Doing Creative Practice (In Bed)

In this video, I give you a tour of my latest sketchbook and how I work portably, share debunk a common myth about creativity, and somehow manage to include my recipe for vegan hot chocolate – something I find comforting when the weather turns cold.

This short film was created in the Fall of 2011, when I still lived in San Francisco, and just after I spontaneously chopped off my long dreadlocks.

The class mentioned in the video is Creative + Practice.

For the past few years since that video, I’ve been creating online versions of my most popular workshops, so you can participate from your own home (In Bed) if that’s your fancy.

I’m broadcasting right from my bed, where I’ve been working for the past few days since coming back from Chicago.

Sorry, there’s no nudity. When I watched the movie back, I wondered if it was too John & Yoko. Since I’m clothed (and alone) it’s a different genre all together.

How about you? What solutions do you have to work without the “perfect” space?

21 Responses to Doing Creative Practice (In Bed)

  1. Beka April 23, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

    I just read this now. *haha!* no, not too John and Yoko 😀

    I love this video very much. There is something very intimate and accessible about it that just makes me feel good and encouraged in my own creative practice explorations.

    Thanks for relinking/sharing this. I’d love to see more of similar…

  2. Deborah April 23, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

    Glad I finally got to see this especially as I watched it in bed! I often take my first cup of tea, back to bed and this is the activity that I am pairing with my creative practice. The tray is genius! I have been writing in my journal in bed but am now inspired by this. Bed is so cosy and we’re heading into the cool season’s here in Australia so I feel like I’ve been given permission to do creative practice in bed that is more than writing.

  3. Anapilar April 21, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

    Lisa, you’re blog and video are really inspiring me to begin a creative practice! It has been a very long time since I allowed myself to play and be and grow. Thank you for giving me permission to just create with the space and supplies that I have on hand.

    It is a struggle for me to make creating a priority. I love the idea of creating/playing every day and letting my authentic self reign. I believe I found you because I’m ready to be the creative person I have always squelched down and your blog is a wonderful guide pointing the way!

    Thank you for sharing your creative practice so compellingly.

  4. suzana April 21, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

    Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for this inspiring post, which I’m reading in my dressing gown on a rainy day.

    What stood out for me: “Limits on space and limits on stuff are actually conducive to being more creative”.

    This really resonates for me right now as my little family and I are currently preparing to pack up and move overseas – which, as we intend to travel extensively for an indefinite period with only a couple of bags each, has entailed releasing ALL of our stuff. This has included giving away a huge amount of art supplies, books, as well as curriculum materials & lesson plans I had created… from not only my own practice but also from over a decade of teaching Visual Arts Education and facilitating Expressive Art Therapy. It means knowing that my watercolour palettes & pens will have to last me for at least the next 12 months, and that I will be working with ‘whatever I can find’ from now on…

    Both my home studio and work studio are now completely bare, ready for the new owners of our home & business. I’m literally down to one small satchel for my art supplies and another small bag for my art journals (including my ‘Creative Entrepreneur’ journal). I work on a small zafu (meditation cushion) and fold-up stool that my son created in woodwork class a couple of years ago.

    At times, letting go of a lot of this stuff felt like letting go of pieces of myself… but I’m glad that so many other people now have lots of great supplies and resources and the limited space & materials has helped me to focus on working with what I do have. I’ve created some of my best work so far, and have some clarity about the kind of work I’d like to be doing in the time to come.

    Of course, as we also release our ‘jobs’, this also means a shift in financial decision-making.

    One of my creative challenges: my work is shifting from being ‘for others’ (students/ clients/ work) to being ‘my work’… it’s shifting from demonstrating/ facilitating other people’s self-expression to actually delving deeper into my own & figuring out how to sustain a creative career that is no longer about ‘teaching’ or being in one place. Does that make sense?

    With the imminent sale of our business and home, planning our new gypsy life and supporting our son’s fledgling endeavours, and regardess of how little time, space or materials I have at the moment, it has become essential to my own wellbeing to make time for my Creative Practice.

