This is a picture of the blackboard in my room/studio. It spans one section of the back wall and makes it easy for me to write down ideas, diagrams, reminders, and to-do lists. What I love about it is that it’s just a wallpaper-type material that applies right onto a clean surface. This paper has been on my wall for months now and has helped me tremendously.
What used to happen to me was every few nights just before climbing into bed I would think of an idea for a picture or something that I needed to get done. I thought, “well I’ll just do it in the morning” and not write it down. I would wake up and wonder what it was I had thought of eight hours earlier and eventually give up in order to carry out my morning rituals. So many of my thoughts had been lost in the void of sleep and it was so annoying. Not anymore.
Now that I’ve setup a section of my wall for use with special chalk-ink markers, I have remembered and accomplished way more things than just a few months previous. It’s ridiculous really. It took me a while to notice that I seem to think up the most stuff late at night or just before going to bed. I write it down. I wake up and there is my idea, still intact.
It’s made me so much more productive during the day as well. Each night I like to write down my goals for the next day, no more than maybe five important things. That way, when I wake up I already know my schedule. I used to wake up and try to think of what I was going to do that day right there while I was still in bed. But I’m not a morning person so all I would really end up doing was draw a blank. The result of this being that I wouldn’t get anything done that day. Writing down my to-do list for the next day has been amazing. You also get the satisfaction of being able to sit down at the end of the day and say, “Yes I did that, I did that, I did that.” Crossing things off of the list you made.
This idea of making outlines before bed is one of my methods of pre-production for a photograph. After a week or so of writing thoughts down on my wall, I copy them into a Word document on my computer. I’ve started building up lists of ideas for pictures that I can pull from when I want to do a shoot. How many times has someone asked you to brainstorm ideas on a topic and you’ve only thought of five or six things? Now, because of the blackboard wallpaper, I have many more ideas now than I would have if I had tried to think up a photo right before shooting. On the whole, I think pulling from a list assembled over months and months of catching my naturally occurring ideas each night gives me so much more potential towards creating something I’m excited about. I hate having to force out a photograph because I don’t have any new ideas. My own bedroom wall solves this problem.
You can buy the contact paper and markers on Amazon for a very good price. I’m a man of simple pleasures but even I was shocked to find so much use for a thing like this.