Mar 15, 2011

Art from the Heart A room of your own!

A room of your own!

When I started painting I started in a very small bedroom that my son had occupied. It was in the basement and at the time I did not have the best lighting for painting.
I did not care, because you see it was my "special scared place."
Two very important ingredients for developing creativity is scared space and scared time. You need to have a place where you can go and be uninterrupted to create. Once you have your room then you will need to set boundaries and help others respect your time in your room.
I have heard from my students over the years that they felt selfish if they had a place just for creating or took the time to do their art. What they don't realize is that there is something called healthy selfishness. Healthy selfishness is an important ingredient in living a full life.
From the time we were toddlers we were probably taught to not be “selfish.” Some of us have taken this to heart and learned the lesson too well! The majority of our time is usually spent on taking care of others. We may have long lists of things we have to do. So taking care of us may be the last thing on the list.
However, if you never take care of your needs you face the reality of becoming exhausted and totally drained. You may find it very hard to recharge yourself. We may even become angry and resentful at our situation in life. Without recharging we can never expect to be our best in any area. There is no way any of us can run on an empty tank! We must take care of ourselves first just like we are told to do when we fly the friendly skies, put your mask on first!

For myself, taking care of me meant I had to be able to be in my studio painting on a regular basis, this led to a happier healthier me so everyone benefited!
If you have something that gives you joy then do it, you are not being selfish you are just taking good care of yourself!

If you are really serious about your art you need to have a place and a time to nurture that creative self, and doing something for yourself is not selfish, especially if it helps you in other areas of your lives such as relieving stress.
If one has the time to explore their creativity in the quiet, one will be much happier and the stress level that everyday living causes will be lowered.
So the first step is to believe that we deserve this space. It does not have to be a big studio, but it does have to be a place where you can set up your art and leave it. Painting in the kitchen is just not right! Having to put all your supplies away every time you paint diminishes your creative expressions.
Enlist the help of your family, if you can't have a whole room then find a place where you can put up a screen. No matter where your space is, your family needs to respect that area as "off limits".
Your rules need to be established from the onset, for instance: when you are working no interruptions unless it is an emergency. It is interesting how many urgent questions will be coming at you just for the attention if you don't set up your rules and stick to them.

What I have found is that because I work from home, I have people think I really don't work, or have a real job. However, I work most days of the week on my art with daily household chores getting done when I can fit them in. I also have a wonderful husband who takes over for me. If I get interrupted when I am having a really creative day it can literally stop the creative juices flowing. If you are fortunate to have help like I do then thank God for that blessing, if not you need to make a schedule that allows you your special time to create!

Being creative does not just "happen", we cannot just turn it off and on, first we need to clear our minds of endless chatter. Our inner monologue needs to be quieted so we can be the receptive to our inspirations. We need to get used to being alone, being creative is most often a solitary endeavour. Some feel uncomfortable being alone but if you really want to advance in your art you need to give yourself this time of solitude and not feel guilty about it.
When I go into my studio often I take problems with me, I know I need to quite that inner endless chatter, I have found that if I sit quietly and just organize my art supplies it will help me calm, others may find that meditating before they start will help. We all need to find what it is that will give us the feeling of ease so we can move forward.
Being a Christian I have found that listening to the bible on CD or peaceful music will put me in the right frame of mind.
Once I quite this chatter I can hear my inner creative voice and move forward.
Find your space no matter what it take and start creating, you will never be sorry you did!

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