Sleepless in Seattle – How Environments Influence Creativity

I felt something. Standing on my brother’s balcony looking out at the lake that is his backyard, I felt it. A group of ducks sailed quietly on the water, some dove underwater for what seemed like minutes before popping back up beak first to rejoin their colleagues. I know this sounds like a scene out of a book, but that’s exactly how I felt. Fresh off my trip to Seattle for my brother’s wedding and I’m feeling good. The actual wedding was perfect, and meeting and welcoming new family made it that more special. But Seattle gave me so much more than that, and I left feeling even more inspired then I already am.

I learned something standing on my brother’s balcony that day – environment influences creativity. This is not a novel idea and to some extent I already knew this was the case. But I mean like I really had some sparks of genius overlooking the lake, observing the ducks interact with each other while eagles flew overhead with mountains in the backdrop. I literally sat down and wrote out a bunch of new content ideas along with other more personal thoughts.

Now I know being back in Toronto I won’t be able to create the scenic beauty of Seattle. But I can and I will create an environment that allows my creativity to flow uninhibited. I can take walks down Queen street (once it gets a bit warmer) and feel the energy of this city, I can sit in a closed room with some candles and just lay down. Whatever I decide to do, the goal is to give myself moments out of each day where I’m allowed to just think, feel, observe, and be still.

Now I can’t be the only one doing this so I’m interested to know how other artists go about creating those environments and those moments for themselves.