This is my space – my little sanctuary where I write, edit, and generally be creative. It’s a small desk but it’s everything I need. Me, my mac, my camera and usually a brew beside me, and away I go. It’s an upgrade from our last house, where I occupied a smaller and darker space under the stairs, channeling a little Harry Potter but minus the wizard scar and Hedgewigg ;-).
I love that I was given a creative brain and that I find it has always been one of the most delightful aspects of many projects that me and my noggin are often responsible for the most amazing creative ideas, the only issue is that my brain often stays locked in creative mode when it needs to shift gears into operations. I’ve spoken to many fellow artists, writers, photographers and bloggers about this and we all share this common thread. We are ideas factories, generating endless amounts of possible content, ideas, projects, plans but then we hit a wall and have to actually do something with all of that and put it into action. Most of my friends are well accustomed to the crazy things I come out with when in full flow and I have over the years acquired a rather wonderful collection of notebooks, pens, jotters and the like from family and friends who know that I live for my stationery items. I thank them for this understanding and that no-one is ever allowed to accompany me into a Paperchase store without fear of requiring an overnight case, sleeping bag and flask of tea.
At school I was always so envious of the girls in maths who could follow theories and rules with ease whilst algebra and anything else mathematical was a complete mystery to me. I would spend hours in the art class devising illustrations and mixed media pieces or in the design and technology lab designing clothes and drawing out possible patterns and shapes. This was easy to me, the other maths stuff was super hard. It was like my brain just was not plugged into that type of activity and for years I thought there was something seriously wrong with me. Turns out that I’m almost completely normal but just are more tuned into my creative side. Looking back it makes a lot more sense. The subjects like art, music, design tech and english I would do really well at then the science and maths subjects would be awful in comparison.
The main issue with discovering you are a creative is that once you accept this and tune in more to your own internal voice, you suddenly are faced with this massive creative machine which is constantly switched to on. I can be out walking or running and suddenly an idea will fly into my head which I almost knocks me for six. And I become so scared of losing it I often stop and write it down or use the dictaphone on my mobile to record it. Sounds ridiculous right but my inner voice says to me “don’t you forget this or you’ll regret it” and so I must listen.
I have, over the years developing my own set of coping mechanisms and thought I’d share them with you. Do you recognise any of these or indeed do anything similar?
1. always go to bed with a pen and notebook/paper so that when I have an amazing dream or idea I wake up and write it down so’s not to lose it
2. always have my phone with me to record photo’s of inspirational things I see and write notes on to remind myself of idea seeds
3. lists – create lists to keep some sense of order and to help prioritise the workload
4. spend at least half an hour a day in reflection – going over thoughts quietly and stopping myself getting overwhelmed by my ideas
5. if the idea won’t “go away” after 2 days I stick with it and work on it, if it fades away I know it wasn’t meant to be and move on
6. find like minded people to share your creative ideas with, network, talk, share and support one another to build up your own creative community
7. allow myself no more than 30 minutes on Pinterest a day…it literally is addictive but a great visual sourcing tool for my inspiration boards. You can see our TMK Pinterest boards here.
8. surround yourself with things which make you smile. Here is my favourite piece of art given to me by a dear friend at our wedding last year. It sits on my desk and makes me smile everyday.
These simple things have helped me grow my own business and let me have my creativity but not let that become out of control. I have to say that one of the biggest changes for me has been the formation of a wonderful team of talented and creative women who make up TMK world and who I connect with on a daily basis from my little outpost here in Singapore. Having them around to bounce ideas off and share creative thoughts is a wonderful support both professionally and personally and make my creative space a happy place.
This lovely little infographic I found on Pinterest sums up the quandry I’m faced with on a daily basis and it starts with getting dressed!
Remember, adventure is out there!
Image credit for infographic: Pinterest, from a Mercedes Benz ad campaign