Detox for the Creative Mind

Annie - November 8, 2010


As a studio we’re pretty open to new ideas and ways of doing things, especially if it helps us do our jobs better. I think one fear that many creatives have is that the flow of ideas might just stop for some reason. Rationally, I think we all know that our creativity is more like a muscle than a river and the more we use it the stronger it gets, but there are always those times when you’re not sure if that brilliant idea is going to come to you or not.

I’ve done a number of things to jog and stretch my creativity in and outside the studio. Most of them treat your brain like a bucket—dump in as much inspiration as possible and hope that a killer idea will float to the top. Think differently, think more, think harder. What we’ve been doing is much different.

It’s detox for your brain. It’s wringing out the sponge, dumping out the bucket, letting it all dry out for a bit. We turn off the phone, the music, shut the door and lock it. For 20 minutes, first thing in the morning, we sit still and train our brains to think of nothing. I call it letting my brain melt—it’s extremely difficult, but when you get into the zone of nothingness this is sort of what it feels like. Meditation is unlike sleep and unlike being awake—it’s somewhere in between and allows your brain a restorative rest.

As some artists get inspiration from staring at a clean substrate, I know I’ve done some of my best work when I’ve started my day with a “blank canvas.” It allows me to let go of all the unimportant noise in my brain, start fresh and get down to creating.

Here are some online resources about meditation for creativity:
What Daily Meditation Can Do For Your Creativity
How to boost creativity through meditation
David Lynch on meditation and creativity

Up Top Sitting Still, Doing Nothing All of the Cats are Cheetahs