Creative environments can inspire your best work.
“The moment I got a very big studio, everything took off.”
“California is always in my mind.”
~ David Hockney
I never used to put much stock in Virginia Woolf’s concept that “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” The money part, sure. We all have to deal with the reality of paying for food, shelter, and the necessities of life. But a requirement to have a certain kind of space in order to create? Nah.
As scrappy entrepreneurs and creators, we pride ourselves on being able to “work from anywhere”—whether in a café, at our kitchen table, in the library, a hotel lobby, a shared office space, or in seat 9C on a transatlantic flight.
That business of our requiring creative environments or a certain kind of space was just yet another delay tactic keeping us from doing Our Work. (Kind of like the person wanting to start a new fitness regime saying she’ll get started as soon as she finds the right gym to join.) Right?
Well, maybe not.
Seeing & Creating with New Eyes
I was watching a documentary on artist David Hockney (The Art of Seeing) recently and was struck by how his creativity took a dramatic turn when he moved from England to California and into a larger studio. His new environs and expansive studio gave him a fresh, vibrant perspective and literally enough space to paint enormous works.
Hockney lived in California for 30 years before returning to Yorkshire to paint landscapes in a groundbreaking, new way. He transplanted himself in order to see and paint with new eyes, albeit in a familiar setting, with influences from his life in the United States.
“I’ve always been running away…from London anyway,” said Hockney.
What I believe he meant was that he is always running away from not only too many distractions and being recognized, but also he is running toward fresh landscapes to study and immerse himself in. New creative environments.
That is, by pulling himself up by the roots and transplanting himself into new spaces within which to create, Hockney stirs his creative tanks and gifts himself rich, novel fodder to fuel his inspiration.
Dreaming of Dedicated, Creating Space
I’ll confess that for the last several weeks, I have become a tad obsessed with the idea of my having a dedicated studio within which I could create and teach. I have begun to see the space in my mind’s eye and see myself there—sketching, painting, writing, and hosting mind-blowing and heart-expanding programs/workshops/retreats for my entrepreneur coaching clients that take their enterprises into the stratosphere.
In my mind, I try on the image of the studio being located here in the North Carolina mountains, along the rugged shores of western Ireland, in a small village in Provence, and from a room in southern Italy looking out onto the Adriatic Sea. Each image and film reel clip in my brain fills me with a crisp, plucky excitement and electric pulse throughout my entire body.
Such settings would provide both my clients and me with an opportunity to be infected not only by the spell of stunning surroundings, fresh insights, and unparalleled inspiration, but also the magic of creative environments and the gift of luxuriating in gorgeous spaces, dedicated to unleashing our best work. Work that includes breakthrough visioning for crafting and bringing alive the businesses and lives we dream of having.
Where do you feel and behave as if you believe the truth that you are limitless?
Perhaps it is time for you to do a little root pulling, too, even if just for a weekend. What mini experiment could you run to see how place and space impacts your mind and heart and business, as well as your creative output and perspective?
There is alchemical power to the impact of spaces and places on our creativity, and it is within our reach. And like David Hockney, we can run right toward it.