Most of us, no matter where we are in the world, are in isolation because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Whether we like it or not, we don't have much of a choice. Our anxiety might be going up, or we might be in a zen-like stage, depending on how our personalities are and how long we have been secluded.
In a previous article, I talked about the benefits of art making (especially in times like these) and gave you three art activities to try while in isolation. But how about the actual physical space you use to make such activities? Is it inviting, or do you have to fight material-world hurdles in order to get to the flow zone?
Instead of falling into the depressing claws of cabin fever, you can take this opportunity to make or revamp your own creative space, no matter the actual square footage you have available. Here are some tips to help you make your creative space a peaceful, exciting and enjoyable one.
Your Creativity Sanctuary
The first thing to take into account is if you didn't already, you have to start treating your creative space like a special place. It will be the ground for your creativity to blossom and your creativity to thrive. If you take care of it, it will give you back so much in terms of good mood, concentration and helping you get into the “zone”.
Lighting is the single most important aspect of any space, believe it or not. It can make or break the mood and functionality of a place. Being this space somewhere you'll work in, it's important you pay special attention to light.
Ideally, you should take advantage of natural light if you can. It'll connect you with the outside and give you peace and warmth. This will be the general light. However, this might not be possible in your particular case. If there isn't any natural light in your space, see if you can find a lighting fixture that gives the room an indirect light, like one of those tall lamps that aim at the ceiling. It could also be a table lamp with a shade placed in a corner, or an articulated desk lamp that you'll point to a wall.
Then you'll have your work light, which should be a desk lamp that you aim directly at your work area. Make sure you can't see the lightbulb, as it will dazzle you. The shade should be completely opaque. You know, the typical drawing desk lamp.
Especially now that you can't go outside as often, it would be great for your space to bring some plants to your space. It is incredibly beneficial to have some green in your surroundings. There are many indoor plants that are resilient and will make you feel less boxed in. Just do a search for “indoor plants” and see if you can find some in your area that can use. There are some that you can even keep just in water. In any case, they will really make a difference in how you feel, even if you don't notice it directly.
There are tons of organizational methods, tips and tricks out there, and I recommend you do give them a good browse, because besides being informational, it can also be fun. I'll leave you with what I consider the two most important things when it comes to organization:
1- Use those organization tips that work with the way you are, don't try to force yourself to adopt something that doesn't feel right for you.
2- When you decide where you place your art supplies, devices, etc., make sure you give spatial priority to those things you use the most. Meaning, place those things you want to use more often the closest to use and give them the easiest access possible. The more you have to reach or search for something, the less likely you're going to use it.
Yes, we all have some sort of inspiration sources in our computers, be it bookmarks, Pinterest boards or folders in our hard disks. I'm talking about something different, though. Something that you have nearby and you see periodically. You can use your walls and/or shelves for this. Pictures, posters, prints that are specially touching for you. If you have some artwork of your own you're particularly fond of, display it in your space. It will remind you not only of what you can achieve, but will also bring back the joyous memories of the making process.
You can also have a mood board in which you can pin some images that inspire you, and you can change its contents whenever you feel like it. If you do this, keep it fresh, don't let it feel old. The minute you can't connect with something that's there anymore, take it down and replace it with something newer.
I hope these tips help you feel better when you create and keep you making art more!
Barbara Din is a visual artist, graphic designer, painter, interior designer, crafter, musician and writer living in Argentina. Learn more about Barbara and her work at the following links:
Barbara Din YouTube Channel