Jenn Reese Writer, Artist, Geek

Inspiration Office


One good thing about having the walls and ceiling of your office space soaked, torn down, and rebuilt is that you get to rethink the space a bit.

For example, I replaced the outdated chandelier — my office would be a dining room for most people — with a ceiling fan with clean, modern lines. I’ll be working at home now, and the extra fan will come in very handy during the summer months (AKA 99% of the year in LA). It also doesn’t hang down, so Chris will stop bumping his head every time he steps into my space.

My work-in-progress office with new clipboard installation.
My work-in-progress office with new clipboard installation.

This time around, and to celebrate my new start as a full-time creative professional, I’ve decided to try a clipboard “inspiration wall.” (I got the idea from the article “The Clipboard Workspace” on Lifehacker.) What I like about this idea:

  • Cheap: 9 clipboards set me back about $16 on sale.
  • Constantly changing: I can rotate art as much as want, including magazine clippings, book covers, printouts of fan art, art inspiration, or even finished purchased art. I can make the wall (or any part of it) all about my writing career, my design career, or my nascent attempts at drawing.
  • Customizable look: in addition to changing the art, there are a ton of different style clipboards out there if you want to spend more money, and most come ready to be hung. For example, sleek shiny black or stainless steel clipboards would give this a much more modern appeal. You could also color-code — some red, orange, yellow, or whatnot.
  • Minimally damaging to the wall: This required 9 tiny nails. If I decide I don’t like it, I may not even have to patch the wall if I remove the clipboards.
  • Interactive: I think the act of considering and changing artwork keeps one engaged in the space, and can inspire creative thought. (Usually I hang a piece of art and continue to enjoy it but in a more passive way.)

My external environment has a huge impact on my internal state of mind. A cluttered house equals a cluttered mind. (I know many people for whom this is not the case, so keep in mind that this just applies to me.) I normally favor super clean, minimal walls, so this is a big departure for me, one which I hope brings inspiration and excitement to my work area.

Here’s the wall just after installation, with only a few things clipped. I suspect it will look quite different when I have all the clipboards filled. (I may also add another column on the right, or a nice static piece of art.)

The clipboards will hold fan art, book covers, sketches, magazine clippings, photographs, etc.
The clipboards will hold fan art, book covers, sketches, magazine clippings, photographs, etc.

Anyone else have ideas or tips that make their writing/work space more inspiring and energizing?

About the author

Jenn Reese


  • A leather coaster for my water cup/coffee mug/wine glass (depending on the time of day). This keeps my desk cleaner, and gives me a place to always put my cup. Which might not be a problem for you, since you keep such a clean desk, lol!

  • I love your clipboard wall! I have something similar – I use magnetic strips layered across one side of my wall so that I can change out what I’m working on easily and move my characters around. Along the ceiling I have items that signify proud moments in my life. Those items (e.g. my patent is up there, pics of me finishing a marathon, etc.) remind me that I can do anything I put my mind to and am willing to work for. Whenever I’m stuck I glance at those and dig my feet in.

    • The magnetic strips idea is great, but I really love your “proud moments” idea – how cool! (I’m not sure if I’m more impressed by the marathons or the patent.) Thanks for sharing your version of the inspiration wall.

By Jenn Reese
Jenn Reese Writer, Artist, Geek

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