The creative process is an amazing thing. Getting that spark of an idea is a rush. Bringing a video, commercial, radio spot to life here in the studios brings a definite feeling of satisfaction. But sometimes it seems the creative ideas will never come. There has always been that adage of “Write drunk, edit sober.” Now it seems there is proof that it is true.
In an article by Mikel Cho at ooomf.com he cites that neuroscientists have studied the “eureka moment” and found that in order to produce moments of insight, you need to feel relaxed so front brain thinking can move to the back of the brain and activate the small spot above your right ear responsible for moments of insight. Researchers found that about 5 seconds before you have a ‘eureka moment’ there is a large increase in alpha waves that activates that. These alpha waves are associated with relaxation, which explains why you often get ideas while you’re on a walk, in the shower, or… on the toilet.
Extensive research on the subject (in actual laboratories not just bars) shows that alcohol frees up your brain to think more creatively by reducing your ability to pay attention to the stuff going on around you and relaxes you to produce a similar effect on alpha waves. That helps you get creative insights.
The Creative Director Test
Author Dave Birss brought together a group of 18 advertising creative directors and split them into two teams. One was allowed to drink as much alcohol as they wanted while the other team had to stay sober. The groups were given a creative brief and had to come up with as many ideas as they could in three hours. These ideas were then graded by a collection of top creative directors.
The result? The team of drinkers not only produced the most ideas but also came up with four of the top five best ideas.
You have the ideas, now how about some coffee?
Caffeine studies show that coffee can increase quality and performance if the task you are doing seems easy and doesn’t require too much abstract thinking. So, after you have an initial idea or a plan laid out, a cup of coffee can help you follow through on your concept faster without compromising quality.
Always In Moderation – Legal Disclaimer
If you decide to drink coffee or beer while you’re working, stick to no more than 2 drinks per sitting and try not to do this more than once or twice per week to prevent dependency. Coffee and beer shouldn’t be thought of as magic bullets for creativity. If you have to choose between coffee or beer, think about what type of task you are about to do and make sure you don’t over-do it.
So, if you’ve got some great ideas you want to produce, our coffee is always ready. Of course we’ll also be happy to go out for a couple of beers.