Would I rather create art, or enjoy a decluttered, simplified space?

Right now we share our home with another family member, so I no longer have an art room. All my art supplies--and sewing supplies--are now crammed into the room my husband and I share as office/hobby room/whatever room, and it's driving me nuts.

I keep going back and forth, trying to figure out which is stronger, my desire to create art, or my desire to have our home as decluttered and simple as it can be.

It's hard to decide. One day I'll feel that my art wins out. The next day I'm back to hating how cramped and overloaded this space feels, and my desire for empty spaces and simplicity wins out.

At least twice now recently I've thrown out a lot of my art supplies--various papers, books, magazines, and other odd pieces that go into mixed media art, then I've turned around and restocked them again.

Today as I was putting gesso on the pages of a book I was going to alter for an art journal, the thought again started nagging at me: do I really want to keep all this stuff around, or would I rather pare it down, enjoy the simplified space, but still be able to pick up a sketchbook or my paints if I wanted to? Could I be content just to LOOK AT the mixed media art others create, but not feel longing that I no longer had the supplies to make my own, IF I decide to thin out my art supplies again?

Some questions I'm asking myself:

Q.  With the more limited energy I have now, is it worth the hassle of constantly trying to streamline and organize all this extraneous art stuff, or is it more important to have EVERY room in our house easy to keep clean because it's decluttered, maybe even minimal, and doesn't take long to keep it looking good?
A.  Right now I'd have to say that I want this room to be the same as the others in our home, simple and decluttered, not a mess that I'd have to apologize for if somebody saw it.

Q.  Do I HAVE to do mixed media art, with all the clutter and piles of paper that seems to entail, or could I feel just as creative with a more limited amount of art and/or sewing supplies, an amount that could be taken out easily to use, then stored neatly again when I was through with a project?
A.  No, I don't HAVE to do mixed media art. I could have a small container of supplies for paper clay work, a small container of drawing/painting supplies, and a pared down collection of fabrics. I'd still have plenty of ways to be creative.

What it comes down to is deciding that, even though a mixed media artist can find a use for just about ANY scrap of paper, when room is limited (for whatever reason), if peace of mind is important (and it is when it comes to my house and clutter), something's got to go.

I'm 90% sure that I'd prefer decluttered and simplified, so I think I'll just do another pass-through on all my supplies and see what I can get rid of. Usually I have no problem with decluttering; my art supplies are my biggest challenge.

We'll see what I can do with them...

1 comment:

  1. My art supplies are my biggest decluttering challenge too. I have way too much craft stuff, but I'm finding it really hard to get rid of any of it, in case I need it later. I think I would actually create more if I had less stuff though, as there are too many choices for me to make with my current level of supplies. Also there's always new stuff that looks great and I want to add to my stash too. I'm going to try to hold off buying anything for as long as possible, try to gradually cull my collection and set some time aside to actually use some of the supplies that I already have.


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