Color vs. creative writing

My husband’s aunt passed away a number of years ago, but before she did, she found out of my interest in writing and handed me a pile of old magazines that she’d been a part of putting together. They were titled, Housewife-Writer’s Forum. I thanked her profusely, but didn’t end up reading through many of them until last year.

Thumbing through them again today, I found an article called “Is Creativity a Gray Matter?” It sited some research done by the Wagner Institute For Color Research, in which it states that, “creative people are more creative in a gray environment than any other color tested. People will create more and be creative over a longer period of time.”

This seems counter-intuitive to me, but perhaps it is the lack of imagination in the color that causes our mind to want to fill it… or the lack of distraction in color that keeps our brain wanting to focus on anything other than the drab color before us. I really don’t know.

Just a little further on, the writer of the article, Laurie Lynett, says, “When I painted my work area from off white to gray and green, I noticed a remarkable difference in my attitude towards writing. Foggy ideas began taking shape. I found myself finishing projects that I had previously given up on. I’m sending out more and more material and most importantly, I feel confident about my writing.”

This part caught my eye, because when I went online to see if there was any other research on the color gray, I found a study on the Huffington posted titled, http://Color Me Creative: study says green sparks inventiveness. Well, I don’t know if inventiveness counts towards writing or not, per say, but you do need a certain amount of it to come up with characters and plots, so let’s just say that it does. I noticed that  in the first article I read the woman had painted her room gray and green. Hmmm… coincidence??? Perhaps. There is only one way to try it out.

Instead of heading to the store for an expensive can of paint before really knowing what helps your brain be creative/inventive, Lynett suggests something much cheaper and easier. Get a large piece of cardboard (one of those trifold ones would work nicely since they can stay propped up on their own), a few colors of craft paint to try out, and set up your small sized wall in a place where your eye naturally falls while working. Try several colors out over the course of the week while working, and see what inspires you the most. I’m definitely tempted to give this a try.

Do you have any colors that seem to spur you on to creativity? Have you even thought of color as playing a role in it before? Let me know what you think.


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