Tuesday, 2 November 2010

The Creative Brain, and the Importance of Working By Hand

Sketching diagrams by hand is essential for getting initial ideas down. The use of ‘mind maps’ is popular in schools and jobs alike, as they display a connection between the key word or idea, and related ideas.

Secondly, sketching by hand can help you get a feel for the composition, or general look of a piece of traditional work in a way that a digital program can not. We can see the general idea of our work in our mind’s eye, however it is not very often that we can capture those little nuances in such detail.

Drawing with the hand improves hand-eye coordination, and your relationship with basic artist tools. We can test media in sketchbooks, how it reacts with the paper and other surfaces, and not have to worry about how it looks as a final piece. Experimenting in this sense is a key part of creative play, and without it we would not develop our artistic skill nearly as much.

My own reflective visual journal (now referred to as RVJ) is full of experimenting - both ones that have worked well, and those that have failed. Through that, I believe I can see the pathway that my work has taken with each brief - aside from the occasional use of printouts (mainly images), little of the work in my RVJ is digital. I have also made small sketches for design ideas and mind maps at the start of briefs to get my brain working, and I believe they have been a benefit in my journey.

Also, evident in one's RVJ is that of the collaboration between the left and right brain. The right brain is a child at play - responsible for our creativity and love of all things chaotic, artistic and messy. When we're lost in a piece of work or experimenting with a new set of paints, our right brain is taking over. Our left brain, however, is the complete opposite - it takes control of our logic and thinking. We can use our left brains in our work by applying logic and asking questions of our work - what is this doing? Why? Where will it lead? Annotations can be applied to our experiments, and in doing that we can give our right brains a general direction or theme to play around in next.

Images I found useful:
- my own work
- http://ninespv.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/left_right_brain_xp1.jpg

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