read it every day in blog after blog: those moments spent
teen drawing or painting in the middle of a busy day are the most
centering (or relaxing or peaceful) moments of the day.
Being able to create in the middle of everything is one of the most valuable
habits we can possibly develop. But I wonder how many of us have created a
physical place to draw and paint (or write or make dolls or sculpt). Our powers
of innovation are astounding, yet I sometimes think we expend them all on
shifting around our belongings so we have a place to work: clearing off the
dining room table, hanging up our clothes so we can sit on the bed, putting away
the sewing machine so we can use the little desk in the corner, and so on.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have all that shifting energy at our disposal for
drawing instead? Wouldn’t it be great to sit down at a clear surface, open our
notebooks, pick up a pen and begin? Wouldn’t it be a relief not to have to put
everything away when we’re done?
Hang on a minute, you’re saying. You might have a splendid separate studio
with skylights and piped-in stereo, but I don’t. Well, actually, I paint in what
I call my relaxing room, which is half taken up by clothes and books and
journaling material. Still, I’ve managed to install a small—and this next is the
operative word—dedicated table for painting. I tend to like to draw on my lap,
but I need a wooden surface for my watercolors. And even if I didn’t paint, even
if I always worked on my lap, I would have given myself a dedicated workspace.
A dedicated workspace, be it a two-foot-square tabletop or a splendid studio,
is the center of everything else as far as our art is concerned. When a space is
used only for art, art energy seems to gather in its layers and alter the
composition of the furniture and the air. It’s the one place where you can shift
gears into creative mode without first having to wade through lunchboxes,
laundry, and newspapers.
Having a dedicated workspace says, “I paint. I respect my painting and I
respect my need to paint.” Creating the space without creates the space within
at the same time and can significantly affect our regard for our own work. Plus,
it’s nice to have an undisturbed place to stack pads and pens and brushes. The
objects we use to make our art are beautiful when placed together as a family.
It’s as if they quietly save our place for us till we arrive.
Creating a place to create in the middle of things is not always easy. We
have to carve it out of our daily lives, often at the expense of something else.
But it’s ultimately worth it, bringing us far more in value than we spend in
making it happen.
Jori Lynn is a creativity coach exploring the universe from the island of
Corsica. Visit her site about ebony black
the creative process at www. artinabundance .com.