You may think that if your studio is tidy, it will free you up to be more efficient, and therefore, you will produce more. Maybe that will help you in the execution stage of your work if you’re, say, a printmaker pulling prints, but it won’t help you come up with an interesting design for the next print. It’s always a mistake to equate productivity and creativity. They are not the same. In fact, they’re frequently at odds with each other: You’re often most creative when you’re the least productive.
| Austin Kleon
There’s a balance in a workspace between chaos and order. My friend John T. Unger has the perfect rule: Keep your tools organized and your materials messy. “Keep your tools very organized so you can find them,” he says. “Let the materials cross-pollinate in a mess. Some pieces of art I made were utter happenstance, where a couple items came together in a pile and the piece was mostly done. But if you can’t lay your hands right on the tool you need, you can blow a day (or your enthusiasm and inspiration) seeking it.”
The best studio tidying is a kind of exploring. I rediscover things as I work my way through the clutter. The reason I tidy is not really to clean, but to come into contact with something I’ve forgotten which I can now use.
This is a slow, dreamy, ruminative form of tidying. When I come across a long-lost book, for example, I flip to random pages and see if they have anything to tell me. Sometimes scraps of paper fall out of the book like a secret message from the universe.
I often stop tidying because I get swept up in reading... Tidying in the hope of obtaining perfect order is stressful work. Tidying without worrying too much about the results can be a soothing form of play.
When in doubt, tidy up.
| Austin Kleon
the work always has been spiritual. consider the altar at which you make it, that garden in your mind from which it emerges as sacred, and protect it as such.
As daily life is utterly financialized and cultural production wholly subsumed by capital, human endeavor cannot be understood outside of “work” or entrepreneurship, whether this is work on the self or on the job market. The conversion or reduction to the digital of almost every iota of human existence would seem to reduce art and entertainment (film, games), economics (banking, credit), and communication (personal, commercial) to a single plane of intangibility, to the ether.
What was not realized is that memory is primarily an imaginative process. In fact, learning, memory, and creativity are the same fundamental process directed with a different focus. The art and science of memory is about developing the capacity to quickly create images that link disparate ideas. Creativity is, in a sense, future memory.
| Tony Buzan