How can you be an artist or maker and a minimalist? 

How do you manage being an artist or maker AND a minimalist?

To figure this out I think we should define the word. What is a minimalist? Do they even coexist with creators? If I could copy The Minimalists about page here, I would.  Minimalism is, as according to the people I learned about minimalism from, “a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important…”

Now let’s take a second to try to get those images of the people with only black and white furniture and decor who swear they live out of backpacks out of our heads. I’ll wait. Now, based on the Minimalist’s definition and not the one where we focus on what we “have to give up”, we can move forward.

For me, it didn’t take too long to pinpoint what and where my excess was. It was the extra supplies I’d picked up over the years simply because I’d had a coupon or they were on sale. The books I’d convinced myself I need to get from the thrift store because I’d recognized the titles. It was odd and ends I’d been saving over the years for no real purpose than an abstract far off idea that I actually had no idea on how to implement. That’s where I started.

It’s so tempting to grab something new because it’s new. It’s also tempting to order stuff you don’t need because that really cool artist on Instagram had one in their last photo. The things is, though, we have to figure out our own style, our own rules, and our own ways of sticking with them.

So, as a maker, I allow myself to get extra things when I’m figuring out a new style or a new project but I also remember that it’s not only about what I’m working on. It’s about the people who, hopefully, will see it and enjoy and appreciate the fact that I did Z rather than X. I focus not on the the fact that this person used this product, but on the reviews that stated that it’s a quality product and a good investment and it’s a good replacement for my old one that’s no longer at 100%.

This post is much more of a journal entry than anything else; here’s the TLDR. It’s minimalist:

  • Minimalism is a tool not to be defined by one specific style
  • Figure out what your purchase or saving weaknesses are so you can better handle them
  • Make sure your purchases have purposes
  • Focus on whether or not items you buy will actually be of value (and that you’re not just buying it to be able to say you have it)
  • I’m not an expert. Go check out The Minimalists and determine for yourself what is what

Do any of you have tips or tricks or resources you’d like to share about getting into minimalism? Leave a comment or tweet me.


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