Creative Living Works


How to Transplant Gracefully

What do Mark Rothko, Marcel Duchamp, Edward Steichen and F. Scott Fitzgerald have in common? At one point in their life, they started over in a new place. Maybe you aren’t traveling to a new continent, but if you find yourself being transplanted out of your geographic comfort zone, there are a few key tricks to keep yourself centered.

Ok, so I’ve only moved an hour away… but this is the first time in my life that I’ve lived in a different state than Massachusetts and I’ve found myself needing to channel strategies to keep my creative rhythm and take advantage of my new surroundings. Here are the five ways that I’ve kept my cool during my move to Dover, New Hampshire.

  1. Keep Calm and Don’t Over Do It
    Personally, I am prone to stress which leads to back pain, so when I made my move, I wanted to be sure to take precautions to avoid mental or physical strain. Let’s be real, moving is exciting but it is almost always a lot of work. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! You will get people back someday but don’t hesitate to take friends, neighbors and family up on their offers. Meditate, stretch, go for relaxing walks but avoid doing anything too strenuous on top of your moving. Save that half marathon for later. Try watching Spira’s yoga stretches that can be done from anywhere and are easy for beginners.
  2. Find a Place that is Your Own to Continue Creating
    Maybe this is a corner of a room that you make your office or if you are fortunate like me to find a studio in your new area, it is important to establish your creative space from the start. If you are a solo-preneur like I am, finding a studio or office in a building with other creative professionals is a great way to start meeting new like minded people. Remember that if you are paying freelance tax, your rent can be an expense.
  3. Explore on Your Own
    I moved to Dover with my husband but I am an independent lady and I find it is important to get out there on my own. Not to mention, I now find myself married to a cop and his hours are crazy. If you’ve moved by yourself, this is a natural step. You may be used to going gallery hopping, going to the park or out to lunch with friends but don’t be afraid to experience your new area solo (or in my case, with your pup!) Do research and find out when things happen in town. I discovered Portsmouth has a first Friday gallery walk each month, so I hit the town and found myself inspired by some impressive art.
  4. Find Opportunities to Network or Make Your Own
    Even if you are a social person, being new to an area can make you feel introverted. I find when moving to a new place, it is important to take your walls down and make sure you are approachable. Try looking up other creatives in your area and drop in to introduce yourself. You’ve already got your ice breaker “Hey, I’ve just moved to town, any suggestions on _______?” Also, try looking up meetups, see if there are any workshops, artist talks, or networking events you can jump in on. Another strategy is one I am going to try later this month - invite people to come to you. I am grabbing some wine and cheese and will host a mini reception in my studio.
  5. Establish a Routine
    Whether you are starting a new job or continuing your work remotely, it is important to establish a routine early on. Be sure to not only make time for your responsibilities, but prioritize creative time and activities that you enjoy. I am currently designing a day planner built for artists, designers, and all walks of freelancers to help with this. It is easy to get through the day feeling like time was wasted. Start tracking where your hours are actually going and setting new goals each week. Reserve one here at the pre-order price.

So go forth and stake your ground in a new community. A friend told me once, moving is a great opportunity to make new productive habits and it is so true. Start off fresh and blaze new trails. You are more likely to find new inspirations from your surroundings if you follow these five steps.

Just moved? Post a photo of your new digs with the hashtag #transplantedGracefully and tag @creativelivingW on twitter, or @creativelivingwork on Facebook, Instagram or Tumblr. If you haven't already, join as a CLW member to access more advice for creative professionals and find some like-minded cohorts.

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