Irritation and the meme

I spend more time than is possibly healthy on sites like Pinterest. While I find the images for the most part inspiring, I’ve also found I’m getting irritated by a particular meme.

No, it’s not grumpy cats or anything to do with cheezburgers… it’s the regularly repeated idea that ‘mess’ = ‘creativity’ and/or vice versa.

Why is this irritating me? It’s the perfect excuse to ignore housework and live in chaos… which would be fine if my creativity worked like that.

But it doesn’t.

I use mess to shut down my creativity: to bury the muse with clutter so I can silence her terrifying voice.

My muse thrives on clear spaces,

on an environment filled with meaning and order,

in a place where I can grab what I need easily and there’s a surface already clear to work on.

I don’t begrudge others their creative mess, or judge them for their different approach. In many ways, I envy their ability to contact their muse without having to vacuum the floors and remove the clutter first…

So, please excuse me if I don’t ‘Like’ those cute sayings about creative messes on your boards and walls. It’s not that I don’t ‘Like’ you or appreciate your creativity. It’s just that I don’t like feeling shut out of the creative community because I crave order and space…

Author: verdant1

belly dancer, mother, student, public servant, shaman, knitter, sister, feminist, gardener and a lot more...

4 thoughts on “Irritation and the meme”

  1. I can certainly appreciate your position. In the clutter or even managed chaos there is the tendency to prevaricate. I know there is such a thing as a space that is so tidy that to engage in any creative activity would not work. It can be a fine balance.

    I grew up in my artist father’s studio. I was a sprawling flat of the same floor plan as the one we lived in a floor below. It was never dusted, my mother did not come there very often, but was so big it could not really ever be said to be cluttered. It was a wondrous place to spend time. To watch and absorb and learn. Granted it did not prepare me to live in the 20th century let alone the 21st, perhaps, being more like a Renaissance master’s atelier. I was a space dedicated to creative endeavour.

    It also depends like my father on whether one has a truly dedicated studio space, which I believe you say that you do, downstairs was it . . . and how much room there is to spread out and have multiple projects on the go. I have a space in the loft, but I also have three indoor cats who also like to have the run of the ground and first floor as well as the loft room. It is quite tidy, but I’ve not really claimed it yet for a working space, as I also have an office room where I do my writing.

    I find I am still quite restless and can’t settle on any project at the moment. It does help to read about how others deal with the dilemmas of how to handle the creative process though. All the creative people I know I engage with on the internet one way or another, which is super, though it would be nice to have someone with whom to have a cup of tea and a biscuit and discuss works in progress with in person, the triumphs and the challenges.

    I appreciate what you say here on this subject.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing , Aurora. You are so right about that fine balance – in my own case, I suspect there’s little danger of things becoming too tidy any time soon! (Maybe once the kids leave home and take their Lego with them…)

    Your father’s studio sounds like a wonderful place. I, too, have to share mine with a cat (just the one) and also have to be prepared for ‘visitors’ arriving at high speed (“Mum, can I…”) which does limit what I leave out. Much of my creative output in recent years has been knitted, beaded or sewn, which means it can be easy to put away, and I don’t have to worry about drying times (all of it has been sat on by a certain furball…)

    A cup of tea and a chat would be grand – but at least we can connect online for now (which part of the world are you in? I’m in Wellington, New Zealand) Maybe we can co-ordinate our biscuit times 😉


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