How often do you change out your creative environment? I don’t mean hanging a new picture on the wall of your studio. I mean, do you create from different locations?
Today, I’m writing from an entirely different location than I normally do. Instead of my office in my house in New Orleans, I’m on a front porch in Tennessee with a strong wifi signal and a cup of coffee. The picture I’ve inserted here is what I get to view as I’m working. I’m listening to the birds tweet (in that totally non-Twitter kind of way), and I’m soaking up every bit of tranquility that’s available in this early hour.
I love my office at home, but today is a beautiful day. Writing in this location at this time with this weather gives me a totally different creative energy than writing from an air-conditioned room.
The good news is, you and I don’t have to drive eight hours to find a new creative locale. The local coffee shop, the library, the park, and / or any space that will accommodate you and your art will do. Not every spot is equally helpful, but getting out there and trying it is the only way to find out.
The Benefits of a New Creative Space
You will likely find other benefits that aren’t listed here, but here are a few good reasons to get away from the norm.
- Fresh Perspective – In the same way that a painting looks different under various types of light, your art will stand out in unique ways depending on where you are. Can you find changes that need to be made? Can you appreciate something new about your work?
- New Energy – I find that working on the same project in a different space gives more energy to jump into the project – even if it is only a temporary feeling. Whenever I’m truly stuck on finding motivation for a project, I’ll get out of the house for some inspiration and a new work space.
- The Chance to Listen – Instead of hiding from the sounds of the world with headphones, listening to your new environment can provide you with a peaceful emotion, snippets of conversation (everything from the subject spoken about to the emotions in others’ voices), or background music that you would not have considered if left to your own musical tastes.
- The Chance to Get Out of Your Cave – We artists can close ourselves off from the world to an unhealthy extent if we’re not careful. Yes, we need some solitude to create, but we can’t spend our entire lives there. We need the inspiration of life. We need the interaction of life to help us become better artists and healthy people.
Can All Artists Switch Environments?
Not all arts are as easily transferable as writing. For example, tuba players likely have fewer choices on practice environments. A coffee shop probably wouldn’t be too inviting.
But is the actual playing of the tuba the only part to mastering the instrument? Don’t musicians need to study their music before playing it? Shouldn’t they study the works of other musicians?
Those tasks, the studying and even the writing of new musical parts, don’t have to take place in the same location as the practice environment. The same could be said for sculptors and painters and a variety of other artists. You may need to look for which tasks you can accomplish in different environments, but they are available.
What about You?
What is your favorite creative space? Do you have constraints that make switching environments difficult?
Be sure to share in the comment section below.