Oh how things can change in just a month’s time…I know a lot of people are adapting to working from home for the very first time so I wanted to compile advice from some seasoned creative entrepreneurs. These women have spent years building businesses and honing their crafts – all from home. There may have been ups and downs along the way, but they remain creative role models through it all.
I’ll start by sharing some of my own advice:
Make your workplace a happy place. Hang art, make mood boards, add a pop of color (or two)…do everything that you can to make yourself feel comfortable and motivated. And give yourself the resources to be comfortable in your space. Invest in a comfy chair, a larger monitor, and maybe even fancy headphones. There’s nothing that I love more than sitting down in my office with a cup of coffee in the morning, truly. I never work from bed and rarely ever work from the couch, I have to get myself moving and in the work mindset.
From Maca Atencio, Blogger and Creative Director, Hey Maca
“This is year 3 for me working from home as an entrepreneur, and one of the key secrets that helped me stay creative and motivated is to start my day with a ‘ritual.’ I wake up, pick a cute outfit (even if I’m only going to be in my living room), wear some makeup, and start my day planning what I’d love to achieve with a to-do list. I pinky promise this helps a lot. Also, dividing the day with different activities (and staying away as much as I can from the news) helps me boost my creativity. Pinterest hour (with maybe a cocktail in hand), Shooting new recipes or my home, and organizing that drawer you’re so scared to open, will be a perfect way to keep you going.”
Follow Maca on Instagram here!
From Bre Bertolini, Interior Designer and Blogger Brepurposed.com
“When you’re trapped at home, it can be hard to come up with fresh ideas and stay creative. I’ve been trying to dig into resources I’ve tucked away like picking up a design magazine or design book. If you’re lucky enough to have nice weather where you live – get outside! Go for a walk. Leave your phone at home and just take in your surroundings. Nature is one of the most inspiring things in this world.”
Follow Bre on Instagram here!
From Nikola Cline, Founder Brandettes
“I’ve found the MOST helpful thing I can do to open my creativity is to stay organized and as clutter free as possible in my workspace and schedule. Having room to breathe (both mentally and physically) is important. If all I could think about or look at is my messy living room or cluttered desk, my thoughts would be buried there. I try to tidy up each morning and after dinner for just a few minutes to keep the house in check- especially while the family is all working and doing school work from home.”
Follow Nikola on Instagram here!
From Carrie Colbert, Content Creator and VC Investor
“In these crazy times, I find myself harkening back to this notion: “Necessity is the mother of invention.”With our options more limited, we get more creative with what we have! We creatively make the best of it. We creatively use things in new and unexpected ways. Truly, sometimes less is more. So, I’m trying to use this time of less activity, less movement, less hustle to teach myself to create with what I have and where I am.”
Follow Carrie on Instagram here!
From Suze Ford, Artist
“I believe that making bad art is better than making no art. I also have this quote from Chuck Close on a sticky note next to my computer: ‘Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for clouds to part and a bolt of lightening to strike you in the bran, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.'”
Follow Suze on Instagram here!
From Lilly Jimenez, founder of The Creative Heart Studio and finalist on NBC’s Making It
“Working from home as a creative, the most important thing is making an outline of a schedule and a plan and then get detailed. Details and schedules really allow me to accomplish work and still be creative.”
Follow Lilly on Instagram here!
From Gina Julian, Artist
“As a full-time artist and painter, I’ve found several ways to stay creative over the years. One thing that I love to do is challenge myself to paint a different style/genre of art altogether. Because I paint straight-lined, hard-edge abstract paintings all day, it feels so good to get outside my comfort zone and paint a bit of realism. It stretches my brain in other directions and really helps me loosen up. A favorite subject matter for me will always be food (specifically sweet stuff), so it’s always exciting to get to work on one of these ‘personal projects.’ Another thing I like to do is use new art supplies that I’ve never tried before. I like to experiment with inks, paint pens, markers, leather paint, acrylic spray paint, etc. You just never know when you might land on that perfect medium that gives you the look you’re going for. Last but not least, if you want to get really creative, you can try limiting the tools you can use to accomplish a certain task. For instance, try painting something using only one or two brushes, or one or two paint colors. Since necessity is the mother of invention, you might be surprised to find out how creative you can get when you have to be!”
Follow Gina on Instagram here!
From Amy Kim, Blogger homeyohmy.com
“I’m still trying to figure out how to coax my creativity on demand. Every creative knows too well that forcing it is the worst thing for creativity. I try to approach it as following my energy, so when it feels like my gears are grinding and not getting anywhere, I take a break and do something else that’s just for fun. Lately that’s been cooking! While it’s not directly related to my interior styling work, it keeps my hands busy, my mind calm, and frees me up from the pressure of creating something for work because I’m just having fun. I’m being creative in a different way, and a lot of times that brings a wave that I can ride into my other creative projects.”
Follow Amy on Instagram here!
From Jessi Raulet, Artist, EttaVee
“My art studio is located in my home, but much has changed in the way I work since going on quarantine. During this time of uncertainty, I’m giving myself the grace to not have all the answers, but to honor my creative impulses via creative play! “Creative Play” is when I allow myself to explore new creative ideas with no judgment, overthinking or hesitation. There are no wrong answers when it comes to creative play! This can mean exploring a new medium, paint subject/ theme, ideas, style etc. Doing this keeps my mind open and builds my creativity & creative problem-solving! “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have.” -Maya Angelou
Putting myself on a more structured work schedule has been important for achieving balance. I spend the mornings on emails & deadlines and the afternoon on making & creating!”
Follow Jessi on Instagram here
From Rachel Mae Smith, Author + Blogger, The Crafted Life
“Leave your phone in the other room. I can’t tell you how helpful this is! Unless you need your phone for work, leave it in the other room. You’ll be less likely to check Instagram and text, leaving you more consecutive time to be productive. When you need to take a break from work, it also gives you a reason to get up and to get those legs moving.”
P.S. see 9 more tips from Rachel here and follow her on Instagram here!
From Amy Tan, Founder & Creative Director of Amy Tangerine
“When you find yourself at a crossroads in life and you feel out of balance, perhaps you’ll find comfort and guidance in seeking harmony instead of balance. I created an acronym from the word, and I call it the Harmony Principle:
Happiness – head in this direction
Align with your values
Redirect if necessary (it’s ok to change course)
Money- know your worthOriginal – be uniquely true (there’s only one you!)
No – know when to say ‘no thank you.’ You – it’s all up to you. You have the power within to craft a life you love.”
Follow Amy on Instagram here!