Were you born creative? Or were you brought up, groomed and brewed to become one? Picasso says all kids are artists. We could argue the whole “nurture Vs nature” approach to continue the debate but this time, we will talk about how the use of your left brain vs. the right brain determines ones creativity.
When we did a quick survey around the creative side of the agency… it seems most of us at PG were brewed, by design, to do something creative, sampling the Arts for as long as we can remember, drawing circles, learning to play piano, playing with paint, writing on trees or on mom’s new sofa… Do you think you have a creative mind? Chances are, YOU do, but you don’t know it! We get reprogrammed at an early age. From the day we step foot inside of a kindergarten, our memory disks are reformatted to develop the logical, language-based, rational capacities of the left side of our brain. You know, that side of the brain that is goal-oriented, intolerant, that loves to plan and lives in the past?
What does this mean for us creative folks? Well, the left side remembers objects as they were thought to us. So, if you are asked to draw a hand, for example, we remember the symbol we have for "hand" from our left memory, replicate it like a robot and move on. By contrast, the right side is capable of expressing objects or feelings with restrictions only our imagination can limit.
You want to muscle up the right brain and give your creative side a chance to shine? Follow the steps below:
1. The first stage is to, as cliché as it sounds, step outside the box. Forget the past and remember that you have little use for it. The box in this case, is your left side of the brain that will already give you a concept based on what it knows. Of course, any creative innovation unavoidably is inspired by what came before it. For a journalist, this might mean reading extensively, cataloguing, assessing, defining, and ranking.
2. Then, what you should do is, walk away. Literally walk. Since your right brain is linked with the left-side of your body and vice versa, walking will help you sync and balance your thoughts. When our left side and our right side are fighting to solve a problem, walking is a fantastic way to have great ideas come unconsciously.
3. EUREKA! It came so unexpectedly! The lightbulb turned on! This will seldom happen at your desk. Give your left-brain some rest, and do something that would stimulate the right side: exercising, taking a long shower, sleeping (when sleeping, that’s when the right brain usually takes over, so get as much as you can!).
4. Then, the left brain wants to take dominance. This is when you challenge the creative breakthrough you just had. Scientists do this in the laboratory. Painters do this on a canvas. Designers do it by translating a vision into pixels. If you are an accountant, you save the company a couple of buck on QuickBooks. If you are a mathematician, you do this by using new formulas.
Ultimately, we are all born with pretty colors waving around in our brains. We are all creatives. Know the highest creativity is understanding how to engage your whole brain by moving docilely and deliberately between the right and left sides, action and timeout, determination and rest, breath and out-breath. That is also a simple prescription for how to live.
PG, over and out.