We will be turning our clocks forward this weekend and although we will have the same amount of light as before, it will land in different places. We started wondering: how does changing the light affect creativity?

Researchers from the University of Hohenheim and the University of Stuttgart recently published a study about this very question. They found that drawings made by study subjects were much more creative if done in dim light than in normal or bright light. Those who worked in dim lights felt “free from constraints.” Creativity was even increased when the study subjects described sitting in a dark room, while actually drawing in normal light.

Dim light was best for idea generation, although it did not have a beneficial effect on implementation–the subjects needed good light to produce quality artwork, but their ideas were more creative when they felt the freedom which came from dim light.

Daylight savings time will add light back into our evenings–not bright light, but maybe just the right light. It will be interesting to observe the difference.

Of course, when my alarm goes off at what my body thinks is 4:30am on Monday, I’m not going to feel very creative, I expect. But I hope I will get a burst of creative energy from the evening light we’ve been missing for so long. New project, here I come!

Do you feel a burst of energy in the spring? Are you driven to start new things? Tell us about it!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative