Right Brain Left Brain … creativity v logic
The ‘right-brain v left-brain’ idea suggests that we artists thrive by using our creative right-brain while all of you ‘non-artists’ lose your right-brain creativity as you become adults.
A good quote here is the Picasso one where he says that ‘all children are artists but the problem is how to remain one when we grow up.’
The responsibilities of adulthood, parenthood, contribution to society, and earning a living, challenge us with quite a set of daunting tasks. We have to grow up. So we have to stop being children. We cannot continue to be creative. However some of us do.
In a previous blog post I wrote about this and disclosed that we have examples of artists and ‘non-artists’ in my own family. There is a link at the bottom of this post.
Of course I realize that not all of you use your logical left-brain to extreme and become accountants like my siblings.
However nowadays the simplistic ‘creative right-brain versus practical left-brain’ notion has been shown to be much too simple. It has been called a myth.
Oh dear! It was a lovely self-satisfying, complacent, smug feeling while it lasted.
But hold on a moment.
The two hemispheres in our grey matter really are there. And head injuries have shown that brains do have specific areas for doing different things. So the people who came up with the logical left versus creative right concept were basing it on something that does exist. Surely there is something deeper in this idea because it feels so correct?
What has actually changed is that our human brains have been shown to be super connective whizkids. It just isn’t quite a simple as left v right. Creativity is still in our brains working alongside our practical logical connections. There are cross-brain connections that seem to focus on very different things. Left and right was a convenient simplistic way to explain it.
Left versus right also suggested out that creativity dies as logistical responsibility expands and takes over in adulthood.
There is so much pressure and so much going on as we grow up. We can’t all be artists, musicians, or writers. The vast majority of people seem to choose to be practical and logically constructive rather than selfish, childish, and ‘creative’.
So is creativity itself the factor that adults have to lose as they take on more responsibility? Is that a good or bad thing? What actually is creativity? Is it OK to let your creativity lapse with your youth? Is creativity just a nice selfish feeling that only a few people should be allowed to keep because it is so illogical? Why can’t everybody be creative for ever?
Too many questions. Here are a few quotes to answer some of them.
“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will” – George Bernard Shaw
“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try” – Dr. Seuss
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, the just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while” – Steve Jobs
“Creativity is contagious, pass it on” – Albert Einstein
“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things” – Ray Bradbury
“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking” –Albert Einstein
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” – Pablo Picasso
“The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.” – Pablo Picasso
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou
Creativity is a good thing. It is not just a childhood experience that must be jettisoned with the coming of adult responsibility. However it is quite difficult to keep the synaptic brain connections in good order when there is so much pressure as one grows up.
Link to previous blog post from 2016.