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Are you a minimalist, and a creative person?
Welcome to the interview series, Creative Minimalists. Here we'll talk about how living an intentional life can affect creativity.
This week, I'm interviewing a friend and fellow multi-passionate, Jamae of Hint of Jam.
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If you want to participate in this interview series, go here.
Jamae Ann Sabangan is a multipassionate who crafts stories through words and movement. The passion projects she is most excited about are her two urban fantasy novels—Shift (in revision) and Rain (drafting). As a content strategist and creative coach, she aims to find connections between what brings each client joy in their work and success based on their definition. Currently living in Portland, OR, Jamae indulges in coffee and chocolate in equal measure.
Let's start at the beginning. What got you into minimalism?
Since travel is such a big part of my life, my ultimate intention is to be able to move to a new place at a moment’s notice while having everything I need already with me. Plus, the practice of keeping necessities while sending off any excess has always appealed to me.
So in my search for an efficient approach to achieving these, I came across minimalism and people who’ve embraced this way of living, like Colin Wright as well as Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus (aka The Minimalists). Their work has inspired me to evaluate the way I see the world in terms of physical possessions and mental processes.
How do you explain minimalism to others?
When I talk about minimalism, I describe the lifestyle as having what you enjoy and need based on your current living situation. This can look like downsizing to a suitcase of all your belongings or a carefully curated apartment with items that enrich daily living.
Minimalism, in my opinion, is having enough while feeling content and joy in what you have. The point is to find balance between inner well-being and the outward pieces enriching that.
How has minimalism affected your life in an unexpected way?
Minimalism has made me aware of how space affects the quality of my work (and if I could get work done at all). When I have too much going on around me—laundry, stacks of books, a surplus of crafting or packaging supplies—my attention gets shifty. By minimizing, I found I can streamline the time it takes for me to produce solid work.
How does minimalism affect your life as a writer?
In addition to streamlining my focus, minimalism helped me fine tune my writing process, using only the techniques, supplies, and programs that help me find the heart of my stories, poems, and articles. The smoother the process for me, the more fulfilled I feel in my work.
Since I'm gradually becoming a location-independent creative, I work from my trusty lapdesk, local libraries, and coffee shops instead of a home office.
Do you think minimalism impedes your creativity in any way?
Not at all. For me, living as a minimalist has opened up possibilities rather than prevented access to creativity. I can see further ahead to what my projects may look like at the finish as well as the different routes I could take to get there.
For example, by delegating one notebook—my trusty Bullet Journal!—to house all my planning, I can look ahead to see how the pieces of my life fit together. Instead of rummaging through a personal, a business, a school, and a passion project planner (Whew!), everything can be found in one.
Where can we find you?
My work focused on achieving joy and fulfillment through our creativity can be found at Hint of Jam. When I’m out and about, I share parts of my process (complete with coffee shop hopping) on Twitter and Instagram @JASabangan.
If you're a writer, do you think your work would benefit from a minimalist lifestyle?
Cover photo by rawpixel