Preparing and Setting Up Your Creative Environment
Work Space/Studio: To get started, you have to create room for you to even be an artist or a writer. You need a studio or a room, half of the laundry room, a table, a corner in your bedroom- somewhere that is designated "arting" space where everyone knows it is used to create art and/or writing. Ideally, it is a space where you feel comfortable in and won't be disturbed. This is where you will be creating, where you will be keeping your ideas. It is the breeding zone of creativity so make it inviting, get excited when you enter into it.
Think of putting up art you like, photographs that inspire you, some affirmations, quotes, things that make you laugh, some flowers. Maybe even a CD or iPod player to listen to music. Pick out a set of painting clothes or a classy dress (whatever you prefer). It's important to have a daily routine: prepare yourself by putting on your painting clothes, putting your hair up, and preparing your environment. Keep your area organized and inviting!
Supplies/Materials: You'll need a desk or table and a chair to be your place of idea-making. The importance of actually spending a little money on artist supplies is like telling yourself "I'm investing you, we are going to take this seriously, you deserve some good materials because exploring creativity is important." It lifts your mood and builds excitement. As artists and writers, you need some pencils, pens, colors, and a sketchbook. This table will be where you start your day, sketching ideas or character plots, writing about things you saw, formulating what you want to create next.
Now, for our art materials list, there is a wide range of possibilities. For writers, you will need a laptop or type-writer. For artists, some of us are multimedia artists, photographers, illustrators, painters, sketch-artists, or a mix of them all. So obviously the materials list will change according to the type of art you do. What I will be giving is an art materials list in accordance with a painter/sketch-artist:
Pencils: art pencils can range from 6B to 6H giving artists a range of light to dark, though mechanical pencils are great for detailSharpener: I like the old fashioned ones- you never know what pencil shavings could add to an art pieceGrip Erasers: there is a wide variety of erasers, they always frustrate me, smearing instead of erasing, these are the bestNotebook: notebooks come in all sizes, all forms, I don't recommend a tiny one, give yourself lots of room on the pageGreat Pens: there is something different between normal pens and inkjet pens, high quality pens are important!Colored pencils/pens: colored pencils and pens are great to use for brainstorming, give yourself the luxury!Canvas/watercolor paper: there is so much to learn about types of paper and canvas making, these aren't bad deals to start withAcrylic/gouache paint/watercolor paint: you can choose what type of paint you'd like to start with, I use all three!Paintbrushes (small, normal, wide sizes): paintbrushes, like pens, are important, its important to have nice paintbrushesScratch Paper: good for sketching, planning, collage-ing with, leave it lying around so that when an idea hits you, there is paperEmpty jars for water: easy to come by, check your recycling or your cabinet for chipped mugsA plate (as a palette)/Palette Paper: palette paper is awesome, you can have one for watercolor, one for acrylic, one for oilPalette Knives: great for mixing, in fact some artists paint only with palette knives, or the backs of their paint brushesGlue Stick/Tape: handy for collage-ing and brainstormingPicture-taking device: useful for your daily journaling, for uploading photos if you start a blogArt Table: what an awesome contraption I just found on Amazon.com, plus little places to put your supplies...
Apple Laptop Air: I'm guessing you already have a laptop, if you do, create a specific folder entitled "Writing"Type-Writer: type-writers can be fun, especially if you need a break from computers or if you get blank faces in front of them
I recommend some basic artist supplies (the first six on the list above) to play with when brainstorming and for creative blocks.
Habit #1: Journaling
Good habits are important and it can be nice to see a track of our process, from the beginning. Find a way to document each day of what you created. Maybe it means keeping a journal, discussing the ideas that inspired you, things you liked, things you thought were crap, how you felt that day while you were painting/drawing. A photo journal can be fun, taking a picture of your studio area everyday after the mess of creating, taking pictures of your favorite artwork of the day, or a beautiful spill of paint on accident. Or, put up a large paper that you add a few minutes to every day and photograph its daily changes. One last idea: write one sentence to sum up that day's creative experience.
I want you to pick a habit, something you will do every time you create that you can collect to mark each day. They will be fun to look at later! And, they will teach you about exploring theme ideas. This is the start of your first collection, even if you think it's simple or uninteresting, do it every time, every day if you can. In fact, once your studio or work area is setup, (with your table, your materials, and your resources) take a picture of it or draw a small sketch and keep it on your wall. Take care of this space: it is the birth place of your creations. If you'd like to share your picture, I'd love to see what your creative space looks like!