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Artistic Characteristics of the Right Brain and Left Brain

Do all artists use the right side of their brains? As the region of the brain that hosts creativity, imagination and art awareness, it seems so. However, more people are finding their inner artist can be awakened no matter what side of the brain dominates.

For a long time, humans believed we only used one side of the brain. Today, most people know about the stereotypes between the right and left sides of our brains. This is because thousands of studies have been conducted on the human brain and the way it works. While we still don’t know much about its vast complexities, we do know a lot more than we used to. For instance, we know that the brain communicates between its two halves and its many lobes.

What connects the halves of a brain are bands of fibers that serve as electronic information paths. In most cases, we use both sides of our brain, but typically one side is dominant. This is not the case for some individuals as is true for people who struggle with autism, wherein both sides of the brain have no fibers connecting the two halves.

Where do you fit into this complex picture? Do you know if you’re a right brained or left brained artist?

Here are some strengths and characteristics of right-brained dominant and left brained dominant people…

Left

  • Mathematics
  • Analytical thought
  • Speech
  • Writing
  • Logic and reasoning

Right

  • Creativity
  • Imagination
  • Identifying with emotions
  • Philosophy
  • Art awareness

After reviewing this list, you, as an artist, may want to gravitate towards the right side. It makes sense right? (Pun intended!) Do these qualities seem to manifest them into yourself as an artist?

WARNING: Don’t be so quick to assume that all left brained thinking is cold and analytical, and the right is all creativity and ingenuity. Some incredible bodies of work and research explain that, due to the nature of our brains, it is impossible to be pigeonholed into one type of thinking per individual. There are always exceptions, and the flat out truth is that almost all of us blend the use of both sides of our brain.

So how does this affect your artwork? Take the opportunity to research some of your favorite artists and their works, and research what type of thinker they were.  While you’re at it, explore articles about some of the many other characteristics of the right and left sides of the brain. You just might be surprised.

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As an artist, you are probably aware of the effects that different colors can have on your state of mind and emotional well-being. In fact, in a past article we discussed the psychology of color and provided an overview of how each color can impact your mood.

In this article, we’ll take a look at color therapy, also known as chromotherapy, and how you can apply the basic principles of chromotherapy in your art.

Color therapy involves using, or meditating upon, specific colors to help you find balance and harmony, both inner and outer. There are many forms of color therapy, such as:

  • surrounding yourself with a color that represents characteristics that you feel are lacking in your life, to achieve balance
  • immersing yourself in a color that represents characteristics, or states of being, that you aspire to
  • using colors to “cleanse” your physical body and achieve physiological harmony (such as practiced in Chinese therapy)

While color therapy was once regarded as a New Age fad, today the effects of colors on a person’s mind, body and spirit are well-documented. Even commercial paint manufacturers recognize the connection; some offer a specific range of paint colors that are designed to promote healing and wellness.

To utilize the healing power of color in your art, you can create paintings or drawings based on specific colors to bring about a certain adjustment in your (or someone else’s) mental, emotional, or physical state of being. You can use a combination of colors to evoke a certain state of mind. Experiment with different patterns and compositions and take note of how the paintings affect you.

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