Sometimes, even at a creative agency, it’s hard to be creative. Writer’s block happens. Designers can’t figure out why their art isn’t popping. Strategists struggle to come up with that million-dollar idea for a campaign they’re working on…etc. We’re pretty awesome, but we’re only human.

Most of us have experienced this enough to know that one of the best things to do when you lack inspiration is to step away from your project, and focus your energy on something else – preferably something light-hearted and fun that gets the cogs turning.

One way to do that is through crafting. This allows for leisure time, which activates what’s called the “default mode network” in your brain that signals your mind to look at problems in a new way. The novelty of trying something new can reshape your approach to a problem and help you come at things with a fresh perspective. So basically, science is giving us an excuse to make cool things.

If you’re still not convinced, here are other ways you can benefit from crafting:

  1. Increase mindfulness
  2. Develop hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness and fine motor dexterity
  3. Improve memory formation and retrieval
  4. Exercise problem solving
  5. Improve patience and ability to focus

This past summer, a group of R/Westies decided to ditch our laptops for some moss and soil, and get crafty. We got our hands nice and dirty making fun little plant creations called kokedama. Kokedama (Japanese for “moss ball”) is a ball of soil covered with moss with an ornamental plant growing inside and popping out of the top. Kokedama can be hung from the ceiling or displayed in saucers to give a space a little botanical character. The Kokedama craft first popped up in Japan, then spread to the Netherlands, finally coming to the US where it’s swiftly gaining in popularity.

untitled0

The R/West team had a blast, got our creative juices flowing, and best of all, walked away with cute little plant balls to take home and talk to when bored.

If you’re interested in making your own kokedama, you can go here for step-by-step instructions: http://www.designsponge.com/2011/04/diy-project-kokedama-string-garden.html

 

Written by Jessica Landre