Feng Shui Your Way to a Creative Workspace (7 fantastic tips!)
This is a guest post by Tenaya Kolar of TPK Feng Shui & Design + a bonus interview with Tenaya at the end of the post!
1: Identify your Workspace Needs
What work will you be doing in your creative space? Does it have one main purpose? Do you have lots of different creative work you want to be able to do? Identify what work stations you need to allow your creativity to flow easily (easel, wet desk--for paint, etc, dry desk--for bookmaking, etc, computer, drafting board, yoga mat, altar, couch for reflection).
Create a list of all the types of creative work you do and you will find they naturally begin to fall into different work-station categories. These stations could all be in one room, or they could be in different places, depending on your space. Don’t rush this process.
Ideally all of your work stations are in a commanding position. This means you face or can easily see the main entrance to your space. If your back faces the entrance or you cannot see the entrance from where you sit, your mind will instinctively check what is behind you. It is hard to relax or get into a creative zone with these, at times subconscious, interruptions.
It is also ideal for your workstations to not lay in the direct path of the doorway. The energy coming through that large opening is very active, and can disrupt the creative process.
You want to feel relaxed and in command of your space.
When these ideals are not possible to achieve, you can place mirrors in strategic locations to enable you to see the door from where you sit or stand. Or you can place an object to help deflect the rush of energy coming through the door (a plant, something solid).
Light obviously plays a big role in where you want your work stations. Generally speaking I am able to accomplish the goals above without compromising on light and view. Think about sitting perpendicular to a window rather than directly under it (if this means your back is to the door).
Having the light shine on your back and your desktop (and thus whatever you are working on) can be warm and inspiring.
All spaces ideally have natural light from two directions. When this is not possible, place a mirror on a wall adjacent to a window so that the outside world is reflected in that mirror from where you sit, or where you enter the room.
3: Determine What Supplies You Need & How to Best Store them
Separate out your supplies by category (painting, drawing, etching, etc). This will look different depending on your own creative genius. Go through each category separately--starting with the supplies you use the least. Within each category, pick up or touch each item and ask yourself if it brings you joy. (This is a feeling in your body--be wary of the thoughts that arise in your rational mind.) You should only use supplies that make you happy (it is no fun to write with a pen you don’t love!). Donate the items you don’t love. Thank them for their service as you release them.
After you cull, it is important for everything to have a home. This enables your creative space to remain easy to clean and use when the inspiration hits you. The items you use most should be the most easily accessible. Things you access only occasionally can go on the top shelf, or bottom drawer.
Supplies you use for painting should have a home near where you paint.
- How much space do your supplies take up?
- Do you need a shelf for these items?
- Do drawers work better?
Drawers work better than stacking tubs since you can access the stuff in the bottom drawer just as easily as the top. Clearly label all of your storage locations so things get put back where they belong without any effort.
Ideally your desktop (or any horizontal surface) will be easy to clear off entirely after a work session. You may have some items whose home is on the desktop (water cups and paint brushes on a painting table). Just be sure the work-space is open in preparation for your next creative impulse.
4: A few words on Clutter
If something does not have its own home, it quickly becomes clutter. The Law of Attraction states that like attracts like, which means these items quickly attract more clutter to them. Before you know it, you will have to clear a work-space in order to start creating. Clutter appears easily on horizontal surfaces (desks, table-tops, the floor). This type of clutter weighs you down, decreases your energy. Walls can also easily become cluttered.
When the walls you look at for inspiration are filled with post-its and images you don’t absolutely love, this creates mental clutter, making it difficult to enter a creative mind-set.
Avoid placing post-its or small notes to yourself up on the wall around you. Everyone needs a place for their to-do list or other important information. Consolidate said items in one location (a dry erase, chalk or cork board). When like items are placed together, they appear less as clutter, more as a statement. Make sure these tasks are not the first thing you see when you look up from a work-station (unless that work-station is where you accomplish these things). You don’t want constant reminders of what you need to get done pulling you out of the creative mind-set.
When deciding whether something should find a home in your creative space (or in any space), ask yourself:
- Do I use it?
- Do I need it?
- Do I love it?
If the answer to any of these is no, it probably doesn’t belong. But the most important criteria is: Does this object bring me joy, does it make me happy to hold it, use it, own it.
Beginning to listen to your joy is a powerful tool.
We all have more things than we can ever appreciate in this lifetime. Paring down to the joyful items, creates space for greater opportunity in your life, for new opportunities to find you--ones that are aligned with who you are today. It creates space for creativity, for clarity, for confidence, for inspiration. For more tips and strategies on decluttering, visit tpkfengshui.com.
5: Color and Inspiration
Some artists work well in sparsely decorated rooms--it clears the mind. Some artists want to look up for inspiration. You should put up on your walls only things that inspire you to be who you want to be (artwork you’ve created that you love, other artists you find inspiring, a tropical landscape).
Paint your walls a color you absolutely adore.
Invoke the feelings you want to have while you create (a relaxing water shade, a warm earthy hue). You can use one wall to inspire passion (brick red, deep-hot pink), allowing the three remaining walls to relax you more (a cool green grey). Whatever colors your use, you should love them.
Don’t be afraid to move things around (the location of your desk/couch, etc) when a space begins to feel stagnant or when the inspiration hits you. This stirs up energy, which can be great! Just be sure to give the space a good clean before you put something else there; this helps to clear out old energy so you can start with a clean slate.
7: Getting into the Creative Mindset.
Create a habit for yourself, things you do every time you’d like to enter into a creative mindset.
These are generally small things like making yourself a cup of tea, putting on the appropriate music, sitting down in the same place.
Focus yourself in this space by taking 10 deep breaths, allowing the clutter of daily life to float away. If the mental chatter remains, take 5-10 minutes to write whatever comes into your mind, allowing yourself to let go of it. I do this on the computer and at the end, I delete the mayhem and leave the inspirations or things I need to do at the top.
These triggers will help your mind and body co-operate and know that it is time to create.
Wishing you inspired creations!
Bonus: An interview with Tenaya
I sat down with Tenaya to talk more about how to declutter, organize and Feng Shui your creative workspace. Check out the interview below:
Tenaya inspires people to invest in their homes and in themselves. She is an expert on the impact spaces have on our lives--both positive and negative--and wants to help you unlock the potential in your home. In her courses and workshops, Tenaya uses her deep knowledge and experience in Feng Shui & Design to guide her clients toward happier and more supportive homes. Want to know more? Visit her: www.tpkfengshui.com