“Coffee has always been a significant part of my life. For me, it's a chance to start my day and gather my thoughts - it's fuel for my creative process” -Conner Franta
Having a space to create is important in any creative’s life. For some, that space can be in their own room, the local coffee shop, family room, spare bedroom, business building, and for those few, maybe even your restroom. Point is, every creative I know needs a set space where they can go to focus on their craft and not be interrupted. For those of you reading this who don’t have a designated space to create, find a space! If home isn’t an ideal option for you, there are plenty of spaces to freely create at your own liking.
Here’s a little about me in regards to my current space. I moved back home with my folks about three years ago now. I originally moved back home to help my family with my grandparents who were home due to illness. I had just moved from a one bedroom duplex in Hollywood, which I loved. Prior to that I had moved from a one bedroom back house in La Jolla which was minutes away from the beach. The plan was to stay at home until my grandmother passed. Unfortunately, she passed due to cancer about two years ago. So it’s three years now at home and I’m still there. Part of the reason why I’m still there is to allow me to pay off some debt and start saving some money to buy a house, which would be a dream of mine to check off. To have my own space to create and to say that I “own” it would be the dream, in my opinion. One day...now on to my current space…
My room is a decent size where I have too much stuff in it, mostly what seems to be car parts lately. I have most of the room padded down with sound panels and foam to absorb some of the sound to be able to practice whenever I’d like. My desk is giant, where I spend most of my time. I have a sixty-one key midi keyboard attached to my MacBook Pro, which I dock. Attached to my laptop is a twenty-seven inch 4K display, which I have hooked up via DisplayPort, a Focusrite Clarett 4Pre that is hooked up to Yamaha HS8’s and have a Royer R-121 next to my desk so that I can record whenever. I have some hard drives easily accessible on my desk at any moment to save and store what I create. So as far as a space setup, it’s an ideal space to create, right?
I don’t consider my own room at home a creative space for myself. I sometimes feel more creative at Starbucks around the corner than I do at my own house. You would think it would be my creative space since I have all of those tools right at my fingertips but truth is it isn’t the most ideal for me because of distractions. There are six people living in my home, two of which are kids that feel the need to disrupt whenever they please. I really don’t mind it but knowing that in the back of my head there is always someone home that could walk in at in moment is a distraction to me.
In analyzing myself and my workflow, if I were to look at an hour of creative flow, forty-five minutes is spent with my mind wandering, figuring out how I’m going to complete whatever I want to create and about fifteen minutes of me intently doing that creating. Now where I come short is, if I spend forty-five minutes with my mind wandering and you walk in, I immediately relapse and go back into that forty-five minute state of mind. It can, at times, be frustrating because I feel like I’m not productive. This is why I sometimes don’t come home because I’ll have a creative high somewhere else and I don’t want it to end. I spend lots of time at Starbucks because nobody bothers me there and I can sort out some thoughts and begin to create. Once I can grasp whatever it is I want to do, sort out a plan of how I am going to do it it, then I go home and finish whatever I started. I’m finding that my room is where I go to finish my creative flow and not to start it. The creative juices don’t flow at home so I don’t spend my time there. I like spending time at friend’s studios where I can draw inspiration as well.
My creative space will change as I move. With the exception of being back home, every place I’ve lived previously on my own was my space because nobody could interrupt me. I could turn off my phone and sit and let the flow begin. So why haven’t I moved yet if this space is so important? Honestly, part of me not moving yet is because I’ve been lazy and quite frankly, comfortable. Ideally, I’d like to buy a house but it isn’t doable right at this moment because I still don’t have a nice down payment. I also hate moving. The older I get, the more stuff I’ve acquired and it’s just a lot to lug around nowadays. Good news though, I am currently looking for a place. I would like to have a three bedroom house. Maybe rent a room out and have the extra room as my music/creative space. I should be in a new space soon!
The point of this post is to make light of how essential a dedicated space to create is crucial in any creative’s life. If your place of creativity is at the park down the street, then awesome! If you feel your space to freely and openly think is at your local coffee shop, then by all means create there! If your space is in the restroom, then that’s your space! I hear the acoustics are pretty awesome in a restroom…heard that from a friend….For those of you reading this who feel you deem yourself as a creative and don’t have a space, find one! Finding a place to be creative isn’t difficult. The important part in finding a place though is comfort, at least in my opinion. I have colleagues that have access to buildings of business after hours so that they can sit quietly and think. Maybe you know somebody that owns a business that closes early where you can go rent their space after hours to create your art. There’s no harm in asking.
When entering your space to create, make sure you are prepared. For you drawing artists, bring your art supplies to draw whatever it is you imagine. For those of you looking to write melody and harmony, bring some staff paper, pencils and plenty of erasers. Bring a recording device too to remember melodies for later use in case. For you music production creators, make sure you have your laptop and midi keyboard with your sounds accessible to create freely. I could go on and on as far as making sure you have the right tools when entering your creative space but I think you get the idea. Just be prepared! I always have my gear with me as well as a good pair of headphones to sit down and listen to draw inspiration.
To conclude this segment, a creative space is crucial in any creative’s life. Where’s yours?