workspaces to inspire you

Where do you make art? write? compose? create?

When I started out I thought it would be in a library. So I found the perfect one.

It was very beautiful. And very silent. And very serious. And all I could think was, “GET ME OUT OF HERE!” I kept looking around at everyone writing great novels next to me, and then looking down at my writing and thinking to myself, “what exactly is this chicken scratch you’ve got here, Sally?”

So I had to find my place.

Sometimes it’s at my desk facing my inspiration wall. Do you have one? They’re great.


And when it’s not at my desk, then it’s any coffee shop with the right conditions. (Great coffee, good snacks, a view, outlet, good atmosphere.) That way I get to have the feeling of play–which is essential for children’s books. At least the ones I write.

How about you? How did you find your place?

I came across an inside look at artists’ studios on Huffington Post, which reminded me of the time I visited Jane Dyer in her studio. It was right at the top of the house. It felt like a magical tree house. She had a poster on the wall of The Land of Make Believe. How perfect. That’s where we are going when we go to our studio or writing desk or our coffee shop.

The Land of Make Believe, Jaro Hess, 1930.

The Land of Make Believe, Jaro Hess, 1930.

Here are some workspaces of some famous writers. I especially love E B White’s. And I am utterly humbled by Jane Austen’s.

But probably here are my favorites: famous writers’ retreats. I have to say the writing tower of Vita Sackville-West might be my absolute favorite. And I really can only imagine what staggering works of genius I might write there…

vita sackville-west writing tower

And then to disprove everything, there is Judith Kerr, for 51 years, writing on the same cheap rickety old table all of her brilliant books. (The Tiger Who Came to Tea is a favorite.) the tiger who came to tea

In the end the most important thing about inspiration is the hardest–it’s showing up. So that when inspiration strikes you’ll be ready.

Or as someone once put it–it’s about application: applying your seat to the chair.

Judith Kerr, author of the Mog series, at home in her studio

Judith Kerr, author of the Mog series, at home in her studio


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