Photo courtesy of Malta Creative Collective (2018)
A bit of a different post this week.
Last night I went out. Not out out (that is a rare occurrence indeed these days), but out after dark, which hasn’t happened so much since becoming a mum.
I recently discovered Malta Creative Collective and their monthly ‘Creative Collection’ event, and after a few emails (‘am I creative enough to come along?!’) I was asked if I wanted to speak about my work as a KonMari consultant in training, and the benefits of tidying for creativity.
Well. Yes I did.
I genuinely can’t remember the last time I had such an interesting and inspirational evening (apologies, obviously, to my wife and others who I spend after-dark hours with).
I spoke for around 10 minutes at the beginning of the event as Carla and Ross had kindly understood my babysitting dilemmas (mainly not keeping the baby at the babysitter’s too late – not an issue in the end as he fell asleep on her after a plate of mashed potato….).
After outlining my role and the KonMari method, I discussed some of the advantages of being an organised creative. I find that there’s a popular perception that to be truly artistic or creative, you can’t be organised. The two are often made out to be incompatible, as though knowing where your materials are somehow makes you less authentic. Of course not everybody believes this – I’m simply identifying a stereotype that I’ve come across repeatedly in my work as a teacher, friend of creative types, and Tidying Consultant.
I’ve added the main advantages of improved organisation for those in creative or artistic roles here, for your very own perusal. Many of these will also apply for those in other roles, and many jobs are more creative than one would think at first. My pre-KonMari teacher self would have leapt on many of these benefits.
- More efficient use of time. The KonMari method is sustainable – tidying by category means that you don’t repeat yourself, so once knives (for example) are done, you won’t keep finding more to add to your newly organised drawer.
- An inspired space. Your workspace, post Tidying Festival, will contain only items that you find interesting or lovely. This isn’t to say that what’s there is all looks and no substance – the loveliness may well come from excellent function rather than appearance (e.g. a marvellously sharp pair of scissors or an extra smooth ballpoint pen). Because you personally appreciate all of the items in your space, they are more enjoyable. Therefore your daily work is inherently more enjoyable.
- Logical Storage. All alike materials and items are in one place so your space is quite simply easier to work in. Your use of time is more productive. More time in the studio or workshop can be spent doing what you love and less spent thinking ‘I know I’ve seen it…somewhere…’
- Creativity may increase. On having that ‘wow’ moment, that brilliant flash of inspiration, you can get started on an idea before it bubbles off into the ether as you’re not rummaging for specific items. More time is spent in that glorious state of ‘flow’, where time disappears and you’re focused entirely on the creative process.
- Improved public perception. A tidied workspace means that you can respond faster to enquiries, improve your rate of order fulfilment, and even create a more positive perception amongst visitors to your space – what they see when they enter is a creative person taking their work seriously.
After enthusing (a tad wildly, I feel) on all things KonMari, I sat back and was introduced to the work of three other creatives working in Malta:
- RoArt Ceramics (Instagram: @roartceramics)
Robbie spoke passionately about her journey up to her current position as a ceramicist. She’s inspired largely by the sea, its colours and life forms. Her use of natural textures alongside glossy shades really resonated with me, and her current work of Maltese door representations used jewel bright colours to contrast with the muted clay.
- A-Collective Architects (IG @a_collective)
Patti and Steve spoke of their desire to grow their collective, where each worker focuses on their speciality (e.g. graphic design, structural architecture, style elements) further, in order to give the client a truly bespoke and tailored experience. Their photos of previous projects had me wondering if they would consider a project on an old Victorian semi in Watford, but I feel they will have bigger fish to fry!
- PickyMouse (IG @Pickymousemalta)
With beautiful products from her online concept store – ‘for picky mice everywhere’, Pickymouse talked with real feeling about the need for alternatives to the big brand, fast-fashion approach that is ubiquitous here in Malta. From chocolate to handbags, she has curated a unique selection of really beautiful items. In particular the handbags had me captivated. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on her store when I next need a gift or new item for my wardrobe.
We then heard a snippet from other newcomers to the group. I was so pleasantly surprised by the variety we had in one small room – photographers (documentary and photo shoot), personal stylist, jewellery designer, architects, painter….. the list goes on. It really was a transformative evening in terms of my perception of Malta. Of course I knew that there were pockets of creativity and people doing all of these things, but the coming together of them was incredibly powerful. Already as one (amazingly talented) photographer outlined his plans for a photo book, he had supportive comments and suggestions from all corners of the room. We were all pretty blown away by his ability to capture the intricacies and everyday nature of Maltese life in a single shot.
I know I certainly left determined to support these artisans by buying local and making an active effort to choose ‘small’ over international or national organisations.
Do you work in a creative role? Are you starting your own venture within a creative sector? Follow MCC on Instagram or Facebook for details of their next event. Highly recommended.
TL;DR? I went out at night. To a gallery. I spoke to a group of creatives about KonMari and the benefits of organisation. I heard them speak about their ventures. I wanted All The Beautiful Things. Shop Local.