I am a collector. I come by it honestly, through a pair of hoarding parents and a hoarding sister. (All parties adamantly deny these labels but I bet you the TLC TV show would be happy to have them). I’ve watched my Dad collect all kinds of things, saving bits “because they might be useful later.” This includes items they have moved over 20 years ago to 4 different places along the way and have never used. Even once! My sister fears a bit for the third world war and collects all kinds of food stuff, even if she already has 20 cans of the same vegetable in the basement. And Mom. Well, my mum is special to me in that she is a creative and once a practicing artist/craftswoman who could make all kinds of things. And she always wants to try something new, which leads to assorted collections of all kinds of arts and crafts materials and projects. She has a bedroom currently piled with so many things it is often called, with disdain, “THE Room.” This is where my genes come in. I LOVE art supplies, or anything I could use in an arts or crafts project. And I hoard these things like there is no tomorrow.
When I moved to Dubai, I brought 7 suitcases with me. Seriously unnecessary, but 3 of them were solely of art supplies and books. I was more worried about what art supplies I may NOT find over here than I was about food stuff, clothing, etc. Why am I sharing all of this? How is this pertinent to a blog on creativity? Well, I’m currently moving apartments. And I’m packing all of my boxes and realizing how many materials have multiplied and grown like little rabbits. This notion of accumulation is very interesting to me, which is why I have followed all kinds of minimalist blogs (such as Rowdy Kittens). I am also an organizer and I believe and promote ideas of organization to help support and manifest my creativity (link here). And I’m ridiculously excited to move to a new apartment where I get to have a genuine STUDIO space! Shelving units, labels, plastic containers, here I come….!
It’s also made me re-evaluate my creative process. I’m currently coveting a whole en caustic set to try this medium out. Yet, I think I have plenty of beautiful, interesting materials to experiment with and use in the boxes piling up right next to me!! I’m grateful for this move for so many reasons but one of them is it is allowing me to reflect on what artistic materials are available to me. Sometimes restriction can encourage and support creativity. I’m beginning to think I should be driven to create with only the materials in front of me. What can I create that impresses me, challenges me and utilizes resources I’ve already acquired?
Since I’m currently in transition I’m leaving out only a few materials for me to play with while I’m amidst boxes and the search for a new home in Sand Land. And that leads to an entirely different dialogue, which is how important your space is to your creative process. But as I find my new digs and settle in to having a studio space, I will be collecting not things but ideas on how this transition impacts my creativity.
(All of my family commentary is purely in jest. I love them dearly and tease them about these things all the time. And I’m certain they have a list of things they can tease me about too, but since I am writing this blog post, I have full editing rights 🙂 I’m so very blessed to have the family I do!).
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: How do you manage all of your artist supplies? What kinds of odds and ends do you collect for your studio production? Has it ever gotten out of hand?