Recently, I came across this opinion piece in the New York Times about creativity and its potential link to messiness.
It got me thinking: is a person’s creativity caused by a messy environment, or does a person’s innate creativity cause the messy environment? Artist and crafter’s desks may be good examples to look at.
Mess: The Cost of Progress
|This is actually pretty mild in terms of personal messes.|
On the one hand, it makes perfect sense that someone who happens to enjoy creating art of any kind creates their own variety of messes as they make things.
The provided picture is of part of my desk from a couple of days ago. At that stage, it really wasn’t that bad. It’s gotten worse since then, because I’ve moved on to other projects.
Things tend to get cluttered, because my mind seems to move at light speed as I’m doing any sort of work, a common phenomenon in the neurodiversity community. When I move on, often, I end up forgetting to put away the remnants of my last creation jag.
But, how much does that have to do with my being creative versus simply having too much on my mind to bother cleaning?
Mess as Inspiration
On the other hand, the study the article linked to does bring up interesting points. A messy environment can bring about creative solutions to various questions.
Sometimes, that mess causes just enough alteration in perception to encourage stories, drawings or other works. There’s no question that one’s environment has a powerful influence on their performance of certain tasks, especially if there are sensory issues involved.
While I’m sure there are some artists who keep a neat desk, quite a few don’t. Many may have references for artwork, their supplies, things which inspire them and ideas jotted down for future works. I found a good example on Deviant Art below.