mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS, AT THE intersection OF art & life

Left Brain, Right Brain, Or...?

Listening to Studio 360: "Tale of Two Brains." Is your life dominated by the left or right hemisphere of your brain? Are you analytical or intuitive? Verbal or visual/musical? Do you best deal with details or overall patterns?

The segment featured an interview with the son of Betty Edwards, who wrote the fabulously best-selling "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain." He carries on her work in seminars and workshops. The idea is that you can be a better artist if you work at turning off your left-brain "here's what I'm supposed to be seeing" filters and draw what you actually see.

I had that book once, but it didn't work any miracles on me. I think my braininess is fairly well-balanced. I'm a good detail person and a good systems thinker. My left-brain loves organizing and planning, which inhibits the artistic spontaneity of my right brain. But, on the other hand, grasping the overall landscape of a project (right brain) saves me from getting bogged down in the left-brain details.

The producer of the radio piece came to this conclusion: when it comes to creativity, left vs right discussions are only marginally useful. Whatever you do to stimulate and rewire your brain helps in the long-run. But aptitude and skill-building take you only so far.

What's more important than the modestly above average analytical abilities of your left brain or perceptual abilities of your right, they assert, is your creative drive (emerging from the back of your brain). Without that, all you have is potential.

10.12.06

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