Whenever creating something, it is truly important to be in an inspired space. I find it so much easier to collage and write and craft when I'm in my house now, filled with all of my favorite pieces of art and memories than when I was living in a dorm room, with the cold cinderblock walls closing in on me from all sides. Even re-decorating my childhood bedroom over the years took on cathartic proportions when I got older and more creatively-inclined. As soon as I returned from a 3-week study-abroad trip to India, I got to removing all vestiges of the pastels that reeked of my girlhood years and covered my bedroom walls with bold and flavorful colors to assert my maturity and inspire further creativity.
And this leads me to the real reason for my post... my current workspace. When my fiance Mike and I first moved into our current house (which is actually the house that my mother grew up in), we had three bedrooms upstairs. One was ours for the usual purposes, the second was deemed our "creative room" where Mike could work on his movies and I could pursue my crafts, and the third Mike shunned as the "creepy room" mostly because of it's 70's-era wallpaper and minimal furnishings. For a while we shared a creative room and things were great, but then I started to get to work on making our creepy room a little less so. And the more I improved the room that was once our most reviled, it became a sort of retreat for me, a nice little idyllic spot where I could sit in the window and read or spread out all my latest pieces of inspiration and keep them all a mess as long as I preferred.
So it came to be that I moved my section of the creative room into our much smaller but also more quaint creepy room. Though the original name stuck, the atmosphere of old has sure been lost. Now the space is one where I can relax and be productive, sit back and take some time for myself or buckle down and focus on applying for jobs or blogging or paying my bills.
My most favorite thing about this room, as both a creative and a calming space, is my "inspiration" wall. I know it's got a cheesy name but stick with me here. I've seen tons of photos of beautiful workspaces on blogs of all sorts, some with walls full of clipboards full of ideas, others with infinite shelving and drawers for every last material they could possibly need. I don't have the space or the money for either of these refined and aesthetically pleasing methods of organizing my creative space. I do, however, have enough wall space and enough cash, to hammer a few nails in place, hang a few strands of string, and clothespin some of my favorite photographs, images, and ideas to display. This is a simple way for me to keep some of the pieces and ideas I love the most close at hand and right in plain view. Most of my collage materials get lost amongst each other, separated into shallow plastic drawers by a very arbitrary and simplistic system. This way, I have a visual that generates the flow of creative juices while also serving as a pleasant and unconventional artist piece to suit the other purposes of my room.
I wanted to post about this idea not only because it is so effortless, so inexpensive, and so great for anyone trying to maintain a positive workspace, but also because it translates well to other rooms and other materials. I could easily imagine a few rows of string displaying photographs in a dining or living room area, or carrying this idea into the kitchen by hanging recipes on clothespin lines. This concept could also be applied to weddings and events (I'm sorry, I've just got wedding ideas on the brain lately!). Place cards could be arranged this way with each table number belonging to a particular line. You could also create a non-traditional guestbook by hanging blank notecards on rows of string for family and friends to write messages. Photographs of the couple could also be displayed in this way to document their life together without damaging any important photos.
Never thought you could do so much with a few nails, some string, and clothespins, now did ya?