Re-Thinking Your Creative Space

When I was younger I always thought of my creative space as being centered around all things drumming. It wasn’t until I took a step back from playing the drums for a bit that I realized my creative space was all in my head, not just sitting behind a drum kit, but any place I needed to be creative.

The challenge for me was teaching myself how to think creatively in a different space. A space that isn’t always defined by music or art but one that is defined by just something new I can recreate.

A new idea.

A new business.

A new strategy.

A new talk.

A new way of marketing a product or idea.

A new way to communicate with a mass audience.

Today, I help people dream up new ideas… any ideas. I help them brainstorm ideas for their business, help create social media strategies, marketing plans and talk to people about new ways of looking at life. I write and I still play the drums. That’s just a small part of my creative life.

The point is this.

Creativity comes in many forms and lives in many spaces. Anytime I see an “artist” stuck in their creativity, I think “They don’t realize there are so many other ways to be creative and to express that creativity. They need to stop limiting themselves to what they think their craft is or what they are called to and exercise some different creative muscles.”

When I realized this for myself. My main creative outlet, drums, took on a whole new life. I could experience playing the drums from a whole new angle and more fresh perspective.

Think about it this way.

One guy puts on some old ratty expensive skinny jeans, a v-neck t-shirt, grabs a starbucks with his other hipster friend before heading off to write the next big hit song.

Another guy puts on a pair of jeans, a black crew neck long sleeve shirt and gives us the mac book, iphone and ipad. Thanks Steve Jobs.

A woman walks into a office building somewhere in Southern California dressed in nice dress pants, nice leather shoes, and a nice jacket. She gave us eBay.

A man in a nice suit who like to draw cartoons decides he wants to create the happiest place on earth… so he does. They call it Walt Disney World.

A college student sits in his marketing class working on a project. To come up with an idea that has been done and create a marketing plan around it. His idea got a “C” in the class and was told it probably wouldn’t work. His name is Fred Smith. He created Fed Ex.

In 1948, a Swiss electrical engineer named George de Mestral created Velcro. You wouldn’t think of an electrical engineer as a creative person, but he was. Velcro was and still is one of the greatest ideas to date.

All of these examples are creative. They just live in different spaces and wear different clothes than you would think creative people wear. In fact, they might even look normal to you as in… not the artistic type.

So, when I think about my abilities to create something, I’m only limited by my ability to put an idea into a creative space that births action.

The mind is an amazing tool. We can create so much if we just think in a different space.

Don’t limit yourself to what you think your creative space is and don’t think your one creative outlet is all you have. It’s not.

The essence of creativity is to be able to CREATE and expand the mind in such a way that one can continue to create in any space that needs filling and feels appropriate to the one who is creating.

Question: Where is your creative space… or spaces?

This post was inspired by the Luminous Project. Luminous is an event in Nashville for creatives on May 9-11, 2012. To find out more, check out You can use the promo code ‘luminousLOVE’ to get 30% off the ticket price.


The views expressed here are those of a personal nature and do not reflect the corporate view of my employer or anyone else who employee my services.
  • Wayne Hastings

    I enjoyed this post. At times we do box ourselves into one way of thinking and we have this incredible palette of opportunity open to us. I appreciate the reminder and the cross section of people, places and new spaces for creating.

    • Spence Smith

      Thanks Wayne. I think you are right… We box ourselves in sometimes and we do have an incredible amount of opportunity out there to create. Thanks again!

  • Jeff Goins

    I like this a lot, my friend.

    • Spence Smith

      Thanks Jeff! I’m honored to be a part of this blog tour!

  • Adam

    I think that if I had to pick one space that I find myself most creative is sitting out on my back porch overlooing an open field. It is just open county, no noises (maybe my son playing in the back yard…). Very peaceful. 

    • Spence Smith

      I love that vision. I feel thy way when I’m in the rocky mountains or by a beach… They both put me in a creative space.

  • Lottie

    Great fresh perspective, helped inspire a creative motivation. Just what I needed to create my dissertation!

    • Spence Smith

      Awesome! I’m glad it helped! Thanks for the comment!

  • Larry Carter

    I love to sit alone in the quiet, early mornings before any one else is up.

    • Spence Smith

      Probably one of the best times if the day for sure.

  • Joe Mazza

    Great stuff here. There are definitely physical spaces and places (and I’d add times of the day to that list) that feel more inspirational to me but too often I use that as an excuse. Unfortunately, being “creative” is more about doing the work…working on it, honing it, etc. than any kind of space. I wish it was more magical than that but I’m pretty convinced it’s not. Thanks for this reminder!!

    • Spence Smith

      Thanks Joe. And we have to hang out soon in Denver!

  • Aaron Gray

    Our company is guilty of the t-shirt and jeans combo, but we break it up with Formal Fridays just for kicks. :) We’re naturally inclined to work in a visual space because of the creative t-shirt medium we deal with, but everyone here would agree that you need to wear and work with what keeps you at your best.

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