Hello! July can be a slow month for many reasons. One, it’s vacation time for a lot of people. Two, it’s the peak of summer here in the US. But head closer to August and the action picks up again. And so it is at OUATT. After a brief lull, it feels good to be writing here again. As OUATT and Collectivitea get bigger, I am realizing that my joy still comes first from writing here. Today, I want to talk about the importance of a creative space. What do I mean by that? By creative space, I mean a dedicated place where you express your creativity. We’ve moved beyond the traditional definitions of creativity as something to do with arts, crafts and hobbies, and are realizing that creativity is where we express our most authentic selves. Being creative is to go deep within ourselves and come up with new thoughts and ideas. To innovate technological solutions, to figure out a research plan , to draw, to paint, to write, to photograph, to compose, to experiment. For a scientist, a creative space can be their lab. For someone else, it can be their office. And for another, it can be a potting shed in their backyard or a corner of their dining table. A greenhouse. A dark room. A desk by a window. A space where you do the work that you love.
Whatever you love to do, to have a space that allows you to express your creativity is very important. When i think of all the rooms and even the bedroom closet (which has much more cachet after Harry Potter’s cupboard under the stairs!) that I have created to write, to photograph and to daydream in, there are three features that stand out. 1) It is a dedicated space. Meaning that once I go in there, I do what I love doing. I can sit in silence and mull things. I can write. I can stare at the pictures on the wall in search of answers. 2) It’s free of interruptions and distractions. I am not in a high-traffic area where someone can easily spot me and realize that they need me for something or the other. 3) It looks appealing- this doesn’t mean ‘decorated’. I think I’m really moving away from this idea of decor for decor’s sake. Rather, I want it to be appealing in that colors, the light, the patterns and the things in this room mean something to me. Or better still, are conducive to my creative process. Maybe they are treasured possessions that reassure. Or pictures that connect you to a pattern that only you can see. In my opinion, it is important that you create such a space. Or maybe all you need is a shower stall? What do you think? Write in with your thoughts- do we need a creative space or can we be creative anywhere?
Image credits: Studio OUATT