Creating space is important to more than just the creative process. There are multiple careers that revolve totally around this concept. The obvious, such as architecture or interior design creating space in which to live and work, acoustic engineers that create space for sound, and the less obvious like therapists who create space to heal, and even teachers who craft spaces for learning . As a music therapy student, I spent the majority of my undergraduate studies learning about how to create space and presence in community with others to share, feel comfortable, heal, have fun and grow.
Now that I’m working as a visual artist, I’m learning about creating visual and physical space with images that also does these things to enhance the world (worlds?) we live in. Last week we unpacked how art makes space for people to connect and share with each other. But before setting out to make pieces that I hope will ultimately serve others in this way--I need to create my actual work space!
Right now, the table my mom gave me five years ago is set out as my perfect working surface. My favorite space to create will always be my mother’s kitchen table, but if I can’t be back in Texas, this white washed, glue stained and metal stamped table is a close second. It has deep messages of grace and love stamped into it and helps me with that perfectionism struggle I shared with you earlier.
I’m still searching for the perfect way to organize the stacks of various papers that I have collected over time. From old wallpaper scraps to vintage sheet music, field guides and fashion magazines, they span a variety of sizes and contents. Having them organized perfectly isn’t the goal, but I do need everything within arms’ reach for easy access. This is simple with brushes and scissors. I love having them in big canisters where I can see everything at one time.
I’ve recently been pondering what it means to find my flow. The talented Josie Lewis, mixed media artist and creativity maven describes flow this way: “When we are in flow, we excavate our song, and we hear the poetry of our hearts that we will be uncovering for our whole lives.” Other artists and I were all sharing about how we find flow, and it helped me to realize that if I’m not in the proper physical space, I am simply unable to get there. Once that space is set up, it’s easy to get completely lost in creating these other worlds where flowers grow out of buildings that serve as swing sets and jungle-gyms for children and animals.
I am excited to show these “before” shots of my messy space and materials--and happy that you’ll join me for the after shots in the next week or two!