To put it simply, according to an old fashioned model, Leadership is about achieving results by managing business deals and the people involved. Today, leadership is not only about managing people, being hard-core and creating a successful business anymore. It is much more about becoming inspiring, leading by example, creating value and contributing to the betterment of the world. Leadership is also about moving away from the above mentioned old-fashioned leadership model where the leader is supposed to be knowledgeable, capable, tough and feisty; and moving towards being creative, adaptable, have integrity, being self aware, recognizing his/her passions and how to package all that in a well-defined niche – his/her personal leadership style. Authentic Leadership training approaches leadership from a personal development angle claiming that one can only lead with integrity and authenticity when one is completely aligned with who s/he is his/her innate qualities and what s/he stands for. In order to achieve that one must start digging and finding the hidden treasures inside and align his/her actions with what s/he finds within.
The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty
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 learned 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
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
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.
from Betty Edwards’ principles of Drawing on the Right
Side of the brain
Right-Brain Creativity Blog with information on our courses
… Learning to draw, then, turns out not to be “learning to
draw.” Paradoxically, “learning to draw” means learning to
make a mental shift from L-mode to R-mode. That is what a
person trained in drawing does, and that is what you can
If you can write your name you can learn to draw. Yes it’s
true. You can learn to draw and you don’t have to have an
extraordinary talent – it is simply a question of being
taught how to do so.
Over twenty years ago Dr Betty Edwards developed a teaching
method that would enable students to learn the five
perceptual skills of drawing in as little as five days.
These five skills form the global skill of drawing and once
learned, like learning to read or drive a car, they are
learnt for life.
Once you have learned these skills you will be able to draw
anything – portraits, cats, dogs, the human figure,
landscapes, architecture, hands, feet, still lifes … the
list is endless. The method is the same it is only the
complexity of your subject and the media that varies.
Learning drawing can boost your creativity and confidence.
“For most participants, one of the frequent effects is a
new self-perception as a creative and artistic person.
Whether you feel you have little talent and doubt you could
ever learn; or you enjoy drawing but have not been able to
get beyond a child-like level, these workshops will show
you how to gain and master drawing skills. If you are
already drawing as a professional artist it will give you a
greater confidence in your ability and deepen your artistic
Once learned, drawing can be used to record what you see
either in reality or in your mind’s eye, in a manner not
totally unlike the way we can record our thoughts and ideas
in words. ” (JANET RAE-DUPREE)
Useful information on right/left-brain thinking
Betty Edwards has used the terms L-Mode and R-Mode to designate two ways of knowing and seeing – the verbal, analytic mode and the visual, perceptual mode – no matter where they are located in the individual brain. You are probably aware of these different characteristics. L-mode is a step-by-step style of thinking, using words, numbers and other symbols. L-mode strings things out in sequences, like words in a sentence. R-mode on the other hand, uses visual information and processes, not step-by-step, but all at once, like recognizing the face of a friend.
“You have two brains: a left and a right. Modern brain scientists now know that your left brain is your verbal and rational brain; it thinks serially and reduces its thoughts to numbers, letters and words… Your right brain is your nonverbal and intuitive brain; it thinks in patterns, or pictures, composed of ‘whole things,’ and does not comprehend reductions, either numbers, letters, or words.” From The Fabric of Mind, by the eminent scientist and neurosurgeon, Richard Bergland. Viking Penguin, Inc., New York 1985. pg.1
Most activities require both modes, each contributing its special functions, but a few activities require mainly one mode, without interference from the other. Drawing is one of these activities.
Learning to draw, then, turns out not to be “learning to draw.” Paradoxically, “learning to draw” means learning to make a mental shift from L-mode to R-mode. That is what a person trained in drawing does, and that is what you can learn.
Since Betty Edwards, first published her book in 1979, it has been on the New York Times best seller list with more than 2.5 million copies sold. It has been translated into 13 languages and is the world’s most widely used drawing instruction book. … While the focus of the workshop is on drawing, absolutely no previous art training or special talent for drawing is necessary.
For most participants, one of the frequent effects is a new self-perception as a creative and artistic person. Whether you feel you have little talent and doubt you could ever learn; or you enjoy drawing but have not been able to get beyond a child-like level, these workshops will show you how to gain and master drawing skills. If you are already drawing as a professional artist it will give you a greater confidence in your ability and deepen your artistic perception.
Once learned, drawing can be used to record what you see either in reality or in your mind’s eye, in a manner not totally unlike the way we can record our thoughts and ideas in words. …
Creativity Just As Important As Math And Science (article)
Today, art education has been put on the back burner, with an increase in emphasis on math and science in our society. While this is not a bad thing in the least, it takes away from other forms of education, for example art education, of its importance.
Almost everyone has heard of the benefits of art education. Playing an instrument promotes concentration and discipline in kids while helping improve their math skills, reading and writing music establish mental organization, and art in general promotes creativity and teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.
