Creativity Time Management

by Kristal Wick, Author, Designer and Instructor, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

I think we all feel there's no longer 24 hours in a day. Along with budget cuts, there seems to be time cuts as well, and 24 hours feels significantly less these days! That's why it's even more important than ever to fit in your creativity time. Time to tap into that juicy vortex where you lose yourself and forget about jobs, kids, money worries and what's for dinner. Creativity time gets swept away with the every day debris, considered a luxury reserved for "when I have time." Don't we all know by now, "when I have time" is a myth?

There are a few ways to make this creativity thing work in our busy lives. First off, we must declare it important enough to honor. I have been inspired by the renowned artist, Mary Engelbreit, for years. The story of her mom designating a linen closet as Mary's "studio" when Mary was a child certainly played into Mary's success and artistic self-esteem. Having a parent believe and support your dreams as a child has a pivotal effect in YOU believing in your dreams. OK, so clearly we all didn't have Mary Engelbreit's folks growing up but it's never too late to create and nurture our own childhoods. Age has nothing to do with it, so start now!

Second, we should set up a place to work in that is all our own. For those of you living in Manhattan, a linen closet would feel like the Taj Mahal! Everyone, no matter what size living environment, can set up his or her ''studio" even if it's simply a rolling 3-drawer plastic chest. One of the best places for ideas is IKEA. They are the space-saving gurus of this millennium, in my humble opinion! Wander their aisles or get a catalog for brilliant spatial ideas.

Third, one of the keys to creativity time management is leaving your supplies out. I realize this will probably end up getting me on the Hoarders TV show, but I find it hard to remember everything I have. The biggest killjoy in the creativity flow is the time it takes to pull everything out and put it all back each time your muse visits. This is why a room with a door comes in handy! It is possible to be organized and still have things at the ready with see-through bins that are clearly labeled; admittedly I tend to be more of the former.

Black Poly Tote

Plano® Storage System

Number four--bring it with you. You'd be surprised at how much time is wasted in waiting. Waiting to pick up the kids from soccer practice, waiting at the doctor's office, waiting to catch a plane. These lost minutes can be captured in doing a few more stitches on that peyote cuff, or stringing those hundreds of seed beads for your new necklace design. Set up your traveling workstation, slip it in a colorful bag or purse and keep it in your car.

Here's one of my faves:

Traveling Bead Mat

You can also use an old cigar box; sturdy, flat and easy to transport. Find them free or for a few bucks at any cigar store. Let it air out in the sunshine or spray with an air freshener safe for the surface, for a more pleasing scent.

As James Taylor sings, "The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time." The next phrase James sings in that song is "any fool can do it," so we know we're in good company and it's possible! Declare your creativity as an important nutrient in your daily life--like taking your vitamins or eating broccoli! Feed your soul by using every spare moment beading and you'll be one happy camper ... guaranteed!

Customer Comments

We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article, "Creativity Time Management," featured in the a newsletter. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.

"Thank so so much for this article and others that Fire Mountain provides. It helps me to not give up even if I am 60 yrs old. I appreciate reading article like these. Thank you again."
- Elsie

"Good-short-inspirational solid examples. Thanks"
- Mary

"Enjoyed her article. Encouraging and informative."
- Gail

"Excellent article, really enjoy her upbeat style of writing and encouragement to others."
- Heidi

"Dear Kristal, thanks for the article, I am a new jewelry designer and need all the helpful hints you can give me. I hope to make my beautiful daughters bracelets for Christmas. They are 50 and 47 years old and are fussy, HA! Sincerely,"
- Patty

