Artshop with Lisa Tishman commenced and “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain,” (DRSB),  by Betty Edwards, made everything clear. The healing dynamics were happening right before my eyes and I knew why.

I became fascinated with what was taking place at each and every Artshop. The joy, the boost of confidence, a newfound love of creating and community developed each and every time. Women may come in with fear until they learned to use the right-hemisphere of the brain, allowing us to leave judgment and fear in the left- hemisphere of our brain.

Opening access to skills you already have are simply waiting to be released, gaining access to the part of your mind that works in a style conducive to creative, intuitive thought, allowing the mind to rest.” – DRSB

What is the process of shifting from the left-hemisphere to the right-hemisphere of the brain? The creative realm and practice, of course.

L-mode is the left-hemisphere of your brain where logic, judgment and mathematical processes of the brain happen. The L-mode controls the right hand and the R-mode, right-hemisphere of the brain, controls the left hand. Since most of us are right-handed, we need to find other ways to stimulate the R-mode, where creativity, spontaneity, and peace exist.

“Allowing your R-mode into your life, you will gain the ability to think more creatively in all areas of your life.” 

“In the R-mode state, did you notice that you were somewhat unaware of the passage of time, that you felt absorbed in the creative activity? Most of my students have characterized the R-mode state of consciousness in these terms… When I am really working well, its like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. I feel at one with the work: the painter, the painting, it’s all one. I feel excited but calm – exhilarated, but in full control. It’s not exactly happiness; it’s more like bliss. I think it’s what keeps me coming back and back to painting and drawing…Pleasure may come from resting the left hemisphere, stopping its chatter, keeping it quiet for a change. This yearning to quiet the L-mode may partially explain centuries-old practices such as meditation and self-induced altered state of consciousness. We can not use the L-mode for creativity; we have to learn how to switch to R-mode.” – DRSB

Children halt their artistic experience by age 11. Adults say, “No, I can’t! I don’t like to draw, it makes me feel stupid.” I always honor all of my students at Artshop for their bravery. I understand what it takes to create something and fear judgment, vulnerability and exposure. Self-awareness of how we regard ourselves comes to the forefront.  I feel it too, and I say to myself, “Look at the parts I do like, realizing I can do that in life, concentrate on the positive.”  If I can take a creative journey and get to the other side, I will find bliss.

We automatically resort to L-Mode thinking. As we shift to R-mode, fear is replaced with feelings of joy, acceptance and self-awareness.  “Teachers frequently resort to crafts projects because they seem safer and cause less anguish in their students.” – DRSB

A vulnerability can cause someone to feel uncomfortable; often times early childhood ridicule of their art from themselves or from others was an invalid evaluation of their skill and talent, and children do not understand this. What would have happened to Picasso if he listened to ridicule about his work?

Once you walk through the fear, the beauty of creating instills a rebirth of sorts, creating a new passion for life. “The object of drawing is not only to show what you are trying to portray but also to show you; to know yourself better. Your style expresses you!” –DRSB

We can not let the L-mode of the brain control the R-mode of the brain. We need to use the R-mode equally. We need to have R-mode experiences in life, whether it is singing, creating art, dancing, etc. strengthening the right hemisphere of our brain. Then, we experience the full potential life has to offer. 

If you would like more information on this subject and how you can incorporate it into your life or bring better results with you employees, contact me at  [email protected]

Reference: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain; Betty Edwards; 1989.