We’re often encouraged to give ourselves creative space. I tell my clients, family, and friends to do the same, even as I struggle to do it regularly for myself. But what exactly is Creative Space?
When we refer to space in our personal lives we can see it as a sort of protective container. We don’t just think of space in the geographical sense, however. We can also see it as emotional space, physical space, and of course creative space.
What is Creative Space?
Creative space is about three things: 1. Place, 2. Time, and 3. Intention
1. A creative “place” can be practically anywhere. You might have a dedicated area in your home or perhaps even a dedicated studio. But you can also set up creative shop on a park bench or in a coffee shop with pencil and paper. Many creatives will move “places” as their mood changes or as those places become unavailable/available.
Place is probably the easiest of the three components of creative space, even when it’s variable. But it’s not enough just to have somewhere to create. We must also spend…
2. Time, that elusive element that is often the most difficult. What I’ve found is that a huge amount of time does not have to be allotted in order to derive benefit from creative activities. Practitioners of holistic exercises in meditation, qigong and other similar practices find that regular increments of time, however small, are better than large blocks of time taken sporadically. Creativity, in my opinion is a holistic practice much like those I’ve just mentioned.
I find that if I just don’t have much time but take five or ten minutes to paint only the first layer of a small canvas, it eases my creative angst. When I am extra stressed with the day job I find it harder to spend large amounts of time, but small daily increments still feed my soul.
When the time you take is about process and not so much about product, you can more easily find flow or a meditative state in your art-making practice. While time and place are important, perhaps the most important element is…
3. Intention is the factor that cements your commitment and gives you a reason to get into place and time, hopefully regularly. An intention by definition is a purpose or goal. Purpose is perhaps the best word for getting into our creative space. Interestingly, the medical definition of intention is “the healing process of a wound.” Getting into our creative space can be incredibly healing.
Some ideas for intention for getting into your creative space are to:
– gain self-knowledge
– enhance personal expression
– practice handling a lack of control (because let’s face it there is very little we actually have control over.)
– have fun and recapture a spirit of youthfulness
You might choose one or even a few to dedicate your art making practice to.
There are many more intentions one might have. What are a few of yours?