Category Archives: Adult

Diary@Large

washi tape inspirational doodle

Her sketchbook drawings have dates incorporated into the art, which makes me wonder if this is a form of journal. Typography in the illustrations is often inspirational or emotional in subject, which suggests something therapeutic for the artist. There’s also a nostalgic aspect which comes from using snips of patterned washi tape to add elements of collage into the sketches. A scrapbook made of sketches instead of photos? You can follow Mall Licudine’s instagram or tumblrto see more.

Source – doodles anonymous

When life is unpredictable

Here are seven reasons to get creative when life gets unpredictable.

Let Your Creative Practice Hold You & Guide You
Having a regular creative practice can help you feel grounded during times of uncertainty and change. You may not be able to control all kinds of external circumstances but you can decide that you’re going to show up to the page or dance or sing, no matter what.

Let Life Be Your Creative Fuel
One of the great gifts of the arts is that they can hold the whole gamut of our experience. Whatever you are going through, whatever is churning, burning or buzzing inside, channel it into your art. Write a scathing poem. Sing a song of grief. Sew an outfit of ta-dah!

Connect to Your Inner Wisdom
Engaging your worrying mind in a simple creative activity can make way for your intuition and inner wisdom. Don’t be surprised if a sudden moment of clarity arrives while you’re colouring, doodling or beading.

Open Your Mind: Allow Your Life & Yourself to Be Shaken
We don’t like to be shaken but sometimes it is healthy for us to mix things up. When we’re out of our groove, that’s the best time to think about what song we actually want to be playing. Take this opportunity to open up your eyes and get a fresh perspective. Is this an opportunity for a fresh start?

Improvise
Creativity loves to dance with the unknown, to look for patterns, to make meaning out of chaos. Your creativity isn’t just for peaceful Sunday afternoons over cups of tea (though I love that, don’t you?) Our creativity is a force to be reckoned with, a skill we can draw on in every situation. Tap into your creativity and find your way to ride what is right here, right now. You never know what might happen!

Our Art is More than a Hobby
When we choose to stick with our art and creative practice even when life is unpredictable, out of synch or disrupted, we are saying to ourselves, to others and to the Universe, this matters. We’re saying, this isn’t a hobby; it is who we are. Like eating or sleeping, our art time is essential.

Creativity is Our Magic
Creativity is a gift that runs through every fibre of our being. It is the magic we draw on in times of need and in times of glory. It is where our resilience and our resourcefulness live. It is for every day and for all time. Even now.

Source jamie ridler studio

photo daniel miessler.com

 

 

Embracing the artist within

There’s a huge misconception about art and artists. Most people believe that you are born with talent or not, and there’s nothing you can do about it. While we can’t all be Van Goghs, the desire to create, along with proper instruction, can take a person of modest talent a long way towards creating art. If you’ve ever had the urge to embrace your artistic side, why not do it? It doesn’t matter whether you think you are talented or not.

creativity

Here are some of the best ways that picking up your paint brush can benefit your brain and mental health.

  • Art stimulates the imagination
  • Art makes you more observant
  • Art enhances problem-solving skills
  • Art reduces stress
  • Art encourages out-of-the-box thinking and lets you come up with your own unique solution
  • Art enhances cognitive abilities and memory, even for people with serious brain conditions

Source, picture and rest of article HERE

More Doodling!

‘I sat through two 45-minute lectures in high school social studies and not only was I super focused because I was doodling, I could also basically give the lecture afterwards.’
Shelley Paul, Director of learning design at Woodward Academy

Making Learning Visible: Doodling Helps Memories Stick

Shelley Paul and Jill Gough had heard that doodling while taking notes could help improve memory and concept retention, but as instructional coaches they were reluctant to bring the idea to teachers without trying it out themselves first.

“It causes you to listen at a different level,” said Jill Gough, director of teaching and learning at Trinity Schools. Doodling has long been seen as a sign that students aren’t paying attention. But it may be time to give doodling an image makeover.

“This is a way to get your working memory to carry more,” Klemm said at a Learning and the Brain conference in San Francisco.

A ninth-grader's doodle of a discussion about Mark Antony's rhetorical strategies in Act 3 of 'Julius Caesar.'(Courtesy of Shelley Paul)

Source

Doodle into relaxation

Coloring books, though, are by far the most popular kids’ activity for grown-ups. And it’s not hard to see why.

Just imagine your favorite coloring book as a kid, only updated to reflect your much-improved motor skills and worldliness. Wouldn’t it be nice to take an hour with a cup of coffee and get lost in a sea of possibility and imagination?

These books are selling at breakneck pace. Publishers are even having trouble keeping them in stock.

The book that started the craze, “Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book,” has sold over 2 million copies worldwide since its release in 2013.

It doesn’t look like this coloring book train is slowing down any time soon, so here are three reasons you need to get on board.

Read more nad source

1. A good coloring session can relieve stress and anxiety.

2. No paper? No problem. Now, you can color on the go.

3) These coloring books are also hilarious.

Whether you’re coloring to relax or just to have some fun, there’s a coloring book out there for you.

 

 

Hallelujah to non-cognitive skills!

So what are these non-cognitive skills?  They are the intangibles – the “it” factors like grit, hope, growth mindset, self-control, resiliency, self-efficacy – that drive greatness, whether it be within students in the classroom, athletes on the field, or employees in an organization.  These are the skills teachers love to see in their students.  These are the skills coaches desire to find in their athletes.  And these are also the skills that employers seek to find within the individuals leading their organizations. In recognizing the power of these non-cognitive skills, major testing companies are now in the process of developing assessments that target these skills. Likewise, institutions of higher education are beginning to move beyond simply looking at ACT and SAT scores and are now placing greater attention on applicants’ non-cognitive skills when determining which students to admit to their universities.  Most recently, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) announced that beginning in 2017, they will also begin measuring non-cognitive skills as part of their assessment of the nation’s students.

Let’s Start Teaching the Skills that Matter Most – fullarticle here

Source the creativity post

About Dr. Brian Davidson
Brian Davidson is the founder and president of the Intrinsic Institute, a research, coaching, and consulting firm discovering and building the best in individuals and organizations. The Intrinsic Institute specializes in the measurement, training, and development of non-cognitive skills, the intangible “it” factors such as self-motivation, grit, and resiliency driving greatness. With a mission to ignite the greatness within, the Intrinsic Institute partners with individuals, educational institutions, and businesses to build the non-cognitive skills that drive exceptional human performance.

 

 

 

Untranslatable illustrations

14 UNTRANSLATABLE WORDS TURNED INTO BEAUTIFUL ILLUSTRATIONS

1. Cafuné

What could this word mean. It sound a bit -deriving from french – as if that it has something to do with combing hair but it does not seem to mean exactly just that … what then?

“- the act of tenderly running fingers through someone’s hair
Brazilian-Portuguese: For the third time in my life, I’m caught in a daze, I tripped over the heart of a beautiful girl, and stumbled, helpless, straight into her gaze, now nothing else matters, but her beautiful curls. People might tell me that this is a craze, “it’s nothing, you fool, but the honeymoon phase!” But I don’t believe them, no, not for a day, I’ll run my fingers through her hair, and practice “Cafune”.”

See the rest of them here … amazing collection! 🙂

 

 

Julia Cameron the Artist’s Way

Welcome to Julia Cameron Live from Julia Cameron on Vimeo.

Using our creativity is our gift to god.

The Artist’s Way movement began more than two decades ago as author Julia Cameron shared her ideas with a few friends in her living room. Today, The Artist’s Way has helped millions of people around the world discover–and recover– their creativity.

Whether you are brand-new to The Artist’s Way or have a bookshelf filled with years of Morning Pages journals, whether you are working on a large artistic project or simply wishing to experience more creativity in your life, welcome to Julia Cameron Live: the online home of Julia Cameron and The Artist’s Way.

Source

A Creative Soul

“For me, insanity is super sanity. The normal is psychotic. Normal means lack of imagination, lack of creativity.” ~ Jean Dubuffet

Here are 26 signs of an artistic, creative soul:

1. We don’t wait for inspiration—we are the inspiration.

2. We might still have a day job, but that doesn’t hinder creative—or productivity.

3. We believe in ourselves, even when it feels like the world does not.

4. We are tenacious—and not only because we know that an artistic temperament is dogmatic, but because we have no choice but to keep on creating.

5. While we believe in ourselves, we also believe in the talent of others—we drink in the art and work of our peers and we learn from it whenever possible.

6. We know that our early work is definitely different from our emerging, more sculpted talent—and we can’t wait to forever witness our own growth continually take shape.

7. We take breaks from producing in order to live, but we never take breaks from being creative; finding fodder in life too.

8. We never work tomorrow when we can work today.

9. We appreciate other art forms.

10. Creative souls come in a variety of colors and styles, but one thing that regularly matches is our passion, our drive and our willingness to be different.

11. We think “weird” is a compliment.

12. We don’t follow the rules of tried-and-true molds from previous artists—we create fresh, new ones.

13. We may or may not have good business sense, but we absolutely see the benefits—and joys—of networking.

14. When we tell people that we’re “self-employed,” we don’t care if they think it’s code for “unemployed.”

15. Even when “self-employed” feels like it translates to “unemployed,” we continue forth with our dreams because we can’t do anything else.

16. Our work clothes and our play clothes are often the exact same thing.

17. We’re observant—we may or may not be empaths (many of us are), but all of us have “observant” encrypted within our DNA.

18. We expect failure.

19. And then we get back up.

20. Time does not exist when we are working within our medium.

21. Whether introverted or extroverted, we see alone time as a way to rejuvenate, and we see social opportunities as a way to become inspired.

22. We believe in ourselves, but we can be pretty harsh critics too.

23. We generally have problems with authority, because we embody innovation.

24. We aren’t afraid to ask questions.

25. We care more about quality than quantity (and this includes public opinion).

26. We’re moody—and we take advantage of this with our art.

Source

creative minds

What is your Element?

Sir Ken Robinson – Finding your Element (extracts)

Finding your Element is essential to your well-being and ultimate success, and, by implication, to the health of our organizations and the effectiveness of our educational systems.

