Art,  creative capers

Art Friday: The Creative Space

Creative space.

Create space.


I’ve been thinking about the interplay on those words this week.

This is my little corner of the bedroom. It is by far the least amount of space I’ve had for my stuff; it’s probably also the least functional. It’s a little bit slapped together. (And that folding table rocks a bit when I’m painting. Totally drives me bonkers.)

For all that, my production is off the charts compared to times past. It doesn’t really matter that it’s not functional. I just go with it. I move and shove stuff off on the bed when I need to.  I slide stuff over when I have a photo shoot I want to do (see the Needle and Thread shot from yesterday in process? there in the middle?). I slide a pretty fabric over those awful ugly metal drawers that show everything inside of them.

For all of the beautiful places that people create, it is really just an extension of themselves; the space is inside their heads. You could have the most goregous, top of the line, Martha- Stewart-would-envy-you space, but if you don’t have the creative drive within you, nothing will come out of that space.

Like I said yesterday, I don’t normally pick up a copy of Where She Creates. I’m a frugal girl on a super-tight budget these days, and $14.95 is a serious chunk of change for me to drop. The mags are so beautiful but so expensive. This most recent issue was one of those that after a while of standing there reading it off the rack, I knew I had to bring it home. Jo Packam does a great job of highlighting these amazing places…but even more so…how that works with and affects the art they create, the businesses they run. This one had a great thread through it about making space- one lady artist had a huge business that took up a whole building at one point, then downsized. Another didn’t make money for ten years but now runs a multi-million dollar business dedicated to the glory of God. Another stayed intentionally small. And all thru out the issue, I heard this- it’s your heart and your head that matter.

That’s stuck with me.

It is as much true of creative endeavors as anything else. Whatever we do- write, draw, paint, be an architect, a builder, an accountant…if we’re not bringing our head and heart to the table, we’re practically doomed to fail. Or at least be miserable. Perhaps more so for those of us in solitary pursuits, that’s all the more important- we’ve got to make sure we giving ourselves the space. Are we caring for ourselves? Resting? Are we trying to push too hard? Are we trying to do something that is just not us or our personality? Conversely, are we following our dreams? Are we making space for dreaming? Are we guarding that space from the everyday things (dishes, bank accounts, unruly kids, sick parents) that could very well drown them?  I’m not saying here that there are seasons in our life when creating/dreaming/doing necessarily takes a back seat; I’m saying that when we consistently make excuses for not following a calling on our lives, we need to check our hearts and heads.

The corollary here too- sometimes, just maybe, we’re too afraid to make a mess. Too afraid to put ourselves out there to be seen. Or maybe, we’ve been running on fumes for too long. Whatever it is, it means that the creative space is to small in our heads; we’ve put too many rules on what it is and can be, or we’ve let everyone come grab a piece of it until there isn’t any space left.

Something to think about.

Ali Edwards had a great write up this week from Tracy Clark about creating a dream space. 

I keep thinking about community and how that affects the space in our heads. Wouldn’t you have loved to been at this amazing gathering with Kelly Rae?  What about creating a small get-together with a few close friends like Andrea, Amy, Meg, and Laurel did?

One of my favorite check-ins for head space each week (I always see or read something inspiring!) is the Top 10 Poetic Picks each week from the lovely crew at TS Poetry.

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