Monday, April 9, 2012

Righty or Lefty?

Research has shown that the right side of the brain is where the creative soul resides. The nonverbal, spatial, visual all live in the right side of the brain.

Prairie Grass Triptych

I hang out on the right side of my brain all the time.  The left side deals with language, logic and math skills. I like to joke that I can barely speak one language. Verbal skills are not my strong suit. And now I know why, because I am a right sided brain person.

I hear this all the time from people, “I am not creative”, and I try to tell them - "but creativity can be taught just like anything else."

You have to remember that the left side, logic, verbal-linquistic communication and math skills, have been what was stressed in school.

The right side is intuitive and relaxed. How can you teach that?

Intuitive and hopefully relaxation is what I think you need to be more creative. So how can you make yourself work from the right side of the brain more?

Here are some suggests to help your right brain be more in charge.
  • Have a work area free of distractions.
  • Get that space organized.
  • Have a space that is just for your work.

You don’t have to be super mom organized, just know where all your tools are and how you can function well in your space so you don’t have to think about where everything is. You should be able to lay your hands on the tool you need easily.

Don’t waste your time searching for stuff or figuring out how or where you can do the tasks you need to do to be creative. Organize your space so you can go there and work well.
  • Turn off the wrong noise.
Studies have shown that certain types of music are more conducive to right brain activity.

Classical music or wordless music lets your brain focus more on the right side where visualization and spatial planning is used.

The words (lyrics) in music are heard often unintended by your left brain, therefore keeping you out of the right side of the brain because it engages your left side to process the language. This is one of the reasons I never have the TV on or listen to popular (lyric based) music when I am creating, making something new.

I read somewhere that if you can’t be creative listening to Johann Sebastian Bach then you aren’t trying.
This made me immediately go to the library and take out all recordings done of his music and I often listening to it, or classical music when I am working in my studio.


That scares a lot of people, but I find it allows me to engage that right side of my brain and focus on what it is I am doing.

I love the long drives I take teaching, because it gives me time to think about projects. I keep a notebook and camera handy to take notes and pictures, yes even while I am driving, so that when inspiration strikes, and it always does, I can make notes and pictures of it.

I don’t answer my phone when I am working, isn’t that why we got voice mail?

My time is precious when I am working, and I return phone calls after I quit being creative.


Teresa in Music City said...

Oh my, you've got my mind working this morning! I've always been a word person, puzzles, reading, spelling etc. As I've gotten older and taken up quilting, I have been complaining that words no longer come so easily and I've been blaming it on age.... maybe it's just that I'm living in the right side of my brain now?!? Wow!!! Also, I really relate to working in silence or non-verbal noise. I usually cannot concentrate if the TV is on, and it rarely is :*)

Barb said...

I must be a righty because math and knowledge are not my skill points or verbal language.

Sharon Rotz said...

I, too, find that classical music helps the creative process. I'm sure my grade school music teacher is smiling at that. Also, I am more creative in the early morning before other things start to creep in.

Diane said...

Two years ago I retired after 31 years as a school psychologist. When people asked what I was going to do in my retirement, I told them I was moving from the left brain to the right brain! I love it over here. Thanks for the excellent post.

Laura Wasilowski said...

Working in silence really works for me too. This is a great post Frieda. Well thought out and very logical. Must have using your left brain at the time. And now I know why you never pick up the phone when I call.

Anonymous said...

I was practically born using the left side of my brain, and it truly is a struggle many times to move to the right side of my brain. Once I get there, I really LOVE being in my "right mind". lol Sorry...couldn't resist!

Anyhow, one thing that helped me move to using the right side of my brain is a book called "Drawing From The Right Side Of The Brain". I read (most of) it in the early 80's and started doing the exercises and drawing. To this day I look at the drawings that I did and am amazed at what I was able to do. I have been in a sort of "dry spell", and am thinking of going back to read the book and do the exercises once more. I want to be back into that space in my brain as fully as I was at that point.

Connie said...

Great post Frieda, I always love working in silence, I find music or TV very distracting. Even when I'm driving I enjoy the quiet and am always thinking of new things to create.

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