Exploring the Influence of Colours

Exploring the Influence of Colours

“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.” - Mary Oliver

Colours are everywhere, and they can affect us in subtle ways. They influence whether we feel comfortable in a place and how we perceive a situation. We use them to express emotions, such as envy, love, or sadness, or abstract concepts, such as purity, white, or moods, like peaceful, green.

These interpretations, like so much in life, depend on the context and the culture in which they are used. In English-speaking countries, for example, green stands for envy. In German-speaking countries, it is the colour yellow. Many countries consider black to be the colour of mourning, but in Japan, it is white.

Even if colours are everywhere and are used by all living beings in some way or another, we shouldn't assume that everyone uses them in the same way.

This exercise is about being as conscious as possible about the effect and choice of colours. What is the message of your artwork? Does your creative result convey the desired concepts, thoughts, and feelings? Does it need a certain (cultural, social, etc.) background to be understood?

Pick a colour and interpret it in the context of your creative form of expression. Whether you make music, write stories or paint pictures, reflect on the following perspectives:

  1. Reflect on your current context.
    Before diving into your creative project, take a moment to think about the context in which you are creating. Consider the location, culture, and social norms that might influence the way colours are perceived. Acknowledging these factors can help you make more informed choices and create a piece that resonates with your intended audience.

  2. Describe how you feel about different colours.
    Reflect on your experiences and associations with these colours. Are there certain colours that evoke specific memories or emotions for you? Consider how your personal relationship with colour may influence your work, and whether you want to intentionally incorporate these associations into your piece.

  3. Select colours that fit your context, feelings, and needs.
    Now that you have a deeper understanding of your current context and your personal relationship with colour, start exploring different colour palettes that align with the emotions, messages, or themes you want to convey.

  4. Identify a colour that speaks to you.
    Regardless of your context, there might be a specific colour that resonates with you at this moment. Reflect on why this colour is so appealing to you and consider how you can incorporate it into your work. This personal connection can add depth and meaning to your piece, making it uniquely yours.

  5. Consider the emotions you want to evoke.
    As you finalize your colour choices, think about the feelings you want your finished work to evoke in both yourself and your audience. Do you want to create a sense of calm, excitement, or nostalgia? Keep these emotions in mind as you refine your colour palette and make adjustments as needed.

Being mindful of the colours you choose for your creative work can have a significant impact on the overall message and emotional resonance of your work. By considering your context, personal experiences and the emotions you want to evoke, you can create a truly powerful and engaging piece of art that speaks to both you and your audience. So go ahead, harness the power of your colours and let them inspire your next creative masterpiece!

Bonus Colour Table

If you're seeking a surprise or find yourself consistently drawn to the same colour, this tool can assist you! The table below offers 21 possibilities. Select one that sparks your interest the most, or use a random number generator to obtain a number between 1 and 21 and embrace the unexpected choice.

Index Colour Colour Mood Colour Meaning Symbolism
1 Red Passionate Love, Anger Energy, Power, Danger
2 Orange Joyful Creativity, Enthusiasm Warmth, Vitality, Success
3 Yellow Optimistic Happiness, Friendship Intelligence, Energy, Warning
4 Green Peaceful Growth, Balance Nature, Harmony, Health
5 Blue Calm Serenity, Trust Loyalty, Wisdom, Stability
6 Purple Regal Luxury, Creativity Ambition, Spirituality, Royalty
7 Pink Sweet Love, Innocence Romance, Femininity, Calm
8 Brown Comfortable Stability, Warmth Natural, Organic, Earthy
9 Gray Neutral Balance, Sophistication Wisdom, Intelligence, Maturity
10 Black Mysterious Elegance, Power Mystery, Death, Strength
11 White Pure Innocence, Cleanliness Peace, Purity, Simplicity
12 Gold Luxurious Wealth, Success Prosperity, Elegance, Quality
13 Silver Elegant Modern, Sophisticated Grace, Futuristic, High-Tech
14 Turquoise Tranquil Serenity, Protection Refreshing, Healing, Calming
15 Magenta Vibrant Spirituality, Imagination Creativity, Feminine, Fun
16 Indigo Mystical Intuition, Mystery Spirituality, Inspiration
17 Teal Rejuvenating Relaxation, Renewal Clarity, Balance, Serenity
18 Maroon Luxurious Opulence, Elegance Richness, Depth, Passion
19 Lavender Gentle Feminine, Graceful Grace, Calmness, Romance
20 Beige Neutral Simplicity, Warmth Unobtrusive, Relaxed, Calm
21 Olive Earthy Growth, Balance, Stability Peace, Hope, Prosperity