041: Creating in Chaos: Making Art Amidst a Mess [Podcast]

Building an environment you’re comfortable working in is important to the creative process but waiting for perfection is procrastination.

041: Creating in Chaos: Making Art Amidst a Mess [Podcast]

This week’s episode of The Portfolio Life was inspired by my messy office. Are artists inherently messy people? Can clutter and creativity co-exist? Or is our mess keeping us from creating our best work?

As Steven Pressfield says:

The hospital room may be spotless and sterile but birth itself will always take place amid chaos, pain, and blood.

I agree. And in this episode, Andy and I talk about the behind-the-scenes of the creative process and why it always involves making things amidst chaos.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below. (If you’re reading this via email, click here).

You can also listen at iTunes or on Stitcher.

Takeaways from the show

Here are some takeaways from the show:

  • The perfect work environment will never come.
  • Creativity is always a process of pulling order out of chaos, even in your workspace.
  • Most people who are trying to create get caught up in the chaos. But there is a difference between order amidst chaos and chaos amidst chaos.
  • As a creative, your responsibility is to share the art with us, not the mess.

Resources mentioned in the show

I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. If you know someone who would benefit from it, feel free to download and share. We’d also appreciate it if you’d leave a review on iTunes.

Special announcement: I’m giving away a limited number of copies of my upcoming book, The Art of Work (you just pay shipping). In addition to the book, you’ll also get some exclusive bonuses. I’d love for you to get a copy and tell your friends about it, too. Get your copy today!

What keeps you from creating art in your mess? Share in the comments.

12 thoughts on “041: Creating in Chaos: Making Art Amidst a Mess [Podcast]

  1. Interesting take on the I need some private space every so often concept. Might be a way for people to make a little rent back on a 3rd or 4th bedroom they don’t presently use. Someone could facilitate that as a manager.

  2. I don’t have a dedicated space for my art, writing, at the present time. I believe that has given me the resilience to work anywhere despite potential interruptions. Perhaps a good place to start from, it can only better 🙂 I find I can create amongst choas by closing my mind to it. It can slow the work down though, so I can see the value of a ‘retreat’ where doors can shut the world out.
    Whether that place is a mess or not I think is down to how the individual works on a personal level as long as what comes out of it is order 🙂

  3. My mess creates Distractions. My distractions have a voice that continually call out “look at me.” “Give me attention, NOW!” I have to eliminate as many distractions as possible to create.

  4. I was listening to this podcast while cleaning my room because it was t ‘messy’ for me to start my work lol oh the irony! Great show guys, just let me know that it’s all about putting pen to paper and that’s always going to be messy!

  5. What keeps me from creating art from within my mess? The mess. There is a time for everything, and sometimes, it’s just time to tidy a bit.
    In fact, I like the sterile environment so well exemplified by a hospital room. They keep those rooms that way because the order makes for the best economy of movement during the crisis time.
    But since there, truly, is a time for everything, we must also make a time for writing…

  6. I have a tendency to “fuss” – put things away, start a load of laundry, etc. It’s important to accept imperfection and just start creating!

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