Creative Space: Creating a Workspace that Inspires

I’m delighted to have guest blogger, Cadence Blue, on my blog today.  Cadence and I connected when I was first venturing into the world of social media. I found her be delightful, friendly, and artistically-gifted. She loves writing, video production and grahic design work. And, hey, we share a love of cats. Need I say more? :D

Given how passionate Cadence is about writing and the creative arts, I asked if she’d be willing to write a post for my blog. She came up with a wonderful topic that’s going to have you redesigning a haven for your creative pursuits. Please welcome Cadence!

~ooOOoo~

Creative Space: Creating a Workspace that Inspires
by Cadence Blue

Are you a writer, a reader, a vidder, a graphic artist? Regardless of what moves you artistically, you need a workspace that is comfortable as well as functional—a place that coaxes the seeds of inspiration to grow and bloom into the full flower of your creativity.

Your workstation—your creative space—is your sanctuary. If you haven’t thought about making your workspace a place that will inspire you to do grand things then now is the perfect time!

Your office workstation is designed to be efficient, your dining room, inviting, and your bedroom, relaxing. It makes sense that the place where you go to write about (or read about) another time, place or world should be appointed accordingly.

The first thing I do is to keep my space clean. Dust is not my friend. Clutter is the next thing I erase. I can’t organize my thoughts if I look around and see that my things are disorganized.

Now that my space is clean and ordered I focus on my surroundings. I like to appeal to all five of my senses.

Color: Some artistic people are at their most creative when they feel energized. Others need to be relaxed before their creative juices flow. Whichever category you’re in, choose a color palette that puts you in the mood. This can be anything from painting the walls to hanging pictures and posters, or, art with motivational or inspirational quotes. Your sight is a dominant sense. Appeal to it with beautiful things.

Scent: A particular scent can take us back in time and stir memories. Don’t ignore your sense of smell at your workstation. I love the smell of brewing coffee on a cold winter’s day, or citrus in the summer. A few candles can make your space inviting. Last year I discovered flameless candles. They smell amazing and you can choose a wax warmer that matches your decorating style. If you like heavier, richer smells, incense is a great option.  

Sound: Don’t neglect what you hear. Keep music on hand that speaks to your emotions. Epic film scores can help you write your epic adventure novel. Remember that movie that made you cry? Sad music is great for writing those emotionally charged scenes.

If I am writing I listen to movie scores and New Age music because lyrics distract me. If I am making a video or working on graphic design I like music with energy, like pop and rock.

Another incredibly relaxing sound is water. My fountain is trickling near me as I write this. You can get them in the garden department of stores in the spring, or online all year round.

Taste: Nothing puts me in a creative mood like a piping hot cup of green tea or a cup of flavorful coffee. Whatever you like, keep it within easy reach. You don’t want to have to make a trip to the fridge when you’re in “The Zone”.

Touch: For me this usually means a cat on my desk to pet. Seriously, make sure you have a comfortable place to sit. Plush throw pillows on your sofa cuddle your body while you’re working at your laptop or reading. If you’re working at your desktop PC, invest in a good executive chair. Sitting in a chair that makes your back and hips ache is not conducive to being creative.

I hope these suggestions will help you design the best creative space for whatever you are creating, or simply enjoying.

I am curious: how do you set up your creative space? Please share your tips on designing the perfect place where the seeds of your inspiration grow and flourish.

I would like to thank Mae for hosting my ramblings today!

BIO: Cadence Blue has been entertaining family and friends with her writing for many years. Circumstances beyond her control caused her to step back from the art form for a time and she is just now making a tentative comeback as an aspiring indie author. When not writing she enjoys doing graphic design and video editing.

Cadence is married and is both mother and play companion to her four black cats, who demand much of her time and energy.

Connect with Cadence at the following haunts:
Facebook
Cadence Blue’s Fan Videos
Email Cadence: SweetCadenceBlue@aol.com

25 thoughts on “Creative Space: Creating a Workspace that Inspires

  1. Great post! My house is mainly open concept and my husband commandeered the den. I thought the garden room would be perfect. Turned out to be the busiest entrance and exit in the house. I finally took my computer and my library out to the motor home. I can read dialogue out loud, listen to music, burn incense and I have a fridge and a stove within easy reach. I couldn’t ask for anything better.

