May 22, 2007

It's not Clutter... It's Creativity

The studio mess. Every artist's got one. Though I notice some manic sorts of artists actually line up their pencils and brushes in neat, color coordinated rows. Not me.

Actually I am very orderly. Except I'm the only one who knows the order. It's locked away in my mind in a sort of geographical location system. I successfully employ the studio GPS system of storing important papers and artwork. It's more based on location than category or date modified or anything else.

I built shelves galore... they line half my studio. I pile them with piles of sketches and folders. I still use real folders... with bright colors so they don't all look alike.

Lately I find that OSX has given my life new order. The ease of keeping everything in folders that can be instantly recalled has simplified so many things.
I am frightfully bad at using the calendar for anything. I usually notice the calendar page hasn't been forwarded until it's two months after the fact. By the end of the year there will only be 2 dates circled. I use iCalendar instead... sparsely.

One does worry begin to worry however... when I notice that a new secondary row of infringing stuff has begun to accumulate... adding to the row of original piles & boxes of stuff that line every inch of wall space.

But it's not clutter. It's creativity. Scientists have discovered that a static steady state system (clean studio) will not produce random elements (new ideas). On the other hand, once discordancy is introduced, then there are random elements in abundance.

Still there's no accounting for dust kitties.


gail said...

I knew it! I just knew it! There is a scientific correlation between clutter and creativity! I admit it. I'm a stacker. But you're right. Sometimes it's much easier it find something in a stack that I know, than filed away somewhere else.

I love getting to see other people's studios. Messy or not. OK, messy is better. ;) You can check out mine on my blog. I did a post about spring cleaning recently. You'll see a very clean studio. (When I do clean I go all out, but I know it won't stay that way once I get to work.) Oh, there is a messy photo too. :)

Thanks for giving us a peak into your world!

gail said...

Oh, I forgot to ask. Where can I pick up one of those "studio GPS systems"?


John Nez said...

I see... it all looks Admirably organized!

It also looks so very hot & bright compared to Seattle, where the heat's on, the sweaters are on and it's been raining more or less for 2 days straight!


Sam said...

Yes, scientists are exactly right. Clutter and creativity are linked. Somehow.

Anonymous said...

I love peeking into other artists studios as well...I was wondering about clutter and creativity myself just last week as I looked around my own messy studio. Thanks for this post John.

John Nez said...

Oh I'm sure that I'm just making excuses for being a slob. I doubt the same 'Creativity' excuse applies to my dresser, which is liberally piled with umpteen different items of clothing... all awaiting the rational mind to sort them out.

I'm sure the 'clean' gene must be inheirited though. I have one very tidy child and one total mess child. That's the only explanation!

Paula Pertile said...

Well, I'm one of those who keeps my pencils lined up according to color, (and am scarily "Monk"ish about it), but that's the absolutamente only thing I do that with!!!! Everything else is piles and stacks and chaos.

I'm bad with the calendar too. I somehow keep it all in my head.

Doug said...

at first glance I thought that first picture was a fabulous buffet spread! After clicking on the picture and seeing it blown up, I realized none of it was edible... sigh. :o)

It's always fun to see others workspaces... thanks!

gail said...

"I see... it all looks Admirably organized!" family would soooo laugh at that! (Remember I had just gotten a new bookcase-everything "starts" out clean!)

Very sunny and hot right now for sure. But I love the light I get and when the weather is nice, I love to swing those doors open and enjoy the outdoors... I took pics yesterday and sent some to Barbara Johansen Newman. Seems there's a run on studio voyeurism. There's a whole "You show me yours and I'll show you mine." thing over at right now you might want to check out.

Dare I post more photos of my studio on my blog? People are going to start to think I'm bragging! :)


PG said...

Nice big studio! Always good to see someone elses'space - I have to confess to being one of the anal types about order and pencils lined up properly...