30 May 2016

Day 19: Decorating my Creative Space with Inspirational Reminders

I thrive in space filled with organized chaos - it's the only way I can feel comfortable creating new awesomeness.

In the back room of a thrift store almost a year ago, I found a sewing machine. It was mint and cream colored and the wood was light and scratched up. Some drawers opened and were filled with even more treasures. Other drawers were missing handles; their treasures would be revealed later on.

Like any hipster looking to furnish their new space, I ran to it, claimed it by leaning on it (after taking pictures of course) and excitedly texted Roger. He needed to come now - I'd found the most perfect desk in the universe and it had to be mine this second. Nay - 30 seconds ago! 

I'm sure he rolled his eyes as he drove over to arrange the purchase. 
I was too busy clapping my hands, bouncing up and down, grinning ear to ear... 
you know how I get.

Then it sat in our living room for a year. We tried to make it desk-y, but failed over and over again. Mainly it just collected mail and dust.

Then today I noticed I hadn't done any real work all weekend. I turned to Roger and asked him to clear off my desk.

I got a face that was less than enthusiastic, but he lovingly obliged. 

We put away various pieces of crap from the last year and I got to decorating my creative space.

There's a tiny window I can look out where all I can see are leaves waving in the wind. Seriously - I don't even enjoy nature, but this is bloody gorgeous.

Sunlight through moving leaves with tiny birds flitting in and out of view seems something straight up outta Disney, yo! Nevermind the f*ckin' scampering squirrels! *dies of cute*

Little tokens of inspiration displayed on my window sill:
(right to left)
My lil Clyde, randomly thrifted chipmunk, Apple Hi-Chew from my bishop,
tiny vase with fake sakura blossoms, Ferdy the Felted Fox by Katy Kristin

The window sill proudly displays why I'm even creating. Clyde the Orange PacMan Ghost was one of the first things I've made and will be the first nerd JERK Crochet Pattern I debut in June. I know some of you are pretty excited for this. It's gonna be a minute (probably the end of June), but it's happening, dagnabbit! 

I gave Clyde as a gift to my autobio comic hero, Jeffrey Brown, back in 2009 at a comic convention for his son. I also left him my first comic book, Harry the Hipster Busts a Nut, to check out. I asked him to let me know what he thought of it, mainly because I didn't have much confidence in a comic I'd done in 24 hours. But he was gracious and wrote me a thank you card with a sketch of him and his son playing with my toy, which his son affectionately named "Orange Face." 

As my renewed entrepreneurial hustle is due to my own tiny son, Ellie, I wanted to look at "Orange Face" so he could remind me that when Ellie grows up looking at this in my space, there will be a meaningful story to go along with it.

The thrifted chipmunk is of no consequence. ;D I've just always felt he ought to be on my window sill, begging to go play with those other squirrely mo-fos.

The Hi-Chew is kind of a big deal. For those of you who know-know me, you know I'm LDS. Lately, I haven't been the best representation of a traditional Mormon. In fact, it has been said that I'm a bit of an "Oxy-Momon." I totes own that - I've never been traditional in anything I've done. But I also think that gives me some unique perspective in my beliefs. Something that LDS folks really like to focus on is service to others. My bishop gave me his favourite Hi-Chew to let me know he loves me and believes in me. I was super hungry, but I didn't eat it.

I kept that candy as a reminder that no matter how hard it gets and how much I f*ck up,
I still have someone who loves me.

Ferdy the Felted Fox was made for me as a gift from my good friend, Katy Kristin. I've always admired her art (even before I'd known who she was. She draws all the hand-painted signs back home at the Westlake Trader Joe's) and just worshipped the way she captured cute. So when she made me a bright red fox with a tiny mint collar complete with a teeny jingle bell, I just about bawled my eyes out. 

I have community of lovely supportive humans who want me to succeed.
This book is also for them.

This Book Nook is filled with stuff I love...
My tiny house is basically all cooking stuff and books. Any wall that has space for a shelf is taken up by a shelf & filled to the brim with old friends. Over the last year, I've organized the shelf immediately to my left with my very most favourite books (a separate blog post all on its own), but it seemed only fair to have a reference section on the desk for cool shit I would need to look at over and over.

When I saw Real Artists Have Day Jobs by Sara Benincasa on the shelf at Rediscovered Books (click link for Staff Picks) in Downtown Boise, I just about whizzed myself. 

The struggle of combining the 9-5 with creative business-ing is f*ckin' real, my blog-bros.

While I've only thumbed through and read random snippets, it's hilarious and perfect for my specific set of circumstances. Chin up, mon'amie - we can make things happen slowly, but awesomely. ;)

I already talked about how f*ckin amazeballs Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is in a previous post. I won't prattle on much more - except to say it gets even better and makes me wanna be a better human.

When I was in the middle of a consultation with my new client, Rochelle Cunningham, I was checkin' out her amazing little house. One of the things she had on her desk was "The Writer's Handbook." When I picked up her self-published paperback & started flipping through, I found several quotes that spoke to me. I had no idea it was a book full of daily inspiration for writers of all levels. THAT'S the kind of thing my mom would love... so now I love it.

Here were a few that jumped out to me:

"In writing, you must kill all you darlings." - William Faulkner

"Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay rent." - Neil Gaiman

"Writer's block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they have an excuse to drink alcohol." - Steve Martin

AND MY FAVOURITE (not only cos I'm a geek, but cos I'm emo-ish):

"Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke!" - Joss Whedon

Working happily in my cozy corner of cuteness...
Then there's Austin Kleon's Steal Like an Artist (cos what creative human's desk is complete without that?!) and a thesaurus-rex so I don't bore you with the same words over and over.

Yes - I'm aware that thesaurus.com exists. But perhaps you didn't notice the Polaroid camera post-it dispenser? Maybe you're not familiar with my obsession for ancient "tech"... so I'm not gonna judge. But seriously - you started it.


I've also got my cute felt coaster from my sister from another mister, Rebecca Saylor, so I don't cause any additional damage to this poor ol' machine's surface and some tiny coloured pencils with trendy AF shades. It's a good time.

As you can see, I'm happy here. Like, SUPER happy in this tiny place. Surrounding myself with meaningful awesomeness actually made me work for the last 3 hours without complaining (which is almost unheard of)! 

More writing, more researching, more exciting/relaxing time ahead!

Love and hugs, home skillets.

- Steph

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