Let’s talk about space. How do you create it? What is its purpose?
Space is, most obviously, the area around you. Creative space is created by choice, made on purpose and with intention.
But, how does space affect how you practice your art?
Everything you see, touch, smell, or hear contributes to the sense of space—and your sense of space contributes to your creativity.
Space doesn’t just have to be physical either. When you are stressed, you might describe that as feeling weighed down. That’s how stress affects emotional space: it constricts it. When you feel more at peace, that constricted space seems more expansive and you feel more light-hearted. We feel the space around us physically.
When you use your senses as a guide, they connect you to the present moment—and that’s where creativity lives. Everything in your space should allow you to be in the moment or drive you back there.
Consider these five areas when cultivating your creative space:
Space you can see
Think of one feeling you want to embody during your creative process. Then, use this word as the driving force behind the environment you are creating. Want to feel more energized? Play with adding bright colors to your walls. Need to feel grounded? Add posters or quotes from inspiring artists that you admire.
The purpose of your studio is to support you creatively, so design it that way.
Be intentional, but leave room to experiment and be open to the idea of change. Nothing in your design has to be permanent, so approach your space playfully and you’ll see how your needs develop over time.
Regardless of the feeling you want to emulate with your space, one thing is true about all spaces: clearing the clutter allows you to get into your creative zone. By cleaning off your desk, organizing your closet, or selling things you don’t need, you are more able to focus on your work at hand and not on the mess in front of you.
Space you can hear
Noise is all around you, all the time, even when you don’t notice it. There’s so much noise, there’s even noise to block out the noise.
Making changes in what you listen to every day can open up space for incredible insights. Try changing your routine to try out new music or practice being in silence.
Just this one small change to your day can create a lot of clarity, break patterns, inspire you, or get you in the zone.
Space you can smell
Smell is one of the most powerful of senses. Certain scents can trigger parts of the brain to connect with memories in an instant. Imagine your favorite scent. It calms your senses, gives you feelings of comfort, and creates a general sense of well-being.
However, we often overlook this aspect of our senses when creating a studio space.
What scents would you like to connect with more regularly? Prioritize having that candle, use essential oils, or whatever you like to recreate a space that matches the mood you want.
Turpentine does not count.
Space you can touch
Touch is absolutely essential to your creative space.
Think about how it feels on your skin to crawl into clean sheets at night. Think about how the clothes you wear impacts your day. The touch of fabric can create a sense of security so powerful that it puts you at ease.
Start to notice the things you’re coming in contact with every day. Do they create comfort or discomfort? Know the difference between the two and your senses with thank you.
Space you can feel
What’s happening in your heart? Is your body telling you that you need to feel connection and belonging? Or perhaps that you need a space for solitude and self-reflection? The space we create energetically is the one thing that never leaves our side. That’s why it’s called baggage; we carry it everywhere.
If you want to feel joy, what do you need to do? Ask yourself more questions about what you want and need, then give yourself permission (and encourage yourself) to express them fully.
When you align yourself with this idea, the tension in your body will decrease and you’ll have more space for the things you love.
Creativity starts with the space you create. What's more, creativity thrives in spaces that feel expansive. It wants to wander and needs room to move.
Use your senses to connect more deeply with your body so you can learn how it responds. Your creative self-deserves to discover how it wants to connect.
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Beth Inglish is a contemporary abstract artist who uses line and color to create expressive work and channels the energy from her spirit to transform people and places. She is also the founder of the Nashville Creative Group, a community established to connect, support, and share with thousands of local artists instantly.
The Nashville Creative Group is a community vibrantly active with artists, musicians, communicators, technologists, and activists.
To learn more about how Beth uses creativity, connection, and community to change the world for the better visit her website or Beth Inglish Art.