Saturday, April 30, 2016


One desk for analog, one desk for digital.
Back in 2012, when I read Austin Kleon's Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative, I was struck by his idea of creating one space for "analog" production and one space for "digital" production.  He designated one desk for "nothing but markers, pens, pencils, paper, index cards, and newspaper," allowing nothing electronic there.  He reserved a second deskfor everything digital - his laptop, monitor, scanner, and drawing tablet.

I loved this idea of separating the two modes of production, but couldn't wrap my mind around how to do it.  I had everything mashed up on one desk, and always felt cramped by my computer when I was doing something that did not involve it.

Fast forward four years to about a month ago.  I was doing a major decluttering of our apartment, and finally decided to tackle the home office. After getting rid of a lot of books, papers, and supplies, I took a look at my side of the room. (I share it with my husband.)  I ditched a bunch of clunky, random pieces of furniture and replaced them with an inexpensive 4-foot utility table which I ordered online.

I then moved my computer and printer to the utility table, leaving the desk with the larger surface free to do creative work by hand.  I filled the perimiters of the desk with visuals that inspire me - e.g. artist postcards from the Twitter Art Exhibit, pens and pencils, fresh flowers, and my go-to book for inspiration, Start from Where You Are.

I'm not sure why it took four years to figure out to do this, but I am so happy that I did.  I'm looking forward to using the two spaces, especially the "analog" one!

Here are some resources to gather inspiration for creating your space to create. When I look at these books/magazines, I know I'm often looking at spaces of people with a lot of financial resources who do their creative work full time.  I keep that in mind, and focus on using the resources that I have.

* Where Women Create: Inspiring Work Spaces for Extraordinary Women, published by Stampington and Company's Somerset Studio, Created by Jo Packham. This is a magazine that you can pick up at Barnes and Nobles. In the May/June/July 2016 issue, you will find a profile of Stacia Lang, who used to design costumes for Prince.

* Maker Spaces: Creative Interiors from the Homes and Stideos of Inspiring Makers and Designers, by Emily Quinton; photography by Kelen Cathcart.

* A Room of Her Own: Women's Personal Spaces. By Chris Casson Madden; photography by Jennifer Levy.

* Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon.  Check out pages 58-61, where he describes and shows how he created his analog and digital desks.

* A Room of One's Own, by Virginia Woolf.

Saturday, April 02, 2016


One of the daily "Art to Self" pics I get in my inbox each morning.
I know that experts would not recommdend looking at your electronic device first thing after waking up, but I spend a good 45 minutes with my iPhone and earplugs to get my morning started on a note of inspiration.

Here's what's in my inbox that I read or listen to:

A short meditation set to music read by Tama Kieves from her book A Year Without Fear: 365 Days of Magnificence.

A short daily motivation video and message delivered by the featuring the great writer and speaker Les Brown.

Art To Self, "daily cartoons to remind you of your awesomeness."

A meditation introduced by Oprah Winfrey and led by Deepak Chopra.

How do you like to start your day on a positive note?


I'm a big fan of tiny books.  But they often get knocked over by or lost amongst the large books on my bookshelf.  Recently, while I was organizing my home office, I decided to put all my tiny books together in a clear plastic shoebox-sized container. When I need some quick inspiration or bedtime reading, I just grab one from the box.  Instant happiness!