Are you a maker, Creator, writer, crafter, or artist of any kind? I encourage you to understand the importance of cultivating a creative space that is personalized, in which you can work and play. There are many studies on the psychology of space and how it affects your behavior and productivity. Even without digging deep into the science, we can intuitively relate to this need with our own daily experiences. For instance, think about when you return home after a long day at work and throw open the door only to see your kitchen counter cluttered with plates, a stack of mail, and a sink full of dishes. You may feel immediately anxious, your mind is unable to relax and your mood is, well, less than pleasing at that very moment. Now, on a new day, you walk in the door and the counters are all cleared and clean, the sink is empty, no extra appliances are left sitting around and everything is orderly, instantly a fresh sigh as you enter your home and your body already starts to relax your mood is happy as you prepare to settle in for the restful evening. This is the exact same feeling you have when you take time to cultivate a personal creative space dedicated for nothing other than your craft.
Acknowledge Your Pain Points
By now I’m sure you’re starting to take notice of your surroundings, how are you feeling about what you are seeing? Do you feel a little anxious as you now are noticing piles of papers and stacks of unorganized canvases stuck in various corners of your art studio? (or fill in the blank to whatever your craft may be). Maybe you have tubs of paints that you have collected and then thrown all together? Brushes are found in boxes stacked beneath a table somewhere? What is it that is coming to your mind right now? Grab a notepad and jot it down. Acknowledge it, that is the very first step to understanding why you need to cultivate your creative space!
Prioritizing Your Creative Space
Ok, now that we have acknowledged those things that are bothering us in our surroundings, what is the next step? And I know, I know…I hear this all the time, but Kelly I really have very little living space, or I don’t have the right storage, or I don’t…. First, stop telling yourself why you can’t make this space happen, and put this higher on your priority list! Having a creative space that you can show up to is life-changing! I’m not exaggerating, this will be your place of refuge, comfort, expression, release, and so much joy! I believe we were made in the likeness of our creator, which means our very souls long to create, it is the origin of our existence! So let’s show love to ourselves by honoring what our souls long for.
Location – Location – Location
Ask yourself a few questions. Where in your house do you get the best lighting? Does the soft morning light shine in your front dining area? Is there enough room to add a desk there or if not can you dedicate a portion of the table as your creative space? I remember the first little house my husband and I bought, a small bungalow-style home with a tiny kitchen. Off to the left was an awkward room with bay windows and attached to that room there was a formal-looking dining room. I had no idea what that extra random room was but I knew I loved it! The sun came shining in those windows during the morning and gave me such comfort and coziness so that is where I decided to curate my creative space in that home!
Personal Touches to Your Creative Space Organization
Next, I want you to focus on adding a personal touch to your surroundings. Are you able to add a soothing color of paint to the walls? If not, what about adding wall art with those soothing colors? Think about something that really inspires you. Grab that notepad and jot down those ideas and things that encourage you or just simply bring you joy. I get inspiration and joy from seeing paint colors, so many of my paints are put into clear bottles so I can easily view them. I have photos of my daughter when she was a little girl sprinkled about in fun bright frames. I have art from some of my favorite local artist friends hanging on the walls that bring me joy. What did you add to your own list?
Organization is next on the list! Dig into those messy bins and get rid of old supplies you never ever use, those half-dried-up paint tubes (why do we keep those?? It’s like the pens that do not work and yet we put them back in the holder…why!?! Lol). Clean up any shelf space and add beautiful storage when possible. I often pick up little vintage silver trays to use for organizing my oil pastels or tiny tubes of watercolor paints. I also love to recycle used-up paint cans if I like the look of the labels as well as old mason jars that I paint in fun vibrant colors. Old vintage metal tool trays and old suitcases are fun to use for pretty storage. What comes to mind for your space? What are some personal touches you can add to your storage to give it personality? Pull ideas from your favorite vintage boutiques or funky stores on how to display supplies creatively. Think about where you shop. What makes you happy when you’re there and why? How can you incorporate that into your own space?
Bring on the atmosphere! I find bringing nature into the space to be soothing. That could look like pulling back the curtains and opening up the windows when the weather allows and adding some houseplants or fresh flowers in a vintage can. Maybe a bowl of Seashells, a favorite candle nearby or essential oils in a wax warmer bring comfort too. You want to think about all of your senses when creating your space with personal and special aesthetic.
Creating a Space Outside of Your Home
Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten those of you that really do not have much personal space! After my daughter was born I was a full-time stay-at-home momma and I loved every minute of it! In order for me to be a good momma I still needed to break away for a couple of hours sometimes to just have a little me time, which meant I needed to leave the house. My husband always knew when I was getting restless and was happy to hold down the fort for a while. I would keep small art journals or miniature watercolor books with mini paint kits in my bag and off I would go. Sometimes I went to a quiet coffee shop and often to our library where I would get lost in all of the hundreds of books on art and artists. Some days I found a private corner on the floor beside my favorite aisle of books and other days I found chairs in the lounge area to just get lost for a couple of hours with books of all the great artists from the past as I doodled and painted in my journals. Make sure you treat yourself with a pretty carrying case and keep everything organized just as you would in a studio space. Mini art supplies are perfect for those that live in small spaces too! Dedicate a coffee table beside your favorite chair, have great lighting, and follow the prompts above to add special personal touches to your little area. The main thing is, that you show up to your craft and the way to entice you to do so is by cultivating your very own personal creative space!
Hope to see YOU in your newly cultivated creative space soon!
-Kelly – Girl UPcycled Studio
7 Steps to Help You Cultivate a Creative Space:
- Acknowledging how your space is currently making you feel
- Stop making excuses about why it’s impossible
- Seek out areas with natural (or best) lighting
- Adding Personal touches
- Organize with intention
- Gather unique items to use as storage
- Create atmosphere
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Kelly Wiler is an Ohio artist that has been creating and practicing art since she was a young girl inspired by her art teacher. Kelly teaches many different styles of paint classes and workshops, she specializes in the Intuitive Art process as a way to push her students to new levels of awareness in their own artistic journey. She lives with her husband Jeff and their daughter Cassidy. View Kelly’s Full Bio