Tag Archives: environments

Changing Seasons

New Spring Bulbs and Wildflowers

New Spring Bulbs and Wildflowers

Spring has come upon us suddenly here in Southern California. Many places further North still have snow. Meanwhile back in Australia, people are starting to mention cooler weather in their Facebook feeds.

Seasons’ change always gives me a burst of different energy. Going into fall then winter, because for me it’s the holidays, are always full of new creativity. There are things to make and do, my daughter’s birthday in October, and cards to reconnect with people. I was moving this year and didn’t get to send any handmade cards. The holidays felt a little off kilter because of that.

Now that it is Spring, the energy of renewal is everywhere. People are talking of gardening and cooking. I have started itching to write, itching to make some new dolls and itching started get on a couple of projects that have been percolating inside my mind over the winter.

I try to enjoy the moment, but some future planning must be done. Just like planning a garden, the expectation in starting projects now, is that they will come to fruition later in the summer. I have travel plans, convention plans, entertaining plans, and publication deadlines.

I’m excited. I just want to make stuff!

How can you use the change in seasons to inspire creativity?

  • When seasons change, nature is busy. It’s a great time to take those re-energizing walks we like and look out and around.
  • Change your home environment. Some people change all their drapes, pillows and even artwork. Perhaps you will like to change the layout of your furniture to take advantage of the window instead of the fireplace, or move your writing station to a different part of the house.
  • Re-organize your inspirational pin board if you have one. When something visual is left to sit, it can start being ignored. What can you remove from your board that is not relevant? Are there different connections that weren’t obvious in the middle of winter? Maybe some of the ideas there have already been expressed and can be retired.
  • Food, food, food. The warmth of chowders is ready to give way to fruity smoothies and aqua frescas in the northern hemisphere, while the last of the summer fruit salads will soon be replaced by stews and roasts as winter comes. The change of seasons when so many magazines and bloggers start publishing new recipes is a good time to try something new.
  • Resolutions are not just for New Year’s Day. Chances are your resolutions have already suffered. What if you consider your resolutions to be quarterly affairs based around the seasons instead? Personally I think it is easier to start something new when the whole of nature is bursting with energy than in the very dark of winter when it is man-made calendars that define the new beginning.

Working Environments

Here's my Racedeck by Snaplock flooring in my studio - soon to be painted.

Here’s my Racedeck by Snaplock flooring in my studio – soon to be painted.

Still moving house

The busy time continues, as we are moving in to our new house. So far I have laid a fantastic new floor in my workshop, and started painting the walls. It will be wonderful to have all my tools, stash and books around me.

It got me thinking about geography and space planning. The environment where I set out to do creative  work matters to me. It either helps or hinders. Trying to write or sketch, trying to design or research, even just playing with scraps are made tougher for me when I’m surrounded by visual noise, clutter or present reminders of housework not done.

Then there’s ergonomics – spaces, tools and furniture made to enhance usability. For me that means being able to get at stuff without having to move other stuff aside first. It means not having to thread my way around furniture, boxes or stacks of anything. It means being able to roll my chair from one station to another, and having enough flat space to lay out a project without losing elements under other materials.

I’ll post more of my organization methods as I finish our big move.

Ways of Working

Being in the midst of hustle and bustle and construction got me thinking about different  working environments.

When I was young the powers that be would recommend turning off all “distractions” from homework. I get that, and I like silence and a sense of cocooning for heavy thinking work, like mind storming or serious research.

But I notice that some people prefer something that is effectively white noise. Some want music. When I am sewing or other crafty work I feel energized by the perception of presence near me, so I put on a talk radio station. When I’m screenwriting I often play music that I imagine could be in the soundtrack.

That’s the heart of it – what energizes you for work? Classic rock, or familiar tunes? Silence or the sounds of nature? Books on tape?

What helps you think or explore ideas? Silence, headphones, classical music, wave sounds.

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Optimism! It’s wonderful. And soon it will be my favorite time of the year. I hope everyone enjoys preparing for the holidays.