The Arts | EGW Global Magazine
I recently travelled North to hold my weekend painting workshop. It’s always inspires me working with people who share their creative journeys, struggles and breakthroughs so openly, I truly love it. But the most common thing my students say is that they want to loosen up. They want to free themselves from the tightening that naturally happens as they start creating a painting. But why do so many people struggle with loosening up?
Perhaps you've been conditioned over time to always colour within the lines and avoid making mistakes, to do everything perfectly, nicely, and neatly as you've been told. Or maybe it's the fear of being judged or criticised, often self-inflicted, even when you've achieved great success. With everyone having their own unique set of expectations and experiences, there are countless reasons why you might feel trapped in this cycle. If you’re one of my tight bunnies looking to break free and let your creativity flow, there is something you need to know.
Your amazing and intricate brain has the power to transition you from being a rational thinking powerhouse to a creative and innovative problem solver. These two sides, or hemispheres, are known as the Left and Right side.
The logical side of your brain, commonly known as the Left side, prefers order and analysis. She’s responsible for making critical decisions, setting goals, and interpreting important information. She thinks linearly, is a whizz at to-do lists, doesn’t like mess, or staying out to late. This side of your brain works together with your creative side, but tends to be judgmental, evaluating not only your surroundings but also yourself.
Your creative side, the Right side, is your free-thinking spirit warrior. She has the ability to come up with unique solutions that are outside the box and can make a significant impact with her exceptional spatial skills. She will rock your world with her lateral thinking, has an excellent imagination and superior visual skills. Although she can be a little disorganised, she is intuitive, emotionally intelligent and fiercely innovative. Above all, she is non-judgmental and will never criticise you.
We possess the ability to operate in both the logical and creative side however, some of us may lean more towards one side than the other, hello me - not logical at all! To freely express yourself through art without any inhibitions or fears, it is essential to learn how to access your creative Right side, but how can you do this?
There are many exercises that can help you tap into the Right side of your brain. One popular exercise is copying this drawing by Picasso twice - once in its correct orientation and then upside down. Interestingly, the upside-down drawing often turns out to be more accurate. This is because our little lady on the left, who is responsible for judging your artwork and pointing out inaccuracies, is not as active when the image is upside down. This allows our little lady on the right, who kicks arse when it comes to creativity and abstract thinking, to guide your drawing without fear or judgment. By doing this exercise you are activating your attention, memory, reasoning, and problem solving, all powerful abilities associated with the right side of your brain.
Another well-known technique is to practice contour drawing, where you draw an object in front of you without looking at the paper or lifting your pen off the page. Then do this again, using your non-dominant hand, or if you're an ambidextrous queen, with your other hand. Lastly, try it with your eyes closed and rely on the feelings and memories you have of the object. This exercise can help you tap into your intuition, creativity and abstract thinking. Welcome back to the wild side babes, you're now rocking the right side of your brain!
As you soak up the sunshine or explore new places, I want you to embrace the idea of tapping into your powerfully creative right side. Embrace the unique shapes and colours around you without any expectation or judgement. Celebrate the quirky imperfections and cherish the fleeting moments that make life interesting and vibrant. Pour yourself a drink and ponder the idea that if your heart desires freedom, the heart shall have it! Take a deep breath, go back to your creative space, and let yourself loose with these exercises, meditation, or even dance. There is no time for criticism or judgment today, connect with your free-thinking warrior and enjoy the beauty and freedom of letting go.