Halfway up a hill behind our local art center there is a small building – a hut or a shed really – just about big enough for one person. It has plenty of windows, and I would be willing to bet that it was built as an artist’s studio.
If so it is a perfect example of what I call the Creative Hut, a very ancient device to promote serious thinking. Diogenes, an eccentric Greek philosopher of the fourth century BC, spent much of his time living in a large jar in the marketplace because it helped him to concentrate. Concentration is the operative word. A small space blocks out many distractions, most importantly, the distraction of other people. Leonardo da Vinci said, “An artist’s studio should be a small space because small rooms discipline the mind.” You can’t really argue with Leonardo, especially when one of his paintings just sold for $450 million.