“A morning without coffee is like sleep.” – Author unknown
What makes us creative? Myers Briggs personality types will dictate which demographic will be most creative, but what makes humans, we as a species, creative?
Some forms of creativity can be identified in the brain. Towards the occipital lobe (on the backside) we find most of the imagery part of the brain, but things we visualize make some important stops along the way. For instance, we know that from the moment we see something, that image begins making it’s way towards the visual cortex, located at the back of the brain. Much like a road, once you leave “A” you do not simply teleport to “E”, you must make stops at “B”, “C”, and “D” first. One of these stops is at the Amygdala, where we find an emotional connection to what we are seeing. It is also responsible for Memory Consolidation.
Lets take a second to look at that. Memory *and* an emotional response are collected, stored, gathered, what have you, in the same place. Logically, it makes sense once you think about it. We tend to remember things better when we have some emotion tied with it. That or other sensory connection, like smell. So how do we draw on such memories to form great works of art?
The brain must be doing something different at specific points in the day. That’s why we find we are more creative at certain times. The brain actually functions at it’s highest capacity when sleeping. It almost literally, recharges. It gathers up everything from the day and continues working without the daunting tasks of movement, identification, vocalization and other things. This is why sometimes you have that “dream epiphany” and wake up with the answer. You no longer are separating your brain to different functions.
We can’t always rely on sleeping to make us creative though, can we? That still leaves us with the question, when are we most creative? Most studies have narrowed down creative times to be most promising in the morning and late at night. Which may show why artists usually appear sleep deprived. It’s ’cause we are.
Also, before I continue, I wanted to share an interesting fact. Solitude does not warrant itself to be, creatively, the most beneficial. Although maybe feeding the beast of self-aggrandizement that artists usually carry in their satchels, being around people whilst writing, playing music, drawing, etc. is where they thrive! Why is that? Because the brain will specifically put up walls to try to help you find that word you are looking for, or that shape you want, blocking out anything that does not relate to the thing you are trying to find. It, a lot of the time, will accidentally block out the very thing you are trying to find. This phenomenon is called “Presque Vu”. With minor distractions, like with the noise level you find when you frequent coffee shops, your brain can get focused on different things and then relieve itself of the walls it put up, thus giving the subject the ability to find that creative spark.
All this being said, I stayed up wayyyyy to late last night learning a new song on the piano and doing some creative drawing. I woke up kinda late for me, 9. I want to utilize all the strong creative times and so I’ve been writing this morning and drinking pound after pound of coffee.
When I woke up, I wanted to watch “Battlestar Galactica” (I never finished that series and so now I’m going through it), but I knew since I awoke late, my time for creativity decreased. So I forsook mindless entertainment for the much more fulfilling practice of my music and writing skills. Progress. I can watch a show anytime I want, what with wifi everywhere and Netflix on our phones. But my piano, my guitar, time needed to spend practicing writing, I have those only when I make time for them. Make time to better your skill set.
Now that the morning is almost done, I must get back to reality. Daily chores like walking the dogs, ironing my clothes for work, showering. You know, daily chores. Then off to work. Hope this was informative. I enjoyed writing it, it allowed me to be “creative”.