I believe strongly that if we can each find our Element, we all have the potential for much higher achievement and fulfillment. I don’t mean to say that there’s a dancer, a cartoonist, or a Nobel-winning economist in each of us. I mean that we all have distinctive talents and passions that can inspire us to achieve far more than we may imagine.

Understanding this changes everything. It also offers us our best and perhaps our only promise for genuine and sustainable success in a very uncertain future.

Being in our Element depends on finding our own distinctive talents and passions. Why haven’t most people found this? One of the most important reasons is that most people have a very limited conception of their own natural capacities. This is true in several ways.

The first limitation is in our understanding of the range of our capacities. We are all born with extraordinary powers of imagination, intelligence, feeling, intuition, spirituality, and of physical and sensory awareness. For the most part, we use only a fraction of these powers, and some not at all. Many people have not found their Element because they don’t understand their own powers.

The second limitation is in our understanding of how all of these capacities relate to each other holistically. For the most part, we think that our minds, our bodies, and our feelings and relationships with others operate independent of each other, like separate systems. Many people have not found their Element because they don’t understand their true organic nature.

The third limitation is in our understanding of how much potential we have for growth and change. For the most part, people seem to think that life is linear, that our capacities decline as we grow older, and that opportunities we have missed are gone forever. Many people have not found their Element because they don’t understand their constant potential for renewal.

This limited view of our own capacities can be compounded by our peer groups, by our culture, and by our own expectations of ourselves. A major factor for everyone, though, is education.

Book

 

The healing benefits of colouring

Adult coloring is surging in popularity, and I’ve wondered why. Sure, it is engaging, relaxing and helps combat stress — and who doesn’t in our too-hectic lives need more of that terrific trio? Yet I can experience those things from my primary leisure activity, reading fiction. What coloring offers that reading does not is explained aptly by clinical psychologist Kimberly Wulfert for EverydayHealth.com:

“In coloring, you’ve got this physical sensation of the tool you’re using touching on the paper. You also have the feeling in your hands and fingers holding this tool, and moving in different rhythms as you fill in the space,” she says, adding that “you’re being mindful, and when you move in a rhythmic fashion for an extended period of time, that becomes a meditation.”

Perhaps coloring for me, right now, offers something more than the benefits I’ve already described. Maybe it offers me the very mix I wasn’t able to value in my 20s: the combination of remembering the comforts of being a child while incorporating the creativity of an adult.

Full article

Colored pencils.

Meditate!

Harvard neuroscientist: Meditation not only reduces stress, here’s how it changes your brain

Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, was one of the first scientists to take the anecdotal claims about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness and test them in brain scans. What she found surprised her — that meditating can literally change your brain.

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We found differences in brain volume after eight weeks in five different regions in the brains of the two groups. In the group that learned meditation, we found thickening in four regions:

1. The primary difference, we found in the posterior cingulate, which is involved in mind wandering, and self relevance.

2. The left hippocampus, which assists in learning, cognition, memory and emotional regulation.

3. The temporo parietal junction, or TPJ, which is associated with perspective taking, empathy and compassion.

4. An area of the brain stem called the Pons, where a lot of regulatory neurotransmitters are produced.

The amygdala, the fight or flight part of the brain which is important for anxiety, fear and stress in general. That area got smaller in the group that went through the mindfulness-based stress reduction program.

The change in the amygdala was also correlated to a reduction in stress levels.

Full article

Bibliotherapy

Can Reading Make You Happier?
BY CERIDWEN DOVEY


Bibliotherapy is a very broad term for the ancient practice of encouraging reading for therapeutic effect. The first use of the term is usually dated to a jaunty 1916 article in The Atlantic Monthly, “A Literary Clinic.” In it, the author describes stumbling upon a “bibliopathic institute” run by an acquaintance, Bagster, in the basement of his church, from where he dispenses reading recommendations with healing value. “Bibliotherapy is…a new science,” Bagster explains. “A book may be a stimulant or a sedative or an irritant or a soporific. The point is that it must do something to you, and you ought to know what it is. A book may be of the nature of a soothing syrup or it may be of the nature of a mustard plaster.” To a middle-aged client with “opinions partially ossified,” Bagster gives the following prescription: “You must read more novels. Not pleasant stories that make you forget yourself. They must be searching, drastic, stinging, relentless novels.” (George Bernard Shaw is at the top of the list.) Bagster is finally called away to deal with a patient who has “taken an overdose of war literature,” leaving the author to think about the books that “put new life into us and then set the life pulse strong but slow.”

Today, bibliotherapy takes many different forms, from literature courses run for prison inmates to reading circles for elderly people suffering from dementia. Sometimes it can simply mean one-on-one or group sessions for “lapsed” readers who want to find their way back to an enjoyment of books. Berthoud and her longtime friend and fellow bibliotherapist Susan Elderkin mostly practice “affective” bibliotherapy, advocating the restorative power of reading fiction. The two met at Cambridge University as undergraduates, over 20 years ago, and bonded immediately over the shared contents of their bookshelves, in particular Italo Calvino’s novel “If on a winter’s night a traveler,” which is itself about the nature of reading. As their friendship developed, they began prescribing novels to cure each other’s ailments, such as a broken heart or career uncertainty. “When Suse was having a crisis about her profession—she wanted to be a writer, but was wondering if she could cope with the inevitable rejection—I gave her Don Marquis’s ‘Archy and Mehitabel’ poems,” Berthoud tells me. “If Archy the cockroach could be so dedicated to his art as to jump on the typewriter keys in order to write his free-verse poems every night in the New York offices of the Evening Sun, then surely she should be prepared to suffer for her art, too.” Years later, Elderkin gave Berthoud,who wanted to figure out how to balance being a painter and a mother, Patrick Gale’s novel “Notes from an Exhibition,” about a successful but troubled female artist.

