There are a number of articles and posts discussing the pro’s and con’s of caffeine and creativity, Google it. An article in the NewYorker for instance warns it could ‘potentially cramp creativity.’ This is interesting to me as coffee appears to be a staple among art and creative directors within the advertising, fashion, graphic design and marketing industries.
As a huge Starbucks fan, I began to ponder this from more of a personal stand point. For me, creativity never sleeps. It is what I live and breath all day at work, and I couldn’t tell you how many times inspiration hits me at night, just as I am attempting to settle down. Mind racing, ideas flowing- creative energy in full force. I literally can not sleep until I put the thoughts on paper, thus the many sketch pads and journals in my nightstand. What does this late night rush of creativity have to do with caffeine?
It started with a date night cup of coffee and eventually formed in to a habitual routine of a casual cup after dinner. I remember often saying, “Coffee doesn’t affect me – I drink it all the time.” One 3am morning lying in bed wide awake, I began to wonder, is it likely that during those mid-night moments of intense inspiration, I am actually all fueled up and ready to go? I say ABSOLUTELY!
As graphic designers, we are driven to not only create, but also identify solutions to creative challenges that ultimately unfold in the design process. When we are on a roll, it is often difficult to shut down. A larger part of the creative process does lead to mind wandering explorations and shifted focus to examine altered points of view. Throughout the process, we entering into client meetings or creative brainstorming sessions undoubtedly with a cup coffee in hand. We step back to soak in what is developing on the canvas or screen while sipping, now barely warm. brew or take a break and walk away to get what – a cup of coffee. Yet despite claims of diminishing creative flow due to caffeine, brilliant creative are cranking out masterful pieces of work all the while coffee in hand. So what does is all mean?
Caffeine is of course not the sole source for late night inspiration, but I truly believe it is connected.
Pour yourself a cup of Joe and get to work!