The need to create thrives within you. It’s a force that influences your life daily. It pushes you to start projects and make commitments – possibly more than you can ever keep. To friends and relatives who don’t have the same desire, you might seem too passionate, possibly a little manic. But for we Creatives, the urge to put something into being that wasn’t there before is utterly captivating. The imaginative power within us charms us to make something new. Does this sound familiar?
The “Where” of It All
This kind of passion behind your art may hit home if you’re anything like me. But have you ever stopped to think about where you create? Maybe your art is your full-time job and you work at an office. Maybe you have a room at home dedicated to your craft. Maybe it’s half of the guest room. Maybe it’s nothing bigger than a corner of your bedroom. Or maybe you are a creative nomad, migrating from place to place, every day working in a different spot.
Have you ever considered whether the design (or lack thereof) of your space may be causing you to have Creative block? What if improving your work area could fill you with motivation — or create a spike in your output? Whether you have a sprawling studio or a nook akin to Harry Potter’s under-stair cupboard, one thing is certain: your creative space affects your productivity. The real question is, does your space encourage the creative process or restrict it? When you sit down to work, are you inspired and empowered or are you constricted in your efforts to create?
For the next few weeks I will be doing a series of posts on the design of creative spaces – yours, in particular. I’ll talk about how to analyze your space for design flaws and give you tools for overcoming them. If you are excited about interior design, then make sure to drop in and learn some new tips and enhance your abilities. If you are scared to death by the idea of redesigning a space, organizing your office or selecting paint colors, then these posts will be highly valuable for you. I promise to help make the process easy and fun. I want to see your productivity skyrocket.
First Things First – Programming
If you’re the first type of person I mentioned, the kind who gets excited about colors and textures, you’re probably raring to go, wanting to grab your nifty tips and make a run for the nearest paint store. But hold your horses. We have business to discuss before we can even think about color. Stick with me here, because this part of the design process is the most important.
Programming, the first phase of the design process, happens before the actual planning. It’s the process of gathering information, which can be quite intensive in the real world of interior design and architecture (research, analysis and interpreting data). For our purposes, just think of this phase as stating the problem. By problem, I don’t mean the issues with the space, but the full list of your needs and requirements.
Before you start designing anything, it is important to have all the information. You might think you already know what you want, but writing it down will ensure that you don’t lose focus. Let me say that again: WRITE IT DOWN. These are the key elements that will influence the design. Here are some things to consider:
- What are your parameters, in other words, what are the limits of the space you have? (A desk? A closet? A room? A cubicle?)
- What do you need to accomplish in the space?
- What is your primary craft (writing, painting, scrapbooking, etc.)?
- Are there any other tasks or people that share the space? (For example, is your home office used for handling personal finances as well as creative writing? Do you share your art room with your children when they do projects?)
- What problems or hindrances do you need to consider (either with your current space or previous ones)?
- What furniture, equipment and supplies do you need and which ones require power? (In this case, a full list of everything you need in the space will be the most helpful. You don’t want to design a space and then realize you’ve left out one crucial element.)
- What is your budget?
- Are there any special needs to consider?
Allow plenty of time to consider these questions. Conspire with any others who use the space. Then, make a complete list of your needs. WRITE IT DOWN.
Be sure to come back on Thursday when I’ll be talking about space and layout.