We had some satisfying back-and-forths over e-mail, with Berthoud digging deeper, asking about my family’s history and my fear of grief, and when she sent the final reading prescription it was filled with gems, none of which I’d previously read. Among the recommendations was “The Guide,” by R. K. Narayan. Berthoud wrote that it was “a lovely story about a man who starts his working life as a tourist guide at a train station in Malgudi, India, but then goes through many other occupations before finding his unexpected destiny as a spiritual guide.” She had picked it because she hoped it might leave me feeling “strangely enlightened.” Another was “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ,” by José Saramago: “Saramago doesn’t reveal his own spiritual stance here but portrays a vivid and compelling version of the story we know so well.” “Henderson the Rain King,” by Saul Bellow, and “Siddhartha,” by Hermann Hesse, were among other prescribed works of fiction, and she included some nonfiction, too, such as “The Case for God,” by Karen Armstrong, and “Sum,” by the neuroscientist David Eagleman, a “short and wonderful book about possible afterlives.”
Source newyorker.com

We draw on the same brain networks when we’re reading stories and when we’re trying to guess at another person’s feelings.

ILLUSTRATION BY SARAH MAZZETTI

A whole new mind – D.Pink

Book Review and Summary

A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink

Riverhead Books A Member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. New York 2005

The introduction to this book makes a bold statement about the future. Leaders with traditional business school skills and traits are now a dime a dozen. There is a new sheriff in town and he is in high demand.

The author says that the future belongs to those with a right-side mindset—creators, artists, empathizers, pattern recognizers and “meaning makers”. We are moving from the logical, linear, computer-based Information Age to a “Conceptual Age” in our economy and society, one where creativity, innovation, empathy and big-picture thinking will be rewarded and recognized. To support his big idea, Pink tells us that the most valued degree in business is now the MFA, Master of Fine Arts.

funny picture11

Pink says the MFA is the new MBA. He offers two reasons for this major shift in business thinking:

1) Jobs that the MBA used to do are now being done overseas through outsourcing and

2) business leaders have recognized that the biggest competitive differentiator they can have is for their products to be “physically beautiful and emotionally compelling”.

The author does a quick analysis of left-brain (L-directed) versus right-brain (R- directed) thinking. He believes we need to maintain our L-directed skills, but master six essential R-directed aptitudes, or “Six Senses”: Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play and Meaning.

With the description of these senses, I think that he has tapped into the subtle shifts that will shape our future. The rest of the book is devoted to a discussion of each of the six senses. At the end of each chapter, there is an additional chapter of suggested exercises or activities that you can do in order to stimulate these senses.

I will give a very limited description here of each of the six senses and I don’t expect to give them the attention they deserve, but I hope it’s enough to tantalize you into reading the book. With interesting detail, the author gives good examples and analogies as to how these concepts will play out in our future lives.

hemispheres

Design

Good design in our lives is essential—from appliances, cars and furniture to things like “butterfly” ballots that may have affected a presidential election. Design is critical to every business as products must be ever more user-friendly, beautiful, compact, energy-efficient, ergonomic and useful. Good design is essential to good products and R-directed thinking allows us to understand how people use products in order to make products better

Story

Pink describes story as “context enriched by emotion”. Story is how information has traditionally been passed from one generation to another. Even though facts are now available instantly and virtually for free, story will remain important because of the emotional Impact. It’s the emotional element that makes information stick.

Symphony

As Pink says, “Symphony is largely about relationships.” The Conceptual Age will reward those who can see connections between seemingly unrelated areas. They will be multi-taskers. They can blend their knowledge of diverse talents and skills to push the “boundary” of accepted practices—for example, someone who takes their knowledge of math into the medical field or someone who applies their knowledge of music to business concepts.

Empathy

The concept of being able to enter someone else’s “shoes” has always been considered an essential leadership attribute, but this ability will be in even higher demand in the future. Everyone can be more successful by being empathetic¬-business people, parents, colleagues, employees, politicians, doctors, lawyers, nurses, service people and just about any other role in our society. Pink offers several ways to improve your empathy skills.

Play

This chapter talks about a man who has developed “Laughter Clubs” throughout the world and the positive impact they are having on business and community. The Conceptual Age will allow us to combine both work and play. A great example of this is the video game. The author makes a case that video games are a big part of our future by giving us compelling statistics regarding video game use by young people.

