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  1. #1
    Junior jonas's Avatar
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    Environmental factors that help/hinder creativity?

    So once upon a time, I had The Book of Think, which was essentially a problem-solving methodology book for kids. One of the ideas it discussed was arranging a specific sensory environment to bolster creative thought. In the last decade or so I've found this to be fairly valid, at least for myself. Certain sounds, scents and sights will completely derail my ability to draw, and others will calm me and make it easier. While I realize this is a highly subjective experience that will likely be different for every single artist, I'd nonetheless like to start a thread where we each discuss what works (and optionally, what doesn't work) for us, so that perhaps we can find correlations and each improve our own creative environments.

    Stuff that helps me:
    Natural light and/or daylight bulbs
    Gray/brown noise, the sound of rain, etc.
    Coffitivity, or just actually working in a coffee shop
    Non-vocal ethnic drumming ensemble music (i.e. African or Taiko)
    Low-key IDM stuff like Boards of Canada, Tycho, etc.
    Tea (Earl Grey, hot)

    Stuff that derails me:
    Harsh artificial illumination, especially fluorescent overheads
    Atonal staccato sounds like off-key whistling, humming, finger snapping, etc.
    The presence of commuters or tourists, especially if they're glancing at me even a little
    Any show playing in the background that I haven't seen before (i.e. a new episode)
    Pretty much any music with vocals that stand out
    Most pets, because allergens

    Your turn!

  2. #2
    Heat of african summer.

  3. #3
    Senior Zeitzbach's Avatar
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    My Motto

    "If I don't feel it, I don't draw it"

    Pretty much. Because hey, if my piece cannot steal my own heart, how will it steal others?

    So turn on the music, read some stuffs and let your imagination flow as you smile with your mouth wide open as you draw (and shove it down y-)

  4. #4
    That's me! Hewge's Avatar

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    To be honest, the only things that prevent my creativity and the flow of the draws is either: if my hands are extremely, extremely cold and I have no way to warm them up, or if my insomnia gets out of hand, and my sleeping schedule is totally wack. Although I continue trying to draw when this happens, it's as if my Art-Chi is blocked. :[

  5. #5
    Senior Sparkyopteryx's Avatar
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    Things that help me:
    ~Natural or artificial light that is bright enough to not cause me eyestrain (can't be too bright either, because SUNLIGHT REFLECTING OFF WHITE PAPER AUGH).
    ~A drink, any drink (tea, diet soda or a Monster are what I usually like) except coffee, because java gives me jitters something fierce.
    ~Any kind of music that is on mine or the other half's playlist (can be orchestral, big band, video game music, punk, goth rock, etc.) although I prefer music that actually fits what I'm drawing at the time.
    ~Being clean and not wearing things like dirty clothes or pajamas.
    ~Light, natural background sounds (rain, soft conversation)
    ~A comfortable place to sit with lots of back support (I lean forward a lot).
    ~Lots of space (because art sprawl is inevitable in most cases).
    ~Incense.

    Things that hinder me:
    ~Excessive artificial or mechanical white noise.
    ~Light that is too dim or is oriented badly.
    ~Very harsh or bright light (see my comment above).
    ~Radio talk shows, loud conversation and generally being in the presence of obnoxious people; unless I'm "in the zone" it's impossible for me to draw in public places.
    ~Certain kinds music that irritate me, such as pop, dubstep and loud screamo or metal.
    ~Cramped, uncomfortable spaces.
    ~Excessive clutter.
    ~The Internet.

  6. #6
    Senior Ruggy's Avatar
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    Really, the only thing I need is privacy (otherwise, I feel pressured to be good, which makes my stuff suck.)

    Stuff that helps:
    - Clean surroundings
    - Natural light, or soft light
    - My dog nearby
    - Familiar music (if I haven't heard it before, I'm going to be paying more attention to it than what I'm doing)
    - Nobody talking (or at least, nobody talking loud enough that I can hear it over industrial rock)
    - Not having to work tomorrow (for some reason, I do my best stuff super late at night, and I hate this about myself)

  7. #7
    Premium User FishNChips's Avatar

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    I'm not sure what helps me but sooo many things derail the crap out of me.

    Clutter, noise, pets, family, light, background noise, just my freaking computer humming, etc etc.

  8. #8
    Senior Vae's Avatar
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    - I pretty much HAVE to be on a flat, wide, sturdy surface, like a desk or a table. It's practically an absolute requirement. I can't be laying down, and I can't be holding the tablet / sketchbook / whatever up.

    - Helps if I'm drinking coffee or tea.

    - Music helps, but it has to be my own music. Or just quiet helps. There can't be any irritating noise or music that will distract me.

    - People can't be constantly bothering me / talking to me / distracting me / watching me (in person).

    - I seem to draw better and have more inspiration during the night, than the day.

    - If I'm drawing on paper, the paper can't be dirty, and my hands can't be dirty or greasy.

    - I seem to work much better when I'm in a mental state of distress, anger, depression, or other negative emotions, as opposed to being content / happy. I also seem to be far more creative in my ideas.

    - A lot of how I imagine what to draw is in scenes. I draw a still image from that "scene" that repeats in my mind as I work on the picture. If a particular song inspired that scene in my mind, I have to keep it on repeat at least until I get most of the groundwork on the picture done.

    - I have to take intermittent short breaks if I've been working on something for a few hours. Otherwise, my vision starts blurring together, and I lose focus of what I'm trying to do.
    Resident Koopa Trash

  9. #9
    Senior Ruggy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vae View Post
    - If I'm drawing on paper, the paper can't be dirty, and my hands can't be dirty or greasy.
    Agghhh how did I forget that one. I guess because I work digitally so much lately. Grease or dirt on paper drives me insane. Likewise, if it's a sketchbook for dry media, gets wet, and the paper crinkles, I pretty much can't work in it anymore. Dry media goes in dry sketchbook, wet in wet, dammit. >:I

  10. #10
    Senior TealMoon's Avatar
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    The only time I can be creative is 2AM. -_-
    And I'm half asleep.

 

 

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