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Late Bloomers : What Above Ground can tell us about Art, Age, and Experience

Telling Your Creative Block to Take a Hike

Creative block is often countered with computer time.  It seems logical - you can't think what to do so you read your facebook page, watch that video of the cats playing pattycake, check out other artist sites looking for inspiration.

So it's going to be really frustrating when I tell you that reasarchers are now verifying that spending time in the great outdoors and away from the computer has a huge impact on creativity.

Scientists don't fully understand what is happening, whether it's being unpluged from technology, or exercise, or just experiencing the great outdoors, but the results from the RAT tests that they administered to volunteers produced some startling results: creativity is significantly improved by time spent away from our electronic lives.

Of course the plein air painters going all the way back to Monet probably knew this and were keeping it to themselves.  They shared the part about needing to paint from life, but if they'd said "It will help your brain become more nimble and creative," how many of us would still be camped out in our studios?

If that isn't enough motive, the research further suggests that being on the grid 24/7 actually alters the neurons in the brain, with questions about reversibility when it comes to attention span, or whether people "will be totally hosed when it comes to consuming art more complex than a GIF or longer than 140 characters?"1

It's worth considering the next time you start surfing the web in order to distract yourself from creative block. 


1.  Put Down the iPad, lace Up the Hiking Boots, by Kevin Charles Redmon,  is the primary source of information in this post.  Thank you.


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