Meaning

As a society, we are on a high energy search for meaning. Pink cites a report from USC titled A Spiritual Audit of Corporate America. In the report, spirituality was defined by most executives not as religion, but as “the basic desire to find purpose and meaning in one’s life”. Among a lot of other things, the chapter refers to the rise in popularity of labyrinths. If you don’t know, labyrinths are circular, unobstructed mazes that end at the center where one takes a leisurely walk and meditates. There is something special about walking a labyrinth that gives most people a spiritual experience. If you want to know more look up www.labyrinthsociety.org. and you can find a labyrinth near you. Now comes the review part. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I believe Daniel Pink has tapped into a trend that is still simmering beneath the surface. It may start as simply as valuing creative types by putting them on a fast track to management, but it will end as a seismic shift. In ancient times, we valued the artisan and craftsman as evidenced by the legacy of incredible works of art and architecture. The industrial and information ages later stimulated us to explore the left sides of our brains to such an extent that we developed computers to take our logical thinking to unimaginable heights. It’s only fitting that the pendulum would swing back to the right side of the brain when we once again realize the value of creativity and innovation. Our true breakthrough will come when we combine R¬directed and L-directed thinking in equal parts.

a whole new mind

 

The age of the right brain

Let Computers Compute. It’s the Age of the Right Brain.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

— Albert Einstein

I’m of two minds. As a matter of fact, so are you. And until recently, corporate America wasn’t doing much to take advantage of one of them. But now that we’re hip-deep in what has been called both the “Creative Economy” and the “Conceptual Age,” no one can afford to ignore the artist within: the right hemisphere of the brain.

Although popularized in the 1980s by the artist Betty Edwards in her book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain,” the right-brain-left-brain dichotomy originated with the research of the American biologist Roger W. Sperry in the 1960s. Through studying “split brain” animals and human patients, whose brain hemispheres had been disconnected (in humans, this was done to prevent severe epileptic seizures), he found that each side of the brain plays its own role in cognition. The left side, home of the human language center, is the outspoken logical, linear half of the equation. The right side, home to spatial perception and nonverbal concepts, is the nonlinear, high-concept source of the imagination and of pleasure.

creativity.jpg

The two function cheek-by-jowl, constantly sending signals back and forth through a bundle of 200 million to 300 million nerve fibers to help balance learning, analysis and communication throughout the brain.

But now that computers can emulate many of the sequential skills of the brain’s left hemisphere — the part that sees the individual trees in a forest — the author Daniel Pink argues that it’s time for our imaginative right brain, which sees the entire forest all at once, to take center stage.

“These abilities have always been part of what it means to be human,” notes Mr. Pink, who synthesized his ideas about the new role of right-brain thinking in his 2005 book “A Whole New Mind.” “It’s just that after a few generations in the Information Age, many of our high-concept, high-touch muscles have atrophied. The challenge is to work them back into shape.”

Why bother? Because much of the left-brain-centric work that the Information Age workers of America once did — computer programming, financial accounting, routing calls — is now done more cheaply in Asia or more efficiently by computers. If it can be outsourced or automated, it probably has been.

Now the master of fine arts, or M.F.A., Mr. Pink says, “is the new M.B.A.”

He’s not the only one saying it. When General Motors hired Robert A. Lutz in 2001 to whip its product development into shape, he told The New York Times about his new approach. “It’s more right brain. It’s more creative,” he said.

“I see us as being in the art business,” he said, “art, entertainment and mobile sculpture, which, coincidentally, also happens to provide transportation.”

When a car company like G.M. is in the art business, every company in any other industry is, too.

So it makes sense that business executives are turning to the original pop culture icon of right-brain thinking, “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain,” for guidance into their right minds. Ms. Edwards retired in 1998, but her son, Brian Bomeisler, teaches scores of corporate and public workshops each year.

The list of companies Mr. Bomeisler has worked with is a Who’s Who of the Fortune 500. “That corny phrase ‘thinking outside the box,’ that’s what I do for corporations,” he says. “In teaching them how to draw, I’m teaching them an entirely new way to see. They unbox their minds and absorb what’s really there, with all of the complexity and beauty. One of the common phrases that students use afterward is that the world appears to be so much richer.”

During a two-day workshop with Halliburton Energy Services, Mr. Bomeisler watched as a team’s drawings slowly revealed an obvious solution to a longstanding problem. Team members realized from drawing that they had been enjoying their special status as a task force and had become so fascinated with the problem before them that they were in no hurry to solve it. This was resolved after management set a strict deadline and promised the group equally intriguing problems in the future.

By JANET RAE-DUPREE

Published: April 6, 2008

Tips for drawing

TURNING DRAWING GOALS INTO A REALITY

How many times have your good intentions to draw failed? You buy a new book and become inspired by someone else’s journey. You visit an art store and beguiled by the shiny pencils and inviting paper, load up your shopping basket and leave the shop with your wallet lighter and a spring in your step – only to find that life gets in the way and before you know it, a month or two has passed and you haven’t even opened your sketchbook. Goal setting can seem a bit left-brained but we all need a kick-start every so often and if it gets us drawing does it matter?

Here are five steps to turning your drawing goals into a reality. Five Steps to Turning Your Drawing Goals into a Reality:

Make a list of drawing goals and write them down (writing them down means you are more likely to stick to them).

Be realistic (there’s no point in setting yourself up to fail)

Make a date in your diary – ideally in one month, no later than in three – to review and revise your goals. It’s okay to change and let go of goals but do consciously and deliberately, rather than just letting them fade away in embarrassment. It’s natural that what we want now might be different to what we want in three months time.

Share your goals with a friend (they can be a non-drawing person!). A ‘goal buddy’ can support you in your endeavours (and you can support them in theirs). Be accountable to each other as well as giving each other moral support and encouragement.

For every goal you set, make a plan now about how you are going to achieve it. Be as specific as you can break things down into small manageable steps and write them down.

and finally…

Give yourself permission to start again… if your drawing has fallen by the wayside, so what. The sky won’t fall in. If it’s something you really want to do, just do it. Start now.

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The artist’s way – Julia Cameron

“Reminding one another of the dream that each of us aspires to may be enough for us to set each other free.” Antoine De Saint-Exupery

The groundbreaking book The Artist’s Way has helped more than a million people access their creativity and realize their dreams. We are most proud of this success because it has been achieved over many years completely by word of mouth. Starting in the art communities of Chicago, New York and Los Angeles and quickly spreading to Europe, The Artist’s Way is a spiritual path to higher creativity. The Artist’s Way at Work: Riding the Dragon is a comprehensive 12 week program to discover your creativity in the work place.

The Artist’s Way at Work: Riding the Dragon is a process that is built to help you produce a body of work over time, find the joy that may be gone from your life or your art, and to separate what is important in your life from what is either behavior that is outdated or incongruent with your own highest interest–and oh yes, it is supposed to be fun. At least part of the time.

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Julia Cameron’s Basic Tools

Morning Pages

Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages– they are not high art. They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only.

Artist Dates

The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. The Artist Date need not be overtly “artistic”– think mischief more than mastery.

collage

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SEIZE THE DRAWING MOMENT

Carry a sketchbook with you at all times. Seize the drawing moment!

Make a specific time each week for drawing (each day if you can) to draw. Keep this time sacrosanct and don’t let it be hijacked by chores, friends or family. Even 15 minutes will make a difference.

Book a workshop or a class. Mixing with like-minded people can be really motivating. If you can’t do something regularly perhaps attend a one-day or residential workshop. Check out your local museums for classes – they often run drawing events for adults. Check their ‘What’s On’ and book early as they are often over-subscribed.

If you are not near any museums, look online – there are some fantastic e-groups out there where like-minded people from all corners of the globe share their frustrations and triumph in drawing and creating.

Don’t wait for the muse to strike – you’ll be waiting an awful long time. Draw regardless of whether you feel ‘in the mood’. Just start drawing and see what happens…

Buy a box file or other storage container and collect images that inspire you… magazine cuttings, postcards, photographs, bits of fabric. Create an ‘ideas’ box you can draw on.
Keep your drawing materials accessible and to hand so it won’t be a big performance to start drawing.

Make an artist’s date with yourself once a month. This is a time for you to do something to nourish your inner artist – perhaps visit a gallery, go sketching, visit somewhere new, do something you wouldn’t normally do – whatever you want but do it by yourself and make it fun. Step outside your comfort zone. When we struggle, we learn, when we learn we grow.

At the back of your sketchbook make a list of things to draw and each time you want to draw just pull off the first thing on the list. Here’s a start: draw a shoe; an egg beater; the first thing you pull out of the kitchen implements draw, your hand; your foot; objects on the mantelpiece; a pair of spectacles…

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Shut up the inner critic!

We all have an inner critic that sits on our shoulder harping on about how rubbish we are, how we are wasting our time and why don’t we just give up.

However, it is possible to shut this guy up! Try some of the following tips to take back control of your drawing. Don’t let “the lodger” spoil your fun. If you don’t feed that negative voice, it will just fizzle away…

Sign, date and keep your work as a record of your progress. Seeing how you are improving will spur you on.

Every few months, take out all your drawings, lay them out in sequence (or better yet, pin them up on a wall) and then look at them with open,friendly, non-judging eyes. Look at them as you would look at a piece of work by a stranger. Notice where you’ve improved. See if you can identify areas you’d like to work on or themes you’d like to explore. Remember – most important of all – be kind to yourself!

Don’t give up halfway through a drawing – push through the self-judgment barrier of ‘this drawing is rubbish’. Just keep going regardless and see what happens. It’s a drawing not a work of art…

Stand back from your drawing as often as you can, walk away and come back and see it with fresh eyes. When you think you’ve ‘finished’, leave it propped up, go away and keep coming back to it, you’ll soon notice anything that looks ‘off’.

Turn a drawing upside down – areas that For every critical comment you make on your finished drawing, match it with one positive thing you are pleased with. It could just be the fact that you didn’t give up or the way you’ve caught the light in one spot. Look at your own work as you would look at someone else’s and be as kind to yourself as you would be to them.

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Drawing

The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards – Extracts

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, I believe, was one of the first practical educational applications of Roger Sperry’s pioneering insight into the dual nature of human thinking—verbal, analytic thinking mainly located in the left hemisphere, and visual, perceptual thinking mainly located in the right hemisphere. Since 1979, many writers in other fields have proposed applications of the research, each in turn suggesting new ways to enhance both thinking modes, thereby increasing potential for personal growth.

