Dear Creatives and Photographers,
I have worked over the years in all sorts of spaces. When I left my life back in 2000 and departed for Italy with just two suitcases my mantra was not to own anything and for 13 years I pretty much lived up to that mantra. I lived in rented spaces that were already furnished but it gave me the freedom to keep moving when I wanted and to feel free.
This meant that I worked where I could. And for some of those years (my most unsuccessful) my work area was chaotic. Yes, I am fessing up to something big here and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, living and working in the same space.
Yes folks, I churned out books, magazine articles and other stuff working on the dining room table without a clean office space. This involved a lot of effort, moving stuff around each day, setting things up most mornings and pulling them down in the evening and constantly finding new hidey holes to store my stuff.
If I had only known this was a giant piece to the puzzle that held me, my creativity and my business back I would have moved on long ago but at the time it all felt so difficult. Paris is one of the most difficult cities in the world to find an apartment, money alone isn’t enough and the thought of it just kept us living in the same space.
Things got me down so much I literally couldn’t think. My creativity felt like it had its hands tied behind my back, my creativity had been dumbed down and crippled by where I was living and working. Growing creatively in that space was out of the question. I remember after one trip to Australia, a trip full of light and large spaces I came home and made the decision we were moving on. I couldn’t take it a day longer.
The day I arrived home I started throwing out things even though we had nowhere to go. It was cathartic and it was a big job and I cleared out 10 years of things I had accumulated with passion, commitment and joy every day. I knew I was going to find the perfect place for me, it was a non-negotiable I couldn’t go on staying here. Every week till we found a new place I purged an area of my life getting mentally ready for the move and when it was coming any closer I imagined myself already in that space and how it would feel, smell and look.
I needed an organized, dedicated work space and I manifested that baby harder than I manifested anything in my life. And then months later there we were in our little white home in Paris and me in my office with Avedon at the window.
I set myself up so that everything worked. My files were visible in front of me, my printer and all the other things I needed to be at arms-length were there. There was a ton of storage. And then something big happened. I could THINK!
And dear creatives this is one of the secret’s in our sauce to doing the things we love, THINKING.
From the day I moved into my office my work and creativity exploded. I could see and think again and instead of doing what was coming across my desk in a sort of crisis management type of way I started to project my future.
I started cutting away the dead wood, the things that weren’t serving or inspiring me anymore and I got clear about what was in my heart.
I started doing the best work I had done in the past years, working with the magazines I loved and admired and started creating my own work again. The space to work calmly and think allowed me to see the next steps for me and opened up the space for me to become a creative coach.
So dear folks if you feel your creativity is stuck, that you are inefficient and unhappy with what you currently producing, look to the physical space you are working in and how you are working.
Here’s some tips on what you can do:
- Find a dedicated space for you that is private
- Throw out anything that isn’t serving you, get the energy flowing in the space again
- Get organized. Make sure you have the tools that you need at your fingertips and aren’t wasting time looking for them. Make a list of what you need
- Make it pretty, put things on the walls that inspire you and make you feel good.
- Make a music track that you love to work to
- Have scents in your space that lift you up such as flowers, candles, essential oils or a big bunch of mint.
- When you are ready to start work, make a list of things you no longer want to do.
- Dream big again, make a list of things that excite you and where you want to be this time next year and start working towards your future.