I set myself up to work on a painting today. I placed my easel in view of my window with great lighting, but also kitty-corner to my TV. For some reason, when I make art, I feel more productive if I have a movie going while I paint. It has to be a movie I’ve seen already, so I don’t have to study the story line too much. Today it was some Sex and the City Episodes and then Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (the Swedish version). I’ve never really thought about why this system works for me, but it does. Ever since I was in high school I would set up to paint alongside a movie I know.

I thought it was my own quirky thing, but I was talking to another artist who told me she does the same thing when she is working on her textiles. It got me wondering why an artist would make this choice and what are important elements to a creative space?

What makes a space creative for you?

I’ve read articles that now prove doodling is a skill that helps people with attention. Some articles have come out saying people should encourage or support their staff who doodle at meetings. It is because of the doodling task, which only takes some attention, that those in the meeting can actually pay attention to the information presented. Well, it feels like I’m doing something similar. I like the story line in the background and noise to quiet my mind so I can focus on color, line, and shape. My critical self can be really loud and clear and perhaps this environment drowns out the negative noise. I can paint without this environment, but now I wonder if it takes me longer to “get into the zone” without that kind of mental distraction?

I think it depends on a person’s personality type and medium to what degree a creative environment needs some kind of distraction. That is also perhaps why sharing a space with a friend for me is also productive. I know there are people who work differently, the important thing is for all creatives to reflect and consider what environment is best for their creative production?

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Reflect on what habits you have for creating a creative space. 🙂 What qualities help you most get into “your zone?”