Like other global skills—for example, reading, driving, skiing, and walking—drawing is made up of component skills that become integrated into a whole skill. Once you have learned the components and have integrated them, you can draw—just as once you have learned to read, you know how to read for life; once you have earned to walk, you know how to walk for life. You don’t have to go on forever adding additional basic skills. Progress takes the form of practice, refinement of technique, and learning what to use the skills for.

This was an exciting discovery because it meant that a person can learn to draw within a reasonably short time.

Five basic skills of drawing The global skill of drawing a perceived object, person, landscape (something that you see “out there”) requires only five basic component skills, no more. These skills are not drawing skills. They are perceptual skills, listed as follows:

One: the perception of edges

Two: the perception of spaces

Three: the perception of relationships

Four: the perception of lights and shadows

Five: the perception of the whole, or gestalt

I am aware, of course, that additional basic skills are required for imaginative, expressive drawing leading to “Art with a capital A.” Of these, I have found two and only two additional skills: drawing from memory and drawing from imagination. And there remain, naturally, many techniques of drawing—many ways of manipulating
drawing mediums and endless subject matter, for example. But, to repeat, for skilful realistic drawing of one’s perceptions, using pencil on paper, the five skills I will teach you in this book provide the required perceptual training.

Those five basic skills are the prerequisites for effective use of the two additional “advanced” skills, and the set of seven may constitute the entire basic global skill of drawing. Many books on drawing actually focus mainly on the two advanced skills.

In order to gain access to the sub-dominant visual, perceptual R-mode of the brain, it is necessary to present the brain with a job that the verbal, analytic L-mode will turn down. For most of us, L-mode thinking seems easy, normal, and familiar (though perhaps not for many children and dyslexic individuals). The perverse R-mode strategy, in contrast, may seem difficult and unfamiliar—even “off-the-wall.” It must be learned in opposition to the “natural” tendency of the brain to favour L-mode because, in general, language dominates. By learning to
control this tendency for specific tasks, one gains access to powerful brain functions often obscured by language.

In short, in the process of learning to draw, one also learns to control (at least to some degree) the mode by which one’s own brain handles information. Perhaps this explains in part why my book appeals to individuals from such diverse fields. Intuitively, they see the link to other activities and the possibility of seeing things differently by learning to access R-mode at conscious level.

Over the past decade or so, a new interdisciplinary field of brain-function study has become formally known as cognitive neuroscience. In addition to the traditional discipline of neurology, cognitive neuroscience encompasses study of other higher cognitive processes such as language, memory, and perception. Computer scientists, linguists, neuro-imaging scientists, cognitive psychologists, and neurobiologists are all
contributing to a growing understanding of how the human brain functions.

Interest in “right brain, left brain” research has subsided somewhat among educators and the general public since Roger Sperry first published his research findings. Nevertheless, the fact of the profound asymmetry of human brain functions remains, becoming ever more central, for example, among computer scientists trying to emulate human mental processes. Facial recognition, a function ascribed to the right hemisphere, has been sought for decades and is still beyond the capabilities of most computers.

Ray Kurzweil, in his recent book The Age of Spiritual Machines (Viking, 1999) contrasted human and computer capability in pattern seeking (as in facial recognition) and sequential processing (as in calculation): The human brain has about 100 billion neurons. With an estimated average of one thousand connections between each neuron and its neighbours, we have about 100 trillion connections, each capable of a simultaneous calculation. That’s rather massive parallel processing, and one key to the strength of human thinking. A profound weakness, however, is the excruciatingly slow speed of neural circuitry, only 200 calculations per second. For problems that benefit from massive parallelism, such a neural-net-based pattern recognition, the human brain does a great job. For problems that require extensive sequential thinking, the human brain is only mediocre, (p. 103)

This experience is often moving and deeply affecting. My students’ most frequent comments after learning to draw are “Life seems so much richer now” and “I didn’t realize how much there is to see and how beautiful things are.” This new way of seeing may alone be reason enough to learn to draw.

Drawing is a curious process, so intertwined with seeing that the two can hardly be separated. Ability to draw depends on ability to see the way an artist sees, and this kind of seeing can marvellously enrich your life.

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Benefits of right-brain thinking

Other creative people have deliberately employed techniques to activate the right brain for problem solving, writing ideas, and other creative solutions. Any sort of dissociation, disconnecting from the everyday world gets you there. For example, Edison is purported to have used the hypnogogic state to stimulate creativity. The hypnogogic state is that state just prior to falling asleep. He activated this state for creative problem solving by placing himself in his easy chair holding metal bearings in his hand, which was positioned over a metal bowl. Then as he relaxed into that state between sleeping and waking, called the hypnogogic state, if he fell asleep, his hand would release the metal balls, which would then wake him as they fell into the bowl. This is an example of the use of the dissociated state, which is a hallmark of the “right brain” and has been used by various means by many creative people. Most don’t understand that is what they are doing. There are many ways to activate this part of the mind. For most people repetitive activities, special music, or just day dreaming will do the job. It’s achieving a dissociative state that quiets the left brain and activates the right brain. I knew a General officer who, after getting briefed on a vexing question, would state, “that is one for jogging.” By that he meant that he would bring the question to mind while jogging. Jogging or running entails repetitive action and may also include some hypoxia known as the “runner’s high” and brings on this dissociative state.

