Juha-Matti Santala
Community Builder. Dreamer. Adventurer.

IndieWeb Carnival May Round-up post: Creative Environments

The past month has been such a delight for me as a fan of personal web and reading blogs. During this month, Anne from anniegreens.lol hosted WeblogPoMo that had almost a hundred participants that I followed via their RSS feeds and found so many great new blogs. In turn, I hosted the IndieWeb Carnival with the theme of Creative environments that got 26 wonderful entries.

It’s time to look back at what our participants had to say about creativity.

If your post is not on this list, please get in touch with me via email at juhamattisantala at gmail dot com. It must have gotten lost on its way to me in the vast web and I’d love to make sure it finds its way to the round up collection.

The entries

We kicked off the Carnival on the very first day of May with Andrea’s Ambienti Creativi. He wrote about how the creative process starts off with inspiration that sparks from reading and follows with making notes and turning them into published pieces.

Right on Andrea’s footsteps followed Manuel with IndieWeb Carnival: Natural creativity. I love how Manu talks about nature’s importance in his mental space and creative process is. “The next time you’re creatively stuck, if you can, go for a walk in nature”, he says. Manu also runs a brilliant People and Blogs newsletter/blog interviewing people who write in their blogs.

Chris was another one who wrote about feeding the creativity as part of the process in Creative environments. His process is iterative and each step can take a longer time and requires different kinds of environments. The preparation where he explores the problem requires different kind of environment than the verification phase where the ideas are applied at problems at hand.

Sara Jakša’s post IndieWeb Carnival May 2024: What is Creativity and How to be Creative has wonderful insights in it. Sara wrote about how broad concept creativity is and how it can be included in nearly any activity and how everyone can be creative.

In About my studio, Paul discussed the pros and cons of having your creative studio where you live and vice versa. For an artist who works with physical materials like paints and brushes, the artwork can get into the way when you need to eat. On the other hand, having your studio where you live means the distance from inspiration to creation becomes shorter.

Restrictions, constraints and deadlines are often crucial for creativity. Kimberly explores this idea in Leveraging Restriction – Creative Environments. She also shares some amazing posters she created in a style of famous art works - a constrained picked to spark new ideas and new ways of seeing the world.

In two consecutive submissions, Martín and myself wrote about how you sometimes need to change the scenery to get into a creative mood.

Martín started it in Creative environments where he wrote how he’d go shopping or into a park to disconnect from moments where creativity is being blocked.

In my own post, The nook of creativity, I wrote about how different environments work for me for different types of blogging and creativity. And when I work daily on my desk, I’m not very creative in the same space but my creativity shines when I go elsewhere like sit in a local pub or library.

I want my creative environment back is a story by Feadin about how they miss the older times of writing daily. As live goes on, the available time and energy often diminishes leading to the creative explorations becoming less frequent.

Andrei feels it’s hard to force creativity in their piece The Creative Space Inside. His solution to feeling stuck creatively is to direct the focus to something else.

What if the environment isn’t a physical room we must go to but rather a mental space we can adjust regardless where we are? In the fantastic Music as a creative environment, Venkatram writes about how he uses music to create an environment and adjusts the environment by choosing specific playlists for specific needs.

Steve trusts that creative environment issue will sort itself out once the right ideas kick in. In his post Creative Environments, he talks about the desk is where money is made and how that can sometimes make it a harder environment to be creative in but the also how the tooling available at the desk can enhance the creativity when it enables him to do graphical design.

For Barry, physical and digital clutter hinder the creative process as he explains in Creative Environments. A clean desk isn’t always the ideal environment for creativity for him though. That’s when Barry changes the scenery: to the family room or taking a trip to the coffee shop.

A slightly alternative take comes from Jon who in Creative Environments describes a bit more cluttered environment with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 game and a foam roller in his desk. For Jon, what matters more is the state of his mind and going for a walk is a great way to get into a good headspace for creativity.

A steady environment works for some but as Mel wrote in My muses' strikes are unpredictable, sometimes the inspiration strikes when we least expect it - often when we are actively not working on the problem at hand.

Speaking of creativity, I absolutely adore Bob’s presentation in his entry. He made a small physical zine and filmed a video browsing through it in I like it when I can close the door. Stunning piece! In the zine, Bob talked about how important it is for him to be able to close the door and work alone when he’s working on pieces he cares the most about.

Robert wrote about how his ideal creative environments have changed over time in Creative environments. He used to work on computer in a quiet environment but now finds joy in coffee shops or burger joints where the background noise enhances the creativity

Make your notes a creative working environment explores yet another different aspect of creative processes. In it, Richard writes about how notes are the place where creativity happens and how the tools we use to write those notes matter a lot. If you’re writing your notes with tools that are annoying, it’s hard to enjoy the process and be creative.

I love how disassociated writes in their entry Creative environments, are they a place or a time, or both?: “Random, scattered, diverse, subconscious, thoughts and feelings, swirling around, just waiting for the right moment to come along, and coalesce into a solution called creativity.” Sometimes creativity hits when we want it but sometimes it escapes us until finding us again when we leaast expect.

The second Barry with Creative Environments but nonetheless great insights. Anyone can be creative but to be creative, you need to work and be open for failure, he writes. Similar to Jon, Barry also believes the headspace is more important than the physical space.

In Building a bliss station, Claudine quotes Austin Kleon’s book Keep Going in which Austin writes about the importance of creating a space: a room, or a nook or a time of the day where and when you can escape the reality. To “disconnect from the world to connect to yourself”. Claudine explained how she had started taking steps to implement her version of a bliss station.

“Outside, I see ideas. [ - - ] Inside, I write” wrote James in My creative environment about the different places and situations where he finds his creativity. To be creative, he feeds it with listening the world around and expresses it in silence and solitude.

In Strike while the iron is hot, Chris discussed how the midnight hours alone are the time for him. The way he writes about being introvert who found great enjoyment in the social interactions of meetups and conferences strongly resonated with me as I’ve gone through the same path and these days.

hacknorris joined the carnival with a pixel art tutorial Pixel art, game dev i cała reszta… teaching us how we can explore our creativity through creating art with pixels.

Benjamin’s Movement and flow explores how being active and in the move is the catalyst for processing thoughts, leading into creative breakthroughs. For him, keeping the body busy creates an environment where the mind can wonder.

Chris believes the key to managing your creative output is to not wait for inspiration or the right moment but to Clock in and be creative. Like a few other participants, Chris is on team Mental Space rather than team Physical Environment.

The wrap up

I am so happy. I wanted to host the carnival to connect with new people around the world and to hear how different people think about creativity and the environment where it shines.

I was blown away by the entries. 26 entries from all around the globe. From the South-Eastern coast of Australia to the Western coast of North America and plenty in between. The entries were written in three different languages and explored the topic in so many varied ways and formats.

From the bottom of my heart to everyone who participated: thank you ❤️. You made this month a great one for me.

In June, we explore new ideas as andrei hosts the June carnival with a fascinating theme of do it yourself (DIY). If you enjoyed participating this month, check out the next one as well and why not invite a friend or two to participate too.

You should also go out there and read all the wonderful blogs of people who participated. One of the great outcomes from blogging events like these is that we get to discover so many people and their blogs from outside our usual social circles.

This post is syndicated to IndieWeb News.