Showers, Breaks, Paint and Farts

Photo Credit: iStockphoto – Photographer: skynesher

How to Make More Creative Jewelry

Take these 4 steps and according to current research your work will improve. They are easy steps but I am not sure if I could fart and burp very long.

    1) If you hit a creative wall, take a nap, a walk or a shower.

    2) Let yourself spend an hour every day doing anything you want to do.

    3) Paint the studio a calming blue.

    4) Do a farting or burping march around the room before you light up the torch.

These recommendations are part of a book titled “Imagine: How Creativity Works” by Jonah Lehrer. I have not read the book, instead I listened to an interview with the author on NPR.

You need Shockwave Flash to view the above video. You also can go to the NPR website to view it: Interview with Jonah Lehrer

Jonah says that you are most creative when alpha waves are abundant. How do you do get these waves? Put yourself in a good mood and relax. According to research, moments of creative insight increase by 20% after watching a comedy routine for 5 minutes. These moments also increase by taking a shower or by walking (no cell phones!). 3M, known to be an innovative company, gives employees one hour a day to do anything they want as long as they share what they did with peers. The company knows this “time off” will lead to increased creative thinking.

Funny thing – just two days ago I was thinking of painting a wall in my studio. Now I know what color to paint it – a calming blue. We associate blue with the sea and the sky both of which have a calming effect on us. Not only does the blue calm us, it leads to more abstract thinking, and more moments of creative insight. Sold!

Now for the farts and burps. Learning to quiet the “mature adult” part of our brain is actually good for creativity (yahoo!). Improvisational comics learn how to turn off this part of the brain to make way for a childlike, free-flowing expression of creative thinking. I kid you not, one of the group exercises mentioned by Jonah is marching around the room farting. That certainly would drop me to about third grade! I added the burps in case the farts are not forthcoming, so to speak.

Jonah makes it clear that hard work is needed too. Once the creative insight is revealed, work is needed to bring the ideas to fruition. However, when you have a happy heart, work is disguised play……

NOTE: I discovered this morning that Jonah Lehrer recently confessed to misquoting Bob Dylan in his book and then lying about it afterwards. Oh my. Even though this sad set of circumstances has forever blemished this bestselling book, I decided to not throw out the baby with the bathwater…..


PS – Class sign ups for the new Fall semester start tomorrow at 9AM Pacific time. You can read more about the classes offered and how to register on my San Diego Classes page.

All images and text are ©Copyright 2010-2012 Connie Fox except where indicated. All rights reserved.

Leave a comment


  1. Connie Fox

     /  August 22, 2012

    Ruth, if I could have chosen a school when I was a kid it would have been St Anthony’s Ha Ha Ha. Instead it was St Anthonys – watch out so you don’t get hit by the nuns. Glad you are enjoying the blog!

  2. Ruth Redfern

     /  August 21, 2012

    Connie, your blog is the best of all worlds. You make me laugh and think at the same time! Thank you.

  3. Connie Fox

     /  August 21, 2012

    Karen, thank you for your kind note. It certainly helps me getting feedback so I know how people are responding to what I write. The information on creativity is a good reminder for me too! Now, take a deep breath and relax…….

  4. Connie, I just want to tell you how much I enjoy your blogs. They stimulate my creativity in many ways and keep me connected with artists like yourself. I especially liked this one, a subject I am personally connected to but need reminders of often.
    Thanks, Karen Olson (previous student)

  5. Connie Fox

     /  August 20, 2012

    Francesca, I do understand. It will all flow out in time. If you want to discuss alternatives, please email me at

  6. Sigh. I can’t swing any of these classes this year, but I am SOOO looking forward to the day when I can take a few!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *