How Moving Abroad Enhances Your Creativity
It’s no secret that emigrating can be enormously beneficial for aspiring artists of all types. The right city can help provide the inspiration and opportunity that’s needed to kickstart a successful career in the arts. In fact, many of the world’s most celebrated artists, musicians, writers and filmmakers – Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Eddie Van Halen and Alfred Hitchcock to name just a few – were expatriates.
What’s more, scientific research has proven the positive correlation between creativity and immigration. A study from 2009 by psychologists William Maddux and Adam Galinsky discovered that when it comes to creative problem-solving, immigrants consistently outperform native populations. Galinsky reasons that this is because:
“There is some sort of psychological transformation that needs to occur when people are living in a foreign country in order to enhance creativity. This may happen when people work to adapt themselves to a new culture.”
The Top 5 Most Creative Cities in the World
5. Paris, France
The City of Lights has long been associated with expatriate artists; prompting the famed German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche to quip that “An artist has no home in Europe except in Paris.” Ranked 39th in the world for quality of life, Paris is well-known for its laid-back lifestyle, diverse cultural offerings and rich culinary scene (in fact the city is home to an impressive 100 Michelin star restaurants). What’s more, with its 245 theatres, the French Capital is also an ideal choice for budding actors, playwrights and directors.
4. Miami, US
Home to the world’s largest collection of art deco architecture, Miami in Florida is a top choice for artists and creatives seeking to immigrate into the US. In addition to its 72 theatres, the “Magic City” also boasts 27 art galleries and 18 museums.
3. Prague, Czech Republic
With a low cost of living of just $640 per month, Prague in the Czech Republic is an attractive option for artists who are just starting out. The Lonely Planet has sung the city’s praises as an underrated gem, saying “Prague is the equal of Paris in terms of beauty. Its history goes back a millennium. And the beer? The best in Europe.” Prague is a particularly good choice for professionals who work in the visual arts, as it has 201 art galleries and a lively arts scene.
2. Dublin, Ireland
Ranked 34th in the world for quality of life, the vibrant and welcoming city of Dublin in Ireland is a great option for artists thinking of relocating. Over the years, Ireland’s Fair City has built a reputation for literary excellence as it has been home to some of the world’s most famous novelists and playwrights (e.g. James Joyce, Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett for example). The city is also renowned for its lively music scene and as such is a great choice for aspiring musicians. As the LA Times put it, “Even a short stay in Dublin is like walking into literary history, accompanied by music”.
1. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Listed as 12th in the world for quality of life, Amsterdam in the Netherlands is the top destination for artists wishing to emigrate. With 96 theatres, 81 museums, 54 art galleries and 43 Michelin-starred restaurants; there is clearly plenty of inspiration to be found. What’s more, the city boasts a thriving creative scene which presents plenty of opportunities for aspiring artists of all types.
See the full list in our infographic below.