How to create unique spaces & carve out time to work on your art.

Let’s take away any excuses we have to create a great life and pursue our art, craft, hobby, or idea. Perhaps the hardest things to overcome is our fear, uncertainty, and doubt, but perhaps we can overcome some very practical things that might be preventing us from going home tonight and doing our thing.

Creating a space

But I don’t have room you might say. Yes you do. There are so many ways to create your own space. Here are some ideas for spaces that you can use in your home:

  • Closet
  • Corner
  • Nook
  • Table
  • Spare room
  • Garage
  • Shed
  • Basement
  • Attic

We have a large closet in our dining room that the previous owners of the house used to store the washer and dryer. We went to Lowe’s and bought two kitchen cabinet bases and put a counter top on top and made a craft closet for our daughter. When our oldest daughter was little we took a cheap armoir and made it her craft storage closet. I put a table and chair next to it to serve as her creative corner. It became her space and when she was in her space she created and we left her alone to do that. Today she paints in a small corner in her apartment. She barely has enough room for a small easel and her supplies, but she has a nice view of her apartment courtyard in sunny Florida. She learned a long time ago that she could make small areas her space and once she is in her space she can block everything else out.

Consider what is important to you and when you feel the most creative. Perhaps you could choose elements that are important to you and that if present would provide you with a space to create in. Steve Jobs said that all he needed was a cup of tea, a light, and a stereo (Smith, 2014). I enjoy writing in my library at home where I have my Ikea bookshelf, a vintage record console, and a view of a field across the street. I put my lap top on a t.v. tray and play music and write. I love spending time in there alone on the weekend reading and studying my books. It’s truly a place I can be myself and create without hindrance, but there are many times when I don’t get to spend time in my library. I created a “go-bag” that has things I need to create on the go. In my bag is my laptop, my planner, the latest books I am reading, pens, paper, and markers. I make creative space in the car, at parks, in the airport, sitting on the recliner, at the kitchen table, and anywhere I end up grabbing a few minutes to write.

Perhaps what you need is a space free of distractions. Maybe the attic or the front porch is the place for you. Maybe you need a view. There is a window in an upstairs bedroom in our home that gives me a view of the backyard, the corresponding field, and a lot of beautiful sky. If I really want to get away from it all I plant myself in front of that window and enjoy the quiet. There are ways to surround ourselves with things that are important to us and that will inspire us to create some great things.

Van Gogh spent a lot of time outside painting in the fields. He made studios out of small spaces in the homes he lived in. He even found a small space in an insane asylum he was in for a while and made a studio there and painted. He was driven to paint and made space where he could to create in.

Time

Have you defined your creative efforts? If you just want to have fun than just use the space that you have and work on things when you feel like it. If you are looking for a serious hobby than you might want to carve out 2–3 nights a week to work on your craft. If you need your creativity to survive than you need to find time on a daily basis to work on your craft. If you are hoping to start a side business with your art than you need to work on your business on a daily basis and carve out some time on the weekend to put in some extra hours. It depends on what your goals are.

Identify if there are things in your life that you can eliminate. Maybe you don’t need to volunteer for everything or say no to dinner after work with co-workers. Prioritize tasks after work to ensure that you fit in time to work on what is important to you. It’s okay to let the shoes sit by the front door tonight and just go glue some stuff or break out the paints. The key is to act. Do something somewhere.

Make time, prioritize, act, and repeat. In time, what you want to do will become engrained in your life and you will automatically go to your creative space and create. You won’t have to think about it so much and make it fit. It will become a part of your routine. You will be surrounded by elements that have meaning to you, are practical and give you the tools to work, and provide the inspiration you need to persevere in your work. Carve out a space to work in and the time to commit to your craft and before long you will have a portfolio of work to brag about and admire.

Marcy Pedersen


Originally published at aprolificanthology.com on November 8, 2018.