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Clutter, Minimalism, and Artist's Block

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, Dec. 26, 2016
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-royalty free stock photo

When I went to see Assassin's Creed last week, there was a scene where the main character was sitting in a nearly empty room with a small twin sized bed as its only furnishing. I turned to my sister and said, “I wish my room could be like that.” Her response was less than flattering. She laughed and she laughed and laughed.

I have always wanted to be a minimalist. Now, wanting to be a minimalist and actively living a lifestyle that promotes minimalism are two separate ideas entirely. One day a friend said to me, “You like anime. There is no way you could ever be a minimalist.” Generalizations aside and apologies to those reading who are offended by such a statement. I did not know how to react to such a candid statement at the time. I knew that it was not cool to group people in stereotypes based on a particular interest.

One thing is certain, I am definitely not a minimalist. I tend to acquire things and one of my quirks is that I tend to buy things in multiples. My preference for drawing using traditional tools does not help cut back on clutter as I like to save every single original sketch that I have ever drawn because I can not bring myself to shred them even after I have scanned them into the computer. The greatest challenge I have faced in the past year was that my work space was starting to become the reason for my artist block because my table was always covered in “stuff” that added to my apathy of being productive in making art. It is almost sad to admit that my submission for the Secret Santa art exchange was the first piece of art I was able to create this year.

As a Christmas present for myself, I dedicated all of Christmas Eve to the full cleaning and redesign of my room. I placed my computer/drawing desk facing the outside window so I can draw using natural light during the day. It was a amazing to sit down at my clutter-free table this morning and feeling the cloud of artist block slowly lift.


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anonymous?

bravo1102 at 11:30PM, Dec. 26, 2016

My wife is over the boarder. But I have grown accustomed. When I was itinerant I kept my possessions few and only met my basic needs. Something I did in the Army and try to do on vacation. When you have to carry everything on your back you learn to pack light. But live in a house for 20 years and stuff builds up, layer upon layer and you have clutter. I have pieces of furniture I haven't seen in years because it is buried under layers of stuff.

KimLuster at 8:36AM, Dec. 26, 2016

Not just art - we can't stand to get rid of ANYTHING! We're borderline hoarders haha! Well, not really, but really, every room... all the walls are stacked with shelves full of stuff... and couple rooms in the house just serve as giant closets! :D

Banes at 6:43AM, Dec. 26, 2016

The clutter has spread through my place so that almost every room has random papers stacked here, books over there, and odds and ends all over. I haven't drawn as much this past year or two either - I didn't think there was a connection, but now I think there must be! I've done a little clearing in the past few weeks, but the papers are spreading again! Maybe it does clutter the mind as well; makes sense! Sorry about your mom, Udyr

Udyr at 3:58AM, Dec. 26, 2016

I know how you feel, in my case Its no way I for the time being could live "minimalistic", my mother recently passed and i and live in a tiny apartment so its stuffed with her stuff from her old apartment. Not the best working-enviroment but usually i go outside of the house to draw if I can. Luckily ill move out in a few weeks but as youre saying truth is it really does something to your motivation to be creative... Or to be anything, really! Now that your desk is all neat just make sure it stays that way! (The hardest part haha).


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