As a new mama, I have enlisted the help of several other bloggers and creatives to guest post on my blog. On Fridays for the month of December, I am excited to present a mini-series on my fellow bloggers' take on creativity. For the second part of this mini-series, I would like to welcome Sara DiMantova of Sara Does.
Constant change is apparently how I keep creativity alive. It might sound weird. And actually it DOES sound weird, because I've always heard and thought that consistency, cleanliness, orderliness, and etc. similar things are what keeps our minds in order and working. A clean workspace is important for productivity. A consistent schedule or routine is important for getting things done. Artists need that same stool, canvas, music, environment, whatever, to produce their art. Right? When my desk is messy, when my kitchen is messy, when there is sundry junk laying everywhere, I can get nothing done and have the hardest time focusing on anything, let alone creating new things.
I live and work in the same place, and because I found the most magical loft of all time, I'm totally ok with this. Every single design and decor decision I've made has been spur of the moment and unplanned and mostly un-measured or tested. I painted a wall hot pink a week after moving in. I painted my kitchen a slightly too-bright yellow without testing swatches. I rehang frames, art, and photos about once a month. I've moved my desk and work area three times. My bedroom furniture has been rearranged more than a normal doting boyfriend would allow, given that I need his help every time. I own 23 different places to put your bum: chairs, ottomans, stools, fluffy floor pillows.
It usually goes something like this: I'm sitting at my desk plodding along with my work. I haven't designed anything new in a couple weeks. I'm in a slump, professionally and creatively. I look up from an email, contemplating the correct arrangement of important sentences, and it hits me.
My desk would be awesome against that wall over there. Yes, the one I'm sitting at right now. And I could hang the cork board there. And move the lamp from upstairs. And use those two chairs. And reframe that print from the bedroom and hang it right...there.
Suddenly I can think of nothing else except what it would be like to work 15 feet away from where I'm currently sitting. It's all consuming! I stare at the wall glassy-eyed, envisioning. Dreaming. Calculating. Suddenly I'm out of my chair tape measure in hand, important sentence structuring gone from my mind. Next thing I know I'm nearly throwing my back out moving my [extremely heavy sleep-] sofa around a bit, moving the end table, removing my two laptops from the desk, shoving pillows, chairs, and other decorating implements this way and that, tossing art off of walls, until my desk is where I want it. Then side tables. Then chairs. Then my hammer is out and I throw things on the wall without measuring (tape measure forgotten on the floor, obviously), using only my eyes to make sure things are level and where they need to be. I do more tinkering, moving lamps from room to room, exchanging frames, ignoring holes I leave in the wall. Less than 15 minutes have passed.
I sometimes can't decide if all of this apparent indecision about the decor is good or bad. Is it because I'm unsatisfied? Is it because I get bored? If the answer is yes to both of those questions, does it matter? What does it say about me? Is it just because I get inspired and want to take action immediately? Do I have decor-ADD? And again, if the answer is yes, does it matter?
I sit back down at my newly positioned desk, pleased as punch. My words flow better all of a sudden. I'm more focused. My sentences are perfectly structured, my requests eloquent. I design a new set of greeting cards, come up with 3 new blog posts, 2 crafts, and a plan for dinner. My creativity fire has been stoked.