I received an email from an interviewer for an article on Brit&Co:
As I mentioned in my tweet, I am working on an article for Brit + Co about the importance of designating a space for personal creativity. I’m a freelance contributor for them, and I cover a wide range of lifestyle topics, including more general stories about creativity.
The piece I’m working on is meant to give readers a basic rundown of what it means to have a creative “retreat” (even if it’s just a small corner of a small apartment!) and why that kind of space is important for people who want to make room for more creativity in their lives. I also want to offer some specific tips for people on how to build this kind of retreat, particularly with limited space and budget!
Would you be open to answering a few questions about this topic via email? I want to have expert advice, and I think you’d be the perfect fit.
I thanked the journalist for reaching out but I feared I could not give her the information she wanted.
I answered her questions in an email:
How can people get around limitations in space and budget to create a retreat like this in their home?
You don’t actually need a physical space. I see it as a creative inner-space which can be done anywhere at any time. It’s the intention to take time out to play that’s important.
I’m an avid meditator and used to have an altar I would sit in front of. Over time, the altar just became a chair in my bedroom, and now I meditate anywhere I feel like it at any time.
At Brit + Co, we like to offer specific tips for readers wherever possible. Do you have any specific suggestions for how people can go about building/designing a creative retreat?
I find people can spend too much time designing their space and less time creating in it. It can be a distraction in a way and far too often I find that once all that energy has been spent setting up, people don’t really make the most of it.
Creativity can be easy. It doesn’t have to take much time to set up or gather the basics of what you need. For example, I have a painting board screwed into my wall in my living room with my paints and brushes already laid out with a cup of water. Even though I’m busy, throughout the day I find myself doing a stroke here or there or adding color.
Over time, short intervals add up. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish in 5 minutes! Plus, it keeps the energy flowing throughout my day.
What do you think is an ideal creative retreat?
It’s really very simple. Schedule time for yourself. Put it on your calendar and show up. That’s all that’s needed to get the ball rolling.
Commit to a certain amount of time and continue through all circumstances so distractions don’t get the best of you.
Turn off the phone. Stay away from social media. Working without music is also good too (unless making music is your creative outlet). Sometimes people are inspired by music as they do other creative endeavors but the more quiet you have, the more it encourages you to be present and dive deep within yourself.
Ali wrote back excited to change the direction of the article and happy with the way it turned out. If you’d like to read her article, you can here.
Wishing you creativity anytime and all the time!