Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April 6th, 2011

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." -PICASSO

It isn't just writers that get Writer's Block. Writer's Block can happen to all different types of artists, although probably with more fitting names; I can say with confidence that the painter's version, whatever you want to call it (Painter's Block, probably) definitely happens to me.

Writer's Block, in its many cursed forms, is said to be caused by "lack of inspiration". While in some cases this may be true, more often I find it to be caused by anxiety and doubt. It's thoughts of failure that stifle creativity.

A great example of this at work is the old experiment where self-diagnosed "bad drawers" were told to copy, to the best of their abilities, a Picasso line drawing. The first time they tried this, most copies were not great results.

They were asked to draw the picture one more time - but this time, with the original drawing flipped UPSIDE DOWN. Voila - the drawings rendered were exponentially better!
(drawing on the right-side of the brain)

When the picture looked like a person, the subjects (artists) got caught up in that spiral of doubt - "Artist's Block". The left side of the brain (the logical side) was in control, criticizing the work every step of the way. But flip the picture upside down, and they're no longer drawing a person, but a bunch of lines! This helped the artists easily and subconsciously switch to the more creative right side of the brain,  which made it easier to perform the artistic task at hand! Pretty cool!

Life's problems may not always be so easily solved, but thoughts of this experiment are something to carry with you. Next time I'm faced with a big problem - be it artistic or otherwise - I know that the first thing I'll try is looking at it upside down.

Happy Wednesday!

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