Once upon a time, I expressed my creative self through my objects. Usually clothes and accessories — I’ve long been a fan of excessive personal style — but also my home, my car, my office space. I felt the need for all of my spaces to reflect my own style.
This is still true. My home is my sanctuary and includes my favorite objects (even here in Japan) as does my closet. I think the real benefit of refining and curating my belongings more rigorously is that these things are even MORE an expression of my personal style. In fact, I would argue that my home and closet are THE expression of my creative self outside of work.
This is no longer true in my work. I used to have an office with framed artwork, lamps, plants, music … decor. Today, I share a 20-foot bench with four of my co-workers. The only things on my desk are a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and computer glasses. No pictures, no posters, no plants. Nothing to differentiate my portion of bench from my co-worker. Now, my work IS the expression of my creative self. I solve problems. I develop roadmaps. I design and build tools and templates. I tell stories. I create all day.
Perhaps someday I will find a personal expression of creativity that is so all-encompassing that I can reduce to 100 things and truly be a minimalist. If not, I think it helps to recognize that the objects I keep serve to spark joy AND express my creative self.