While We’re Talking Paint: Which Colors Facilitate Creativity?

All that focus on paint chips last week got me thinking about what color the walls should be in a studio. Is there a strategy to choosing studio wall colors to make us more creative? My first thought is white like galleries and museums. Blank spaces on which to apply art. No distractions from the art making itself. But then I started to wonder, is there a science to this?

I Googled, “What colors encourage creativity?” And, after wandering through a lot of websites and reading several articles, here is the general consensus:

Red increases blood pressure, energy and stamina but can make a person irritable. Hmm. Not a good studio wall color choice. Pink helps muscles relax and induces a feeling of calm, protection and warmth. Nice, but I think I’d either get too mellow or take a nap. Next?

Orange can be beneficial to the digestive and immune systems and help relieve feelings  of self-pity, lack of self-worth and unwillingness to forgive. It is considered a terrific antidepressant. All promising properties. But I’m not sure I could take walls full of it. How about some orange accents like those photos of California Poppies.

Yellow stimulates alertness in the brain, makes one more energetic and induces a happy emotional state. It can also stimulates intellectual thinking and creativity. Again, good qualities. Maybe that’s why being outside feels so wonderful. Perhaps a light yellow wall color?

Green is good for the heart, physical equilibrium and balance. When exposed to the color a person’s breathing deepens and slows. Green induces feelings of comfort, laziness and relaxation. So that’s why I always feel so relaxed after hiking or camping. Lots of greenery visible from the windows. Check – but not enough to induce laziness!

Blue lowers blood pressure and has a cooling, soothing and calming effect, inspires mental control, clarity and creativity. Several studies indicated an increase in creativity when exposed to blue. I love blue. Perhaps blue walls.

Purple is known for  suppressing hunger; Indigo is associated with stimulating the right side of the brain – intuition and imagination. Maybe some purple walls in the house, might help my never-ending quest for a smaller jean size. For the studio, highlight color. Photos of big, beautiful Dutch Irises – indigo with yellow trim. Perfect.

White brings feelings of peace, comfort and freedom. A sense of uncluttered openness. Too much white can stimulate feelings of separation, cold and isolation. Since I tend to have too much clutter in my studio anyway, maybe a warm white color? I like the idea of peace, freedom and openness.

What color walls do you have in your studio or work area? Would you change them if you could? What would your ideal color be for studio walls?

In case you want to read some of these articles yourself, here are the ones I found most interesting and helpful:

Color Psychology

Color: A powerful mood-altering tool

Paint Color Moods

Effect of Colors: Blue Boosts Creativity, While Red Enhances Attention to Detail



7 responses to “While We’re Talking Paint: Which Colors Facilitate Creativity?

  1. My studio is green like the color of new leafs. I love it. I makes me feel like the outside has come into my work space. The ceiling is white tinted with green. The blinds are white. I love my room, I always look forward to working in it.

  2. Hi there! I don’t have a studio, but was looking for a color breakdown like this to determine what color to paint the kids’ playroom to increase brain activity and creativity. I think two walls of indigo and one of a light yellow with corresponding creative centers would be perfect – thanks for your research!

  3. You summed it up nicely , thank you.. 🙂

  4. So what colors did you use you never told us?

    • Scott, Thanks for asking. I ended up going with white. The walls and cupboards are all white. The tables and chairs natural wood. And yet there is color everywhere — in favorite photos, children’s drawings, shelves full of books and supplies. ~Ginger

  5. Hi Ginger – my stand alone studio in the redwoods is a very soft white green – very light but can hardly be seen what with the three windows-standing bookcases, hanging art, and storage units. But in all my other work areas color is so evident – aqua and lime in my lv/office, yellow,lime and lavender in my bedroom/sewing area. I love color-

  6. Pingback: The Color of Real-World Studios | Midnight Musings

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