    • Thanks for your comment! Your haven-on-wheels sounds wonderful! I wish I had a place like that. I love my creative space but sometimes I wish I had somewhere where my kitties couldn’t come and distract me when I am seriously working.

      • I think both of you have very cool workspaces. I do have my own den in my house with all the things that inspire me — photos, framed artwork, instrumental music (I can’t have anything with lyrics while I’m writing) and a strange assortment of things on my desk I fiddle with if I get stuck. These include colorful polished stones, a few stray marbles and two large diamond-shaped crystals that I picked up at a gift shop just because I liked the color.

        For the most part, I keep my desk clear of clutter but, often when I’m working on a story, I have notes, reference books and pictures that inspire me scattered all over the place. When Onyx, my cat, was living, he used to love to lie on the papers and camp out for as long as I was at the keyboard.

        After reading Cadence’s wonderful post, I think I’m giong to add some scents, probably a candle or two. I used to love to burn incense (patchouli, jasmine and sandalwood were my favorite) but as I got older they started bothering me. The curse of sinus allergies I guess!

        Nice to see you here again, Crystal, and thanks, Cadence, for a great post!

  2. Awesome post, Cadence. Unfortunately, I write from my couch between bouts of chaos as I’m stay-home mommy to 2 monsters (17mo and 3 y). I hope when they get into school I’ll have time to write for hours on end. Maybe then I’ll create a space for that creative work.

    Mae, this id either some crazy coincidence, or I’m feeling your wavelength, because I just used jasmine and patchouli in a ms yesterday, and I hardly ever write about scents in such detail.

    • Hi Jessi!
      I liken my cats to little monsters…who never grow up and go off to school LOL! From what I’m reading around the Web, the E-book industry is still growing. It’s great you’re writing now but I feel there will still be a lot of room to enter the market in a greater degree for years to come. So when the little ones do go off to school and you get more time to write you’re going to have tons of opportunities! Thank you for your reply!

  3. Hi Cadence, a fabulous post.

    With four kiddies, my office can be found right at the far reaches of the house. It’s way too small, but I have my eye on my eldest daughter’s monster bedroom once she decides it’s time to leave home. Yeah, she’s only 14 so it’ll be a while, and I’ll have to beat my three younger sons to claiming it. I’m not sure why I’m the last in line there, but that’s often the way it rolls when you’re a Mum.

    The great thing about my small space is that it does overlook our avocado orchard, and once the windows are open, it feels like my room has expanded out. I also have all my favorite books (600 of them) on a massive rimu bookshelf behind me, and that I absolutely adore.

    Catch ya later, ladies.
    Joanne

    • Thank you for the comment Joanne. Your orchard sounds beautiful. Mother Nature has decorated your creative space for you! I live in the city but our apartment is on lush grounds. I keep a night schedule though so unfortunately I don’t get to see them often. We’re looking for a place to buy that will have an extra bedroom so we can turn it into an office. I hope you’ll get the big room later on. Until then, you still have a space that inspires you–small or large, that’s the most important thing :)

    • An avocado orchard? That sounds heavenly, Joanne. And being surrounded by 600 books certainly conjures a lot of inspiration on its own. Sounds like you have a wonderful writing space!

  4. Great post Cadence. My space is a second bedroom I converted to my office. It’s large, roomy with a stereo for music, a cup warmer for tea, throw pillows on my sofa bed for when I want to relax and think things through. I’ve haven’t gotten into candles yet, but you make it sound relaxing. Thanks for the suggestions.

    • Alicia, your space sounds perfect! Yes, add some candles–they smell so nice. I didn’t know there was such a thing as a cup warmer. I need to look into that because I don’t like having to get up and reheat my beverage (I’ll use a small thermos sometimes.) Thanks for your comment and suggestions!

  5. You know, I really need to declutter my desk. Although I know where everything I have is, there are plenty of things I don’t need in my space. As for noise…I can’t work if there are shows that I could get caught up in on tv…because I invariably do. I also have a hard time with writing while music with lyrics are playing because it’s a distraction for me to sing along. (Lyrical music with words to inspire me regarding scenes is totally different.) I’ve figured out that the safest thing for me to put on tv is HGTV…because unless Jamie Durie is on, I won’t get overly caught up in what’s going on…

    Great post!

