art area.
– Dedication: My old hybrid desk/ email centre/ art nook, is now entirely dedicated to creating- with my drawing board permanently set up instead of having to be tidied away.
– Organisation: I have built in some extra shelves above my desk to hold all my books and sketch books. Also created a filing system for ‘in progress work’, ‘study work’, ‘sketchbooks in use’, ‘scrap paper’ etc. Finally I have plenty of space left over!
– Decoration– with a beautiful vintage black anglepoise lamp gifted to me by my sister (great light source) and walls covered with prints of some amazing art I admire. Collected feathers, shells and leaves.
No more moving papers and spending too much time avoiding drawing because the computer is there and just so much easier. And its a relief. So, what I recommend to all of you who do not have a space set aside for your art- do it! By creating your own space devoid of clutter and distractions, not only do you save time in set up/tidy up time and procrastination, your mind will be calmer and clearer and most importantly of all, you will have committed to your passion of creating, which can make a big difference!
Other optional additions I think make for a great art space:
- plants! they are green, they create fresh oxygen and they liven the space up. As long as you remember to water them of course… (this is coming from a serial plant killer)
- art and design that inspires you– images/objects/furniture that you admire makes your space more enjoyable to be in. This doesn’t need to be fancy! Op shopping is great for vintage lamps, furniture, photo frames etc. Prints of your favourite artwork don’t have to be expensive (I like to buy a postcard of my favourite artwork for a couple of dollars every time I go to the art gallery/museum and stick it on my wall)
Most importantly it has to be functional. I have noticed, since I set up this new work desk configuration, how much time I spent on the laptop in the past. By having a discrete art desk/computer area its easy to see how long I spent at each desk, and in the beginning of this project- I am afraid to say not a whole lot of time was spent at my art desk…
I am now cutting down computer time- which means more time for creating. This is a work in progress (hopefully I have something to show for it!) but it will be the subject of my next Motivation post.
Thanks for reading. If you have any suggestions on this topic (I’m sure you do!) please post a comment 🙂