Artistic Clutter and the art of tidying up vs the creative muse.

January is almost gone, with it’s abundance of to-do lists, aspirations, plans for the months to come. I made a list as long as my arm of wishful hopes for this new year, though I’m struggling to find the energy to put my plans into action.

Looking at my work space – tidying it being the first line of my to-do list – make me I want to bury my head in the sand, or at least under my fluffy duvet, for at least another few weeks.

  1. Tidy Work Space.

Now by tidy, this first means making a path from my ironing board to my sewing machine. Collecting up the discarded bits of fabric into one box. Putting all my cotton reels back into one space. Scrapping blobs of beeswax off the floor…. you get the picture. My work space is a veritable symphony of untidiness and whilst I will never be regularly tidy, having a bit of long term order in the clutter feels like something I really want to achieve this year.

Looking at all the STUFF I have in this small work space of mine, it does make me wonder if as artists we are destined to work from a cluttered space – does having lots of things around and about us, out of place, juxtaposed in unusual ways, make for productivity, creativity, inspiration? Would the same ideas flow if we were forever confined to a neat and orderly space? Would I consider putting fabrics together in patchwork in quite the way I do if they had not happened to fall haphazardly together while I was rummaging through the bag of cotton scraps?

I’m still puzzling it as I avoid the job of sorting and tidying that I know I must get started on soon. What do you think? Are we too busy having creative ideas to be tidy? Or would our creativity flow easier, faster if we had clear spaces around us as we work? How do you keep your work spaces clear, or do you work in a cacophony of clutter?

I want to know!

P.S Happy Belated New Year.




2 thoughts on “Artistic Clutter and the art of tidying up vs the creative muse.

  1. good read, and yes I also work in a total bourach, but sometimes feel oppressed by it all. A tidy workspace is a liberation, but not quite enough to make me tidy up regularly!


  2. I live in organised chaos. There’s a place near me, for each new thing I start. For the yarn etc needed for the next project. Eventually things get moved away from me, bit like a conveyor belt. The living room becomes too cluttered, then things get moved into my ‘cave’, which really needs sorting. Yes, I need to see what there is, what I am working on and what I plan to do, or it gets forgotten. So much is in my head, if I write down ideas in a notebook, it gets lost, so, there are quite a few notebooks about. They also get used for counting rows, writing out patterns etc. There’s a place for everything, if I can remember where that place is, in 3 different rooms. Definitely organised chaos, I’m content.


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