As a full time wedding photographer and blogger, I’ve learned over the years that creativity is something that must be cultivated and protected. It is fleeting when met with stress and enigmatic when placed under the pressure of a rigid schedule. And as much as I wish I could wake up in the morning and say, “Okay, world. I’m going to be incredibly creative from 9am to 5pm today.” I’ve found that my brain doesn’t work like that. I have to actively and intentionally create an environment to enhance creativity.
Today, I want to share three quick tips for enhancing your creativity!
Tip One: A Clean Desk + Workspace
This first tip seems like a simple one – Begin your day with a clean work station! Over the years, I’ve found that I’m more creative and productive when I begin each day with an organized office and an empty desk. By getting rid of the clutter in my physical environment, I feel much more free to write and dream big.
It seems like such a simple task, but anyone who works at a creative job from their home office knows how quickly you can feel mentally buried beneath the physical clutter that exists in front of you! So clean your desk, declutter your shelves, and give yourself the clean canvas that you need to be creative.
Tip Two: Soft Ambient Noise
This may seem like a simple addition to your office environment, but surprisingly enough, the power of white noise was a game changer for my business! I’ve always had a slight case of Creative ADD with a massive amount of conscious energy that keeps my brain running in a million directions, completely unable to hone in on one singular goal or project. Playing a soft Pandora Station (my personal favorites are: Joshua James, Phox, or Dave Barnes) or the background sounds of a bustling coffeeshop through my new favorite App – Coffitivity or the DIY Ambient Noise Generator Noisli help to gently sooth my brain into concentrating creatively! A soft noise from general silence (about 20 db) to a low-level white noise (about 50-60db) appears to be ideal for enhancing concentration thereby contributing to an environment that may lead to enhanced creativity.
There is a really amazing Neuroscience Study on the Effects of Ambient Noise on Creative Cognition (JSTOR) that I found especially interesting, despite mixed reviews on whether it’s as effective as we believe! I can personally attest that it has worked for me and it’s worth giving it a shot if you’re struggling to get creative!
Tip Three: High Ceilings + Plentiful Light
When I envision a dream studio space or an artist’s loft – I see white exposed brick, tall windows, high ceilings and bright light, so I try to create this environment or work in similar conditions when I can. I chose an airy grey paint for my walls and keep my blinds open whenever I’m not editing. It helps me to feel ready to take on a fun project or create for the sake of art!
The high ceiling theory has also been studied and many believe that having a large amount of vertical space in your environment cultivates creativity – “Across several experiments, the researchers found evidence that high ceilings seemed to put test participants in a mindset of freedom, creativity, and abstraction, whereas the lower ceilings prompting more confined thinking.” (Fast Company) We believe this is due to an increased visuospatial exploration (as signaled by increased activation in the precuneus and middle frontal gyrus) which you can read even more about in the Journal of Environmental Psychology!
If you’re feeling confined in your space, try seeking out a local coffeeshop or quiet workspace with plenty of light and high ceilings or, when possible, take your work with you outside!