Creating a workspace

Hello folks, my name is Zach Matenchuk. My current career is in education and teaching students with special needs. I live in Winnipeg, Canada. I have a passion for photographing landscapes, portraits and stories.

Today’s article is covering the topic of creating the perfect workspace for the creative. The individuals that stay up late working on their next video. The people that want to unwind after a long day of shooting photos. To those who need an escape to focus on creating their best work. Thus, we get the title Creating a Workspace.

Finding where to start and where you want your workspace is something I struggled to do early on in my hobby. Where can I work and not be distracted? Do I need it? Where can I work in my own home but feel like I am not actually at home? These are questions I faced at the very first steps to create that. Working in a cafe or library, heck, even in the car, was not ideal. It was distracting with people, visuals, sounds and tight spaces. I needed the change, and I didn’t want to have to leave home to do that. I began to design my studio.

I picked a theme, based off of my own edit style; minimal, moody, and soft colours. I’ll explain more into what software and how I finally got that style into my edits on another section. For now, let’s talk about designing the studio.

My home had the perfect room to convert into my creative art studio. Big windows for soft light to cast the room, four bare walls to put up my favourite images in print, and big enough to feel open. We chose a paint that would inspire my editing, nothing too bright and nothing too dark that the light from outside wouldn’t change much throughout the day.

That way, the environment didn’t change the consistency of my workflow. I added antique wooden furniture to bring the cottage style into the room to make it more comfortable and feel less like an office. It’s for a hobby, not my job. My partner suggested having a piece that would stand out. Her antique chair was the perfect touch of colour.

Too much can become a distraction, so that’s why we chose one piece to add. I suggest having a smell in the room as well, such as a candle or oils. The sense of smell is a very powerful aspect to the environment. It changes your feelings and can add more relaxation, which in turn will make you in tune with your creativity.

Plants are something I would highly recommend having in your workspace. They’ll clean the air in the room and bring nature into the home. It brings me a sense of escape when I see the leaves through the door, and the smell of earth is very grounding. It’s the vibe you want to have if you’re trying to be less distracted.

After we finalized the room, I brought in my mobile workspace I had been working with into the room. This setup was very simple, which made moving it into the space very easy. It was a 2016 MacBook Pro Retina and a paperback notebook. That’s all I needed, and it’s still all I use to this day.

The reason I use Apple is because that’s where my photography journey started. I shot my first photos on my iPhone 4s and got instantly hooked in the craft. Making the choice to have a MacBook very easy. I could transfer photos to my Lightroom library with very few steps and the flow of it all was just what I wanted. Few steps meant more time to work on my creativity.

Paperback notebooks are something I suggest you have in your workspace. There’s a better chance that you’ll inspire yourself with more ideas from writing them down on paper and watching the words come together. The more time you spend writing, the more ideas you’ll create. It becomes an itinerary for your projects, and you can open it up anytime and come back to it.

I know personally that having a project and the ideas written down, I am less worried about focusing on the ideas, I can just shoot the photos around an idea. If I don’t get everything I wanted to do on the list, I can check off the ones I did, and the next time I want to do a project, I can incorporate the ones I didn’t into the next. Keeping a record of ideas and projects is also a very fulfilling thing to look back at.

At the end of it all, what you make your workspace into depends on everyone individually. You don’t need anything fancy, just make it into something that makes you feel the most comfortable, not distracted and the most focused. If you can find that space, and create that space, you will see results and have the motivation to do your best work. Create your ideal workspace!

"My name is Zach Matenchuk. My current career is in education and teaching students with special needs. I live in Winnipeg, Canada. I have a passion for photographing landscapes, portraits and stories."

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