This morning Seth Apter of The Altered Page posed this question on FB:What would boost your creativity the most: more time, more space, more supplies or something else? and I offered this response.
“Space . . . being able to leave something I’m working on undisturbed while I do something else. I don’t want to have to put away my encaustic set-up so I can make some more monoprints or to set up the sewing machine or get out the typewriter or . . . I’m sure you get the point. A smallish spare bedroom (with carpet) that occasionally needs to be used as one is not ideal . . . guess who is thinking of ripping up the carpet! In the meantime I have vinyl on the carpet and I just take over parts of the house and garden as the need arises. My thoughts on anything that stifles your creativity is, if you really want to express yourself, you’ll find a way.”
Reading other responses as well as my own, I got to some serious thinking. Deep down, I believe that if you want to do something badly enough you’ll find a way. I also agree with the saying ‘cut your coat according to your cloth.’ For years I didn’t have much time or money to indulge my creative fantasies so the fantasies remained small. I made things as gifts and I learned to make do with the resources I had at hand. If I bought resources, whatever I made had to pay for itself and make additional income. . . one year, back in the 70s, I funded Christmas gifts for my children by making and selling macrame dog leads.
So there you go, time and resources limited my output and limited my creativity but it certainly didn’t curtail it. I fitted it in.
Now, my only real limitation is space. Recently I moved my workroom from a small office to a smallish bedroom and reshuffled the furniture around the house and now I have about 10 square metres for storage and to create in.
The Late Start Studio. I think I might rip up the carpet, build a workbench along the right-hand wall with shelves under and over it for storage and display, and put the desk under the window.
Right now I’m set up for working with encaustic medium and wax on the carpet isn’t great. Fortunately I have another of my cunning plans and got my hands on some free vinyl which I laid over part of it and sealed the edge down with duct tape. When you’ve had to make do, you can come up with ingenious solutions. There’s still nowhere to play with charcoal unless I go outside( it’s winter here), splash paint, print, sew (I have 3 machines), and my easel is stored behind yet another bedroom door . . . one night is fell and almost brained a guest! Of course if only I was interested in just one art form life would be a whole easier albeit not as interesting.
Different art forms need different equipment and set-ups. Left to right: boiling and dying harakeke/flax outside, free motion embroidery, encaustic pod with muka fringe.
There might be reasons why you can’t do what you’d like but you can still express yourself creatively but excuses are just that . . . excuses.
In all honesty, I have no reasons however sometimes I have excuses . . . and that’s when I give myself short shrift.