The Creative Journey: Organization
Organizing Our Creative Stuff
Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.
– Pearl S. Buck
When we moved to Washington from California about a year and a half ago, most of my boxes containing my art supplies were stacked up in the garage. When I finally organized the space in the basement to create a studio where I could work, I was anxious to revisit all of the materials that I hadn’t seen since we moved. After a trip to Costco to buy 2 new large metal baker’s racks with wheels, I was ready to tackle the job of organizing. My husband did the heavy lifting and I spent hours poking around in boxes and reacquainting myself with the crazy array of stuff that had past the test and was deemed worthy of being moved from one state to another. I spent hours sifting through fabric, thread, yarn, metal, shells, beads, papers, reed, vines, stamps, stencils, paints, felting supplies, toys, photos, books, DVD’s and more. By the end of the day, each box was readily accessible, stacked neatly on shelves and had been lovingly inventoried by me. I was a happy camper!
Summer is a good time for us to take an inventory of our materials and to organize our workspace. Lest you think that this is about clearing your clutter, just so your ducks are all in a row, let me suggest that the physical act of touching your materials is a key element of your creative process. Yes, it is helpful if you can find something that you are looking for because it is neatly placed on a shelf. Even more importantly, it is essential that you hold various materials in your hands, group them, regroup them, organize them six different ways and play with combinations of colors, textures, shapes, sizes and forms.
Take the time to daydream about the possibilities. Play. Ask yourself “What if?” as you see and touch various materials. Listen deeply.
When I’m incubating ideas for future projects I often lay out materials from different categories so I can explore new combinations. A box of small hammered metal will be placed along a pile of painted silk fabrics. Beads, shells, and talisman will join rusty nails, acrylic paints and recycled coffee bags. This requires that I set up extra tables in my space so I can have a place for playing with the materials. I leave the tables out and return to them often to add or remove something. During this process, my studio actually looks quite messy. The key is that I am interacting with the materials often.
Find your own way of keeping your materials organized and then be sure that you don’t settle for feeling satisfied that everything is in it’s place.
Make art. Make informed explorations. Make a mess. Make mistakes.
And when your fantastic new idea begins to take shape, you can escort the materials that you don’t need back to their place on the shelf to await the next adventure.
Brecia Kralovic-Logan, published in “Silkworm” Summer 2016