    • Hi Kitt! Yes I totally know what you mean about TV shows. I can’t write, pay bills or even read when a show is on. I tend to sing along with lyrics too, and also, I end up writing them. The scene may be good but “Oops I Did it Again” or “Rock You Like A Hurricane” tossed in there out of nowhere are really going to throw off the reader, don’t you think?

      Thank you for the comment :)

    • Ditt to the TV thing and music with lyrics. And Kitt, I know you’re probably going to hate to hear this, being the football fan that you are :D but I can often tune out football when it’s on the TV.

  6. Geez, I don’t have a writing space. I usually sit on the bed(s). I care take a parent and live in two different homes throughout the week. I started a remodel last year in my own home, and ended up with a room full of junk, which I’ve been hoping one day soon to clean out and finish the project of making my whole place a calming retreat. Perhaps in 2013 I can return to making that happen, and I’ll also take some of these great pointers, Candance and create a writing space. Great advice, (great post!), and I’m sure doing so will help improve my productivity!

    • Venice, it sounds like you’re on your way toward a fabulous New Year’s resolution: to create your retreat (I love that term!) I’m so happy that some of my suggestions will be useful. Thank you for replying!

      • Oh Cadence, I truly hope so! Think I’ll put creating my writing space on the VERY top of my resolution list. I’m hoping to publish a novella and novel in 2013, and I can use all the inspiration I can get my hands on! Thanks again for the tips.

    • Think of the fun you’ll have, Venice, creating your own personal space set aside specifically for writing. I know you’ll come up with something that reflects you. A redo of a room is definitely a fun project.

      And, hey, many times I’m balacing my laptop in bed at night rather than going to my den and booting up the big computer :)

  7. Mae, your desk sounds really amazing. You should post a pic sometime. I am so glad that I am not alone in my love of polished stones and sparkling crystals. I go wild for those things. That gives me ideas for my own writing space :)

    • They make great “fiddly things” if I’m stuck on a scene and thinking how to resolve it, especially the crystals when they reflect light. My desk is actually a monstrosity, twice the size of any normal desk. It’s an ancient thing my husband got for me decades ago from a State surplus sale. It’s solid wood, has compartments I’ve never seen in a desk before, and weighs an ungodly amount.

      I’m planning on redoing my den next year from top to bottom (new carpet, fresh paint, new furniture, etc.). There is no way my husband is going to get that desk down the steps again (it was a nightmare getting it UP the steps when he was a lot younger), so we’re probably going to have to bust it up, that’s how large and heavy it is.

      I’m actually looking forward to redoing the room, choosing colors and furnishings. Such fun!

      Thanks for being my guest blogger, Cadence. Your topic generated inspiration for a lot of people, myself included!

  8. How did I miss this post – it’s amazing what anesthesia for six hours is still doing to my poor brain. I’m thankful I came across this post, it’s wonderfully refreshing and perhaps I’ll clean my office tonight. Hubby painted it a serene pale blue and then ragged on/off a darker blue as if I’m floating in a sea of ever drifting clouds. All of the built-in book shelves, desks, etc. are white. A few family photos in antique frames, a collection of Llenox bejewel creatures along with a couple other collections to include my antique tea pots and Tom’s blown glass are in lighted cabinets he made for my office. I’m compete in my office with my Shih Tzu at my feet. But, then there’s those stacks of papers and books on the floor and they are everywhere. I don’t dare let the housekeeper in to clean my office. I’m positive if she moved one thing, I’d never move it again. Do you have a cure for habitual pile management?

    • Your space sounds pretty – I love blue and white :) For extra clutter there doesn’t seem to be a place for (and I am working on this myself), I was thinking decorative boxes. Perhaps check a place like Pier 1 Imports and see if they have some eclectic, funky or interesting storage boxes or chests. If not, I always see those Tupperware-like containers at Wal-Mart–either big tub-like ones or the ones that have several drawers that are stacked, and I always think how cool those would look covered with some interesting fabric with crystals glued on :) The style choices are endless if you’re decorating them yourself. I figure that if there is clutter that I *must* have around, then I might as well make where I store it pretty and fun to look at :) Thank you for commenting!

      • I found pretty baskets at TJ Max and I use that for some of my piles and then promptly forget what I put in which basket. I converted a bedroom into my office and it has a full closet. I think maybe the solution for me is to have my husband build shelves on both ends of the closet for different projects and use the back wall of the closet for office supplies. I’m still thinking. I don’t do well with drawers.

Please scribble a thought or two. I appreciate your comments!

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