Tuesday, July 19, 2005

*Click* *Click*

Have you clicked your mouse today? How often do you click your mouse? A lot right? We here in Blogland tend to be a fairly creative bunch of peeps. We write and knit and sew and sing and dance and play music, paint, draw, and otherwise create things. If you’re like me though, you wake up all right-brained and ready to march forth into creativity only to have to go to work and become a logical, rational, analytical individual. At least I do. The only creativity I get to exercise at work is how to spin problems out of cases. When I get home, I’m mentally exhausted from forcing my left-brain to override my right-brain so I’m not blogging, writing articles, doodling, and daydreaming my day away. I find if I can just get my brain to click back to the right side I’m fine. Its like its sat over there, dormant, twiddling its tentacles, poking its bulging grey matter, thinking about how it needs to diet, and what a slug it is, wondering when it can come out and play. I like writing at night but I was having problems a few months ago getting my sluggish right brain restarted after a rough day at the office. Until... my keyboard broke. That’s right, just broke. I tried putting my mouse on the right side of my extremely messy, tiny desk but it kept falling off and the wire was just "thismuch" too