the best time of day to create

I recently read an article about the time of day people are most creative. This was intriguing to me since it wasn’t at all what I had expected. I’m a night person who for years painted late into the evening. I always thought these hours were my optimal time for best results. It caught me off guard when I read the early afternoon hours were the best time for me to be in the studio. The opposite is true for morning people…their most creative time is in the evening.

It seems we are most able to produce original ideas when our minds are more open and unfocused. We’re less likely to let inhibiting thoughts stop us when our minds tend to wander more and have less resistance. I find this information useful knowing my own work schedule has me up all night.

One of my biggest complaints is how slowly I work. Now I understand why. I see how painting late at night has actually inhibited me. In the late hours my brain tends to be more alert and analytical, which I realize has me more likely to overwork or overthink what I’ve painted.

So as an experiment, I decided to work in the earlier part of the day. The first thing I noticed was how much brighter my colors were when I painted in natural daylight. I also found my work went faster. I still work in two hour intervals, but changing my work schedule did indeed increased my production. I only go into my studio at night to evaluate what I painted earlier.

As it turns out, I’m able to get more work done when I’m not overthinking my process. I’m actually enjoying the painting more and find my work is fresher and less labored because of it.