by Anna Ochmann

In the mornings I love looking far, far away into the distance. At the treetops and branches graphically drawn with heavy strokes of black. At the shapes of graphite ravens perched on the tops. At the misty, blurry water painting of the woods in the distance. And closer.  At the yellows of the siskins scouring in the bird-feeder.

And quite close. At the slender shape of the shiny teaspoon of sticky honey… The Saffron yellow of delicate crushed tulip petals, a folded page of the book a carelessly put down at the weary night.

Ethereal smudges of hot tea aroma flow over the bulky mug I’m holding in both hands.

I am lucky to be living in a place where civilization and nature blend. The big glass door of my workshop open to the fields and, further on in the distance, to the colourful stain of woods, which in winter is monochromatic, as if hazy, and in autumn saturated with a riot of colour.

This is my place. For painting, writing, creating.  Drawing. Thinking.

And at the same time I live in a city, in one of the biggest Polish conurbations (Katowice urban area). Amidst a large-city hustle and bustle and with easy access to a vibrant cultural scene. With my favourite places to hang out with my friends or walk my dogs, magical jazz evenings, when music mingles with laughter and chats about everything and anything.

It is from this very mix of various elements that most of my best, most creative ideas are born.  And how does it work with other ‘creative’ people?

The report ‘WeTransfer IDEAS REPORT’ is an attempt to answer this question and it summarizes the results of a survey carried out in 143 countries in June 2018, in which over 10,000 creative people  took part  (after all, who wouldn’t use wetransfer?). Is it possible to find a common denominator for creative people, and if so, what factors influence it? And is it possible, having this knowledge, to develop consciously one’s creativity, or create conditions for its development?

When reading this report, I raised my eyebrows with surprise on a few occasions and I smiled a few times thinking  ‘yes, this is all me’.  Here are a few questions from the report:

‘When is most creative part of your day?’ – ‘it’s never the same (33%)’. Just like with me. Sometimes it is this fleeting moment when the dawn mingles with some blurred dreams, sometimes when I cook pasta, and sometimes when I am drawing, sometimes when I laugh happily with my friends…

‘What inspires your best ideas’ – “talking with friends” (45%), “book and magazines” (45%), “travel” (38%), “music” (35%) “nature” (34%). – this is all about me…

‘Where do you get your best ideas’ – “at work/at my desk/at my studio” (47%).  This is me – most often when I freeze with a paintbrush in my hand or in this microsecond when I am looking for the right key on the keyboard of my computer while typing something.

‘How do you usually record your ideas’ – “on pen and paper” (40%) – this is me again… (all these little pieces of paper on which I hurriedly jot things down, or on other occasions write down very slowly and carefully, all those notes on which I cross things out, doodle or scribble…)

‘To be really creative I need’ – “quiet and silence” (65%) – although I do need sometimes the chatter of a Cracovian cafe…

It seems to me that creativity, those spells of creative moments, are usually unpredictable, yet perhaps there are moments or situations that are conducive to it?

The report is available here: