Artists and their Mind Palace
Updated: Jun 19
My teenage kids tell me that often when they are talking to me I drift off somewhere and am no longer present in the conversation even though I am still standing in front of them looking like I’m listening. It’s a really bad habit I’ve gotten into and I’m really very sorry that I do this to them. I have a really lame excuse for doing so.
Being an artist and mother are two very time consuming jobs so I’ve learnt to do both at the same time. Often when cooking, doing dishes or folding laundry I will drift off into a place where I keep my virtual art supplies. So if you start talking to me when I’m doing house chores which is when my kids think I am available to listen I may not be able to stick with the conversation.
Sherlock Holmes drifts off into his “Mind Palace” when he is deep in contemplation and busy sleuthing. I call it my “Minds Eye.” Here I can clearly view artwork that is currently being worked on in the studio and spend time resolving design flaws or any other issues the work may have. If I’m really lucky my mind will go through the process of creating a whole new work of art from beginning to end. When this happens all I have to do it get up to my studio in a timely manner and create the work in real time and it always turns out well since I’ve already created the art once already. I hear that athletes practice their events in their heads first before a competitive meet. It’s actually a technique they are coached to do and it gets better results.
So if famous fictional sleuths and top athletes do it then doesn’t it make sense that artists can live in their heads some as well? Let me tell you it’s a fun place to be!
Jane Wilcoxson was born and educated in England U.K. She works predominantly in oil pastels and creates art of quirky animals and fantastical scenes that bring color and playfulness into every day spaces. You can view Jane's work at www.JaneWIlcoxson.com. Her blog is all about the life of an artist and the creative process.