“Creativity and creation are taught in many ways in many courses. Art is an example of a class where both are taught. I think creativity and creation are two of the most valuable skills an employee can have in any field. Thus, there is value in art,” math teacher Mr. Orsini said.
“We use a system here which is the dynamic creative process and in the dynamic creative process we teach you how to problem solve in a more abstract manner instead of a more formally driven manner. That way when you come upon a problem in the future, you’ll be able to use the skill sets that you use in art to come up with a creatively and out of the box way to solve a problem,” art teacher Boyles said.
Yes, science and math are essential, especially in today’s job market. However, if we only place an emphasis on these subjects we are not only depriving kids of a good education, we are depriving them of self-expression.
As Steve Jobs once said “It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough—its technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.”
Crowdfunding helps artist bring creativity to aged care
101-year-old dancer, choreographer, costume designer, author, sculptor and illustrator Eileen Kramer has offered her talents to a project that aims to raise funds for art in aged care.
For the project, Art of Eileen, Kramer worked with fashion designer Brigid McLaughlin to create a range of scarves, using her own designs and McLaughlin’s ethical and environmentally sound practices.
Funds raised through the sale of the scarves will be used by Arts Health Institute (AHI) to train visual artists to deliver its program, Access to Express, in aged-care facilities.
Access to Express aims to increase quality of life for older Australians through artistic expression and cultural experiences, engaging residents in drawing, painting, sculpture and art appreciation.
Dr Maggie Haertsch, chief executive of AHI, said the campaign’s $12,000 target would allow the institute to train and employ about 20 artists to provide art-making experiences in health and aged-care settings.
Using the Arts to Promote Healthy Aging
Two summers ago, a remarkable documentary called “Alive Inside” showed how much music can do for the most vulnerable older Americans, especially those whose memories and personalities are dimmed by dementia.
The Music and Memory project that provided the iPods was the inspiration of a volunteer music lover named Dan Cohen, and has since spread to many nursing homes and facilities for the aged around the country. Alas, not nearly enough of them. Medicaid, which fully covers the cost of potent drugs that can turn old people into virtual zombies, has no policy that would pay for far less expensive music players. So the vast majority of nursing home residents who might benefit are deprived of this joyous experience.
Nonetheless, across the country, the arts in their myriad forms are enhancing the lives and health of older people — and not just those with dementia— helping to keep many men and women out of nursing homes and living independently. With grants from organizations like the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Institute on Aging, incredibly dedicated individuals with backgrounds in the arts have established programs that utilize activities as diverse as music, dance, painting, quilting, singing, poetry writing and storytelling to add meaning, joy and a vibrant sense of well-being to the lives of older people.
Walter Hurlburt, 90, decorates rooms at the Burbank Senior Artists Colony, a retirement facility where he lives.
Walter Hurlburt, 90, decorates rooms at the Burbank Senior Artists Colony, a retirement facility where he lives.Credit
Through a program called EngAGE in Southern California, 90-year-old Walter Hurlburt, who once made a living as a sign painter, now decorates rooms at the Burbank Senior Artists Colony, a retirement facility where he lives, with lovely oil paintings he creates from pictures he finds in magazines and books. Mr. Hurlburt regularly attends classes on various art forms at the residence where, he told me, “I’m always learning something new.”
His buddy at the residence, Sally Connors, an 82-year-old former schoolteacher, surprised herself by writing and directing a screenplay that was performed by fellow residents. Then, with Dolly Brittan, 79, a former early childhood educator, they both surprised themselves by writing their life stories in rap and performing their rap memoirs on a stage for at-risk teenagers they were mentoring.
Both she and Ms. Connors said their newfound involvement with the arts has made them feel decades younger.
Jose Antonio Abreu is the charismatic founder of a youth orchestra system that has transformed thousands of kids’ lives in Venezuela. Here he shares his amazing story and unveils a TED Prize wish that could have a big impact in the US and beyond.
Jose Antonio Abreu
Jose Antonio Abreu founded El Sistema (“the system”) in 1975 to help poor Venezuelan kids learn to play a musical instrument and be part of an orchestra. 30 years on, El Sistema has seeded 102 youth orchestras — and many happy lives.
What Art Teachers Do
Art teachers teach creativity and innovation. They teach multiple answers to problems. They encourage mistakes and experimentation. They teach students to be thinkers – not memorizers.
Art teachers are teaching the essential skills that are necessary for students to be successful in this new age.
So why are we cutting the most important positions from our schools?
The New Renaissance
Never in the history of mankind has there ever been a better time to be a “creative”. It is the creative individuals that are finding success today. Simply look at at the world around you, and you’ll quickly notice the opportunities that exist for those willing to be creative, to take chances, to innovate.
It is my opinion that we have already entered into a new Renaissance, one in which true artists are flourishing and will be for the foreseeable future.