  5. Theresa Merkling April 20, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    What a wonderful video – thank you for sharing your perspective and inspiring me to quit making excuses about my mess. Time to move forward and create.

  6. Nela April 16, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

    I haven’t seen this video before so it’s great you included it in the curated list!

    Up until 2 years ago I made most of my art on my bed or on the floor because I didn’t have a proper desk to work on in any of my rooms.

    I asked my dad to help make me a tilted drawing board that I then used as a mobile table wherever I wanted. Now this board is proudly sitting on my big work desk in my mini studio/office, but like you said, some of my best work happened on my bed or on the floor!

    I wish I knew about the trays back then! 🙂

  7. Marita Rahlenbeck April 15, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

    If I waited for all the perfect conditions to be present to create, I would never create. I’ve learned over the years to just DO IT. I make it work with the space I have (or don’t have) but admit: I’ve never tried in bed! 🙂

  8. Guylaine April 15, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    “Creativity is not limited by space” I love this. I live in a tiny appartment and, I have to admid, I’ve been complaining against it a lot of time. Then, one day, I remembered having read that Paul Klee, had made some of his most beautiful work in a very tiny kitchen when he was in Paris. Since that day, I stopped complaining and try to find a way to do creative work although I don’t have a big dream studio to work in.
    I reinstalled a table in my small salon and since then, I do much more play in my sketchbook.
    But, like you, one of my favorite place is in my bed. Although I never get to be as organized as I would like and passing a lot of time to going back in my salon to bring the things that I forgot to bring in my bed, I feel, that when I create in my bed, things are more intimate. It’s like if I’m telling a secret to myself !
    I hope you have the patience to read and that my English is understantable !!! ( I speak french)
    Guylaine Morin XX

    • Lisa Sonora Beam April 23, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

      Guylaine – your English is just fine – thank you so much for sharing.

      I’ve never had a HUGE studio space – it’s more like I let my studio be front and center of wherever I live: it might mean my studio is the bed, a kitchen table, a dining room, living room, etc.

      When I travel…it gets tricky, but I enjoy the challenge. Living out of a backpack or carryon – and most everything in it is art supplies.

      What if we all, even for a week, dropped the idea that space was the issue?

      We would start a creative revolution, from within.

  9. Michelle Casserley April 15, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

    I am already booked into creative+practice as I love working with you Lisa, thank you 🙂
    I have journalled in bed and doodled but never thought about the rest, I think making a tray for my bits is a great idea! I love how simple you keep things, very helpful in reminding me how achievable a daily practice is <3

    • Lisa Sonora Beam April 15, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

      Thanks Michelle! For those already booked, I’ll think of something 🙂

  10. mindy April 15, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    not quite sure WHERE exactly to place my comment – for your giveaway {of the 3 spots}. what drew me to this ” artzy in bed” is that i feel my best , while in bed with my legs up. {ie: health issues}. … A) love the reminder of Mexican hot cocoa …i use to drink that years ago.. … But, need to have that back in my life now , to be sure. b ) use of a tray. one of those duh{!} moments. i have a tray ~ so, why haven’t i thought to use it …hence the duh. & C ) what would I underline in a book = the whole flexibility part, of create*on*demand…& THE JOY of it = FREEDOM. I need a whole lot more of those ‘permission slips’ …. because , as soon I , too, wake up ~ I want/need to jump right into artzy journaling… I’ll try to find the ‘correct’ site to enter the give away…. & state ~ that i have written here also. BLESSINGS !

  11. iHanna November 27, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    It’s rather amazing how much stuff you can take with you to bed, and how much you can get done there! I use a tray too, and I’ve painted, glittered, cut and pasted, read and written a novel – in bed.

    Take care!

    • Lisa Sonora November 27, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

      @iHanna – so wonderful to see you here. You’re one of the most creative people I know!

  12. Sue Sullivan November 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    I love visual memoirs. I’m excited to see more of yours!!
    I also love how you show us how to organize in your video. Very helpful and very fun “-)

    • Lisa Sonora November 21, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

      @Sue: Thanks so much for the encouragement. I’m planning to publish an entire visual memoir in 2013…looking forward to sharing more of the medium with the world.


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