I recently moved to a new apartment and suddenly its as though my life is opening up like a flower. While I knew I wasn’t super happy where I lived before I hadn’t realized just how much the old place was draining my ability to move forward and succeed and enjoy life.
Thinking about that it occurred to me just how important having the right studio is to success as an artist. And we’re talking creative success and sales success here.
How do you feel when you work in your art studio? Does it bring feelings of creativity and expansion? Or do you maybe feel stuck and introspective (in a bad way)? In the worst case it could be a lost cause and you might just need to find a new place as I did with my apartment. But maybe you can simply make some adjustments and things will turn around.
Modern middle-class architecture is all about function and minimizing cost – not so much about understanding and working with the subtle energies and aesthetics that make such a difference to our lives. Our homes and work-spaces are sometimes quite lifeless and not really conducive to happiness and success. I am often amazed to see the boxed-in layouts and lack of natural lighting in corporate work environments. This is done to minimize construction cost but takes no account of the cost of lost creativity and work productivity which these designs ultimately suffer from.The same principles apply to the way we design the majority of our living spaces.
As artists we are particularly sensitive to environments because it is part of our calling to be sensitive to many things. So a poorly built or laid out studio space can make a huge difference to your creative and commercial success.
Indigenous cultures generally had a much better understanding of environmental effects – often preferring curved and circular shapes to squares and corners. The Chinese turned it into an art form in Feng Shui – an ancient system of aesthetics believed to use the laws of both Heaven (astronomy) and Earth (geography) to help one improve life by receiving positive energy (qi).
Almost everyone has heard of Feng Shui but how many of us have tried some of its principles to see how they work? Not many! One of the reasons is that with our busy western lifestyles it’s often hard to find the time to immerse in a philosophy in sufficient depth to understand how to work with it. And Feng Shui certainly is a philosophy in its own right.
I was so happy to recently come across a very practical interpretation of Feng Shui principles in “Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life“, by Karen Rauch Carter. Now a true Feng Shui master might find this book simplistic but I loved it because I honestly don’t have time for a more in-depth study. This book helped me to put some of the principles into action and see some results – and it could work for you too.
You might find for example that your art studio is in the wrong room in your living space. Or it could be that the orientation of the easel or a chair inhibits the natural flow of your creativity. Some of these things you can’t always change but the book will give you ideas on how to balance a space with plants, fountains, mirrors and other objects. Changing colors can also make a big difference.
A lot of this is very intuitive – we can often feel when a space is more or less creative or abundant – but we can’t always put our finger on why that is so. Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life can help you understand why your home or studio feels wrong or unbalanced and how to change it to be more livable, creative and workable.
And – when you feel happy, creative, and abundant your work will be better and you will naturally want to create more creative and commercial success! Go for it!
Note: The links in this article are NOT affiliate links. We will not earn commissions from the sale of this book. It is a genuine recommendation.
This is a really interesting concept. I'm familiar with feng shui, but it's not something I practice or necessarily believe in. I've never thought of applying it to the studio, though. There are definitely some spaces that feel better than others, some spaces that are more productive and condusive to creativity. I know that in my studio right now, I can feel very confined and restricted. It's frustrating, but unfortunately (because of space) there's not a lot I can change! A good cleaning and re-organization usually helps. Interesting post, thanks for the read!
I have read a fair amount of Feng shui books, and I have gleaned the info into two important basics: no clutter and remove all objects that give you any negative thoughts from your home.
Clutter creates stagnant and negative energy…kind of like points that prick you. In almost every case, the people who I have known who have very cluttered living spaces have far more challenging lives than those than those with clean and organized living spaces.
Give away, throw away or sell all the things you do not need. All those objects take up a piece of your brain. They really do! Even if you think you forgot about them. Free that bit of your brain up for other magnificent and nourishing things.
Clutter's Last Stand: It's Time To De-junk Your Life! by Don Aslett is a very good book that may help to inspire you to clear the clutter.
Any objects that remind you of a failure or any bad happening…get rid of them immediately! You want everything around you, everything you see to sing to your soul. To empower, uplift, and inspire you! YES!
Have a magnificent day!
Creative Genius Christine Marsh
Clutter… I'm looking at it everywhere! Boxes and boxes from our move still to be unpacked. So true what you said Christine – "You want everything around you, everything you see to sing to your soul."
"As artists we are particularly sensitive to environments because it is part of our calling to be sensitive to many things." This is my favorite line… b/c it is *so* true.
It's ironic, due to having 5-yr old triplets, my house is a complete disaster at any given time. But my studio is a haven, I am able to manage the ebb and flow of crust and clutter as I see fit and almost always have to clean my space after completing one project, before beginning another. I can feel the room closing in on me when my studio falls into disarray, cleaning and organizing gives me space to step into a new endeavour.
I'll have to read this book. The thought of increasing my level of comfort and productivity by making a few minor changes is exciting. I'll settle for a few studio upgrades at the moment. Tackling my house without a live-in maid (I wish!) seems daunting, if not impossible at the moment. 😉
I always use Feng Shui when I move house or into a new studio and I do really find it makes a difference. Try getting to sleep in a room where the bed is facing the wrong way! I go into a bit more detail about Hope you don't mind me posting the link.
Sorry, my html went a bit wonky there…never try coding on an iPad! I meant to say, I go into q bit more detail about areas of the studio you might want to look at in the light of Feng Shui 🙂