This is actually what is going on when people say they “will sleep on it” before coming to a decision. As early as the ancient Greeks, dreams were elevated to forecast the future and provide specific guidance to the dreamer. A premium was placed on those who seemed to be able to accurately interpret the dream. When they needed healing, the ancient Greeks visited temples of Asklepios, the Greek god of healing, where priests advised them how to incubate a healing dream. Dream researchers and modern healers have resurrected and updated this ancient practice4 and detail a step-by-step process on how to incubate a dream. To incubate a dream means to have a dream that is focused on solving a specific problem or question. For the transpersonal therapist the dream is “the royal road to the unconscious” and the unconscious holds virtually all the clues to unraveling any problem in physical reality. There is an infinite wealth of information and guidance in the unconscious, which can be coaxed to conscious awareness for the personality’s benefit. The dream is a prime method to do this. Therefore, it is not unusual to hear of a famous writer, artist or scientist, anyone engaged in a creative process, who uses either the dream state or the transition into and out of sleep (the hypnogogic and hypnopompic states, respectively) to get specific answers, solve creative problems and get inspiration.

Benefits of The Right Brain by Richard Stammler (extracts)

Right Brain Benefits

When someone says that they are “right brained,” they are referring to the hemispheric dominance of their brain. Each side of the brain is responsible for different characteristics, and depending on the side of the brain that you use the most, you could exhibit natural characteristics. Understanding the benefits of using the right brain can give you a winning edge when it comes to personal relationships, your professional life and general success in your life. Use your strengths to get ahead and allow your right brain dominance to flourish.

Verbal Processing

When a person thinks with his right brain, verbal processing and reading comprehension come easily. This is because with a right hemispheric dominance, a person can readily convert words into pictures and ideas in his mind. When reading a book, a right-brained individual has no problem grasping the concepts and imagining the storyline, because it is open to interpretation. Subjects with hard and fast rules, like mathematics, can be a challenge, because right-brained person often need to see and read a concept visually before understanding it.

Creativity

Right-brain types are typically more creative than the more logical left-brain types. Middle Tennessee State University notes that this could be the result of the way a person who uses the right brain thinks. Right-brains enjoy abstract ideas over concrete evidences, which make creation through art, music and writing easier.

Philosophy

A right-brained person is more likely to grasp concepts in philosophy and religion, explains the Australian Herald-Sun. A left-brained person prefers to see the facts, and discern her own conclusions from those facts. If a person uses her right brain, she grasps fluid concepts that may rely on faith rather than facts more easily. This can be beneficial in understanding philosophical concepts as they are not always backed by facts.

Intuition

Because facts are not always important to those who think with their right brain, they may use intuition more readily for decision-making. Right-brained people are highly in tune with intuition, since they don’t feel that evidence is always the most important and effective way to make a choice. Rather than using rules and schedules, the right-brained person goes with feelings and emotions and chooses accordingly, according to Scholastic.com. If you think with your right brain, this makes you more in tune with your emotions, as well as the emotions of those around you.

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Play! Play! Play!

A pioneer in research on play, Dr. Stuart Brown says humor, games, roughhousing, flirtation and fantasy are more than just fun. Plenty of play in childhood makes for happy, smart adults — and keeping it up can make us smarter at any age.

Stuart Brown’s research shows play is not just joyful and energizing — it’s deeply involved with human development and intelligence. Through the National Institute for Play, he’s working to better understand its significance.
(Magyar felirattal)


They have located two consultants, Frank Wilson and Nate Johnson, who are — Frank Wilson is a neurologist, Nate Johnson is a mechanic. He taught mechanics in a high school in Long Beach, and found that his students were no longer able to solve problems. And he tried to figure out why. And he came to the conclusion, quite on his own, that the students who could no longer solve problems, such as fixing cars, hadn’t worked with their hands. Frank Wilson had written a book called “The Hand.” They got together — JPL hired them. Now JPL, NASA and Boeing, before they will hire a research and development problem solver — even if they’re summa cum laude from Harvard or Cal Tech — if they haven’t fixed cars, haven’t done stuff with their hands early in life, played with their hands, they can’t problem-solve as well. So play is practical, and it’s very important.

Now one of the things about play is that it is born by curiosity and exploration.

the program says that the opposite of play is not work, it’s depression. And I think if you think about life without play — no humor, no flirtation, no movies, no games, no fantasy and, and, and. Try and imagine a culture or a life, adult or otherwise without play. And the thing that’s so unique about our species is that we’re really designed to play through our whole lifetime.

So what I would encourage on an individual level to do, is to explore backwards as far as you can go to the most clear, joyful, playful image that you have, whether it’s with a toy, on a birthday or on a vacation. And begin to build to build from the emotion of that into how that connects with your life now. And you’ll find, you may change jobs — which has happened to a number people when I’ve had them do this — in order to be more empowered through their play. Or you’ll be able to enrich your life by prioritizing it and paying attention to it.

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