- Norma

"I thoroughly enjoyed Kristal's article on creative time management. It totally reinforced my new mantra in life, "To make time for me". After all the years of putting off my time for everyone else's needs (which is necessary when the kids are little), I went thru breast cancer. It awakened a need that most of us ignore, our time to be creative. My recovery centered around developing my many creative talents that I had ignored for so long. I found my love of jewelry a start. When I found your company I was just thrilled at all the products, pricing, and educational support you offer your customers. You have helped my recuperation from a terrible disease be a whole lot more bearable, creative and most of all Fun! I'm looking forward to sharing all my work with the public and selling my creations. I totally agree with Kristal, that making that time should be a priority in everyone's life. I made my children an art center when they were young and it was great for them and their friends. I now have a room all my own, lined from wall to wall with jewelry and art making supplies. That is where I go for me and live in what my son calls "Mom's beadland."Using your creativity to fight something like cancer is such a fun productive pursuit instead of letting it get you down. Thank you for all your help towards my Recovery. I'll forever be a loyal customer, I love you all. Thanks,"
- Carol

"Finally!!! Kristal said it. Leaving everything out where it is visible inspires creativity!! Thank you, Thank you. "
- Robyn

"Excellent!!! It's is so comforting to know that people are willing to share challenges that typically relate to the masses. I truly admire Fire Mountain for their genuine concern for the growth and development of an Artist. To simply review your gallery and how to complete projects is so inspirational. Ooodles of thanks and appreciation."
- Joyce

"Your article on time resource management for beading is a good one. I appreciate the suggestion of squeezing in some beading at the doctor's office, soccer practice, etc. Unfortunately if anyone out there is like. there is no way I can do any beading unless I set aside the entire evening like when all the dishes are done, cats been fed, all is neat and tidy once again in the house--then, I can get some beading done. This way, I can focus on design, technique and execution. And, I'm only a hobbyist! Also, Kristal, I love all the portable beading carriers, foldup mats, storage kits, etc but they do nothing for me! I was doing all that in the beginning of my hobby and I got really tired of having to put it away all the time and taking it out and arranging and re-arranging them. So I gave up and got myself a roll top desk (with plenty of drawers) the roll top desk is excellent for my beading. If there are guests about, all I do is roll it down to cover it. And when I'm ready to bed, I open it and voila! There it is, design, layout, etc where I left it off! Thanks for reading my feedback and by the way, I Love Fire Mountain Gems! Sincerely, "
- Ann

"Hi Everybody, Hats off to Kristal. I like her clear and concise writing style. She makes her point then backs it up with helpful suggestions. She not all sugary sweet with supplication of misery loves company- boo hoo, no one has free time. Nor does she don the cloak of the "Artiste", who locks herself away from familial obligations because she must create, Ha! Kristal hits it right on the head. We can frequently carve out an hour or so for our projects, all it takes is a little planning and forethought. One of the outcomes from your time management project is, a lot more appreciation what you have completed during that time. That's always nice. Thanks for posting an excellent article,"
- Linda

"Actually this is not a is a compliment for an artist who understands how important a space can be for the creative effort. When we moved into our new home 10 years ago, one of the bedrooms turned into my art studio...I have a drawing station, painting (canvases) space, storage space, a jewelry making station and a painting craft table for painting my hand cut wood ornaments. Yes the room has a door, but most of our visitors want to see what new projects are underway so the door stays open. I have so many interests in different media that I had to set up specific areas for my main interests: oil, acrylic, watercolor painting; bracelet, earring, necklace, beaded ornament making; wood working/painting area; and a table just for drawing designs. I am lucky to have such a space and Kristal Wick's essay about the importance of your own space is right on the mark!"
- Sheron

"HI Kristal--This article is so true! I work with fused glass and add beading to my creations. I finally talked my husband into setting up a small ''shop/studio'' in our garage so I would have somewhere to work on my craft, without setting up everything on our dining room table and then having to clean it all up when someone comes over, getting it back out again--and the merry-go-round continues. PLUS he and I were both getting really tired of seeing that mess all the time on our table. It is true that you will find more time to ''get lost in your craft'' when it is already set up and all you have to do is ''show up'' and create! Sometimes when I am watching TV, I go out and do a couple of things during the commercials! The only thing I have left to do now is paint the walls of my garage some inspiring colors! Thanks,"
- Connie

"Love it! I find the stories inspiring! Thank you...."
- Elizabeth