5 Exercises to Heighten Your Creativity - Beyond the Coloring Book Craze
The new trend to enhance relaxation is a favorite pastime from your kindergarten days – coloring. Don’t shrug off the benefits of scribbling too quickly. Engaging the creative, right-side of your brain can also enhance your problem solving skills by using both cerebral hemispheres of your brain.
This creative right-side responds to images, color, texture, music, rhythm, intuitiveness.
However, the rational, left-side of your brain tends to be more dominant. It reacts quickly to symbols, logic, order, academic, and analytical information.
The trick here is to become more consciously aware of your brain shifting from left to right side. By developing a particular way of seeing and altering your mode of awareness you can strengthen your ability to problem solve using the right-side of your brain. The advantage of activating your creative side is to use your imagination to find different ways to explore options and interpret solutions.
My Coloring Pages are available to print. Here are 5 other was to stimulate the right side of your brain, here are 5 others:
EXERCISE ONE: Free Association
Imagine a flower on a stem. (The left-side of your brain will produce a symbol.)
Now, color the flower, picture it yellow (This will engage the right-side of your brain.)
Next, paint it orange, then make it bigger, shrink it, move it to the right. Make it dance, swaying to a melody.
EXERCISE TWO: (Source: My most-treasured mentor, Betty Edward's, author of Drawing on the Right Side of Your Brain.)
-Draw a profile of a person. (If you are right handed, draw the silhouette facing inward on the left side of the paper.(If you're left-handed, then draw the profile on the right side of paper, facing inward.) As you draw, name the features or “symbols” such as: forehead, eye, nose, mouth, chin, neck. You will be engaging the left-side of your brain.
-Next, draw a top and bottom line across your silhouette.
-Complete the vase by drawing a reversal of the first profile in complete symmetry. Watch for faint signals from your brain that you’re shifting modes of information. Discover you’re doing the second profile differently, no longer using “symbols” but responding to angles, curves, and shapes as you scan back and forth between the two silhouettes. This is the right-side of your brain engaged.
Vases-Faces – Baroque vase and Monster Face
-Again draw a silhouette of a witch, monster, or the oddest face you can portray, naming the features or “symbols” as you draw.
- Draw a top and bottom line across your silhouette.
-Complete the profile in reverse making the baroque vase. The complexity of the form forces the shift to the right-side mode to see shapes, angles, curves. The goal of this exercise is not how well you can draw but rather noticing the shift from left to right-side of your brain.
-As you begin to recognize when you shift cognitive modes, you’re taking the first step toward learning to control which side of your brain you use for a given task.
EXERCISE THREE: Upside-down Drawing.
-Pick a simple image to copy. Below is Mickey Mouse by Walt Disney. Settle into a quiet space and finish your drawing in one setting.
-Look at the image upside down, noticing how the lines, shapes, and angles relate to one another. Then begin at the top and copy each line, moving from one line to the adjacent, letting the right-side of your brain engage. Avoid “naming” parts or symbols.
EXERCISE FOUR: Contour Drawing
-You can use any object to draw, however you’ll find it easy to use your opposite hand that you hold your pencil. Then direct your eyes at your empty hand, seeing only the angles, lines, and curves.
-Once you begin drawing your pencil should not leave the paper. Very slowly move your eyes along the edge of your empty hand, focusing on every bump and bulge along the way. As your eye travels, move your pencil at the same slow pace.
- When you’re finished, think back. Did you lose track of time? Maybe get “lost” in the world of imagination? Hooray! Contour drawing should drift you into the ride-side of your brain focusing on every nook and cranny.
EXERCISE FIVE: Positive and Negative Space Drawing
-Have fun thinking outside the box! Draw some large shapes: numbers or stars. These are the positive images.
- Now, re-draw the images so at least two edges leave the paper. The space around the number is the negative space. If you darken the negative space it will heighten the contrast engaging the right-side of your brain.
In summary, as you master these exercises you can practice them anywhere. Try gazing out your window, peacefully letting your eyes trace the scenery, dipping high and low across the craggy edges of a rock garden, or try following the irregular edges of a thick tree line. As your awareness of the intuitive right-side exposes itself, you may find it ‘kicking-in” during restful activities such as: jogging, driving, needlework, listening to music, drawing, or COLORING!
If you’d like more COLORING options, download my latest coloring page for your enjoyment. I hope you can sit and relax, letting your problem solving illuminate around you! If you enjoy coloring and funny stories, here's another link: http://moynihangallery.com/blogs/artsy-shopkeeper/18101868-adult-coloring-book-and-a-bedtime-snack