6 August 2011

Brains and drawing

I may have mentioned a book earlier in the year called 'the brain that changes itself', I don't want to do the science in the book a disservice by trying to sum it up here, but basically it's an awesome book about how flexible the brain is when it comes to learning, changing and dealing with trauma. The book got me thinking about how artists could take some of the principles from the book to create brain training activities for improving drawing skills. Developing such activities properly is probably beyond my capacity unless I wanted to get a research grant and write a PHD on it.
However last night I started watching the DVD version if the book, basically they take some if the content and simplify the research to make a tidy little tv doco. One phrase they repeat in the book and also in the DVD is, 'neurons that fire together, wire together' which led to an interesting insight for me personally.

Before I explain that, I'll remind the reader that I've been struggling with my own little creative block problem over the past year. Basically it's been a busy year and I feel as if I've fallen of the creative wagon. Self doubt about my work and what I actually want to do has been extremely high.

Back to 'neurons that fire together, wire together'...
I've been trying to draw in the evenings, exhausted and tired from work and home life. Needless to say this state of mind has not created great results. But that's what I realised last night. Each time I draw in this state, my brain associates drawing with basically unhappy and tired feelings. Therefore it's this vicious circle where drawing becomes frustrating and unenjoyable. Self doubt and insecurity is then allowed to run rampant further adding insult to injury so to speak.

Other than just trying to draw every day I need to make it fun, remember that drawing and creating us fun. And just lighten up a little.

Fingers crossed!

4 comments:

GUZUMO POWER said...

Seen the doco Marwencol? sounds like it might cover similar territory to the book/doco you mention here.

I've had a similar block/hinderance to get drawing done thing going on lately, I have plenty to draw, just am not doing it for various reasons including day-job sapping my energy...hopefully this will pass soon

Anthony Woodward said...

I haven't seen that. But I keep getting recommended it though

zack! empire said...

anthony you are one of my favorite artists and cartoonist! you should not be doubting your abilities! i'm not saying there aren't times when you won't want to draw, cause humans can be pretty lazy and caught up in drama, but never ever doubt yourself!

i'm not lying when i saw that your book lines is one of my favorite minis, and overall comics, of all time! i still read it regularly and i've had it for years.

Anthony Woodward said...

Hey thanks Zac! It's stupid I know. No artist should doubt themselves as it's just counter productive. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from and it was making me so unsure of what direction I wanted to take. But watching that brain doco made me realise why it was happening. I have now remembered (as strange as it sounds) that drawing is meant to be fun and while I'm drawing I should remember to have fun with it. So far it has been a fantastic antidote. But like walking a tight rope you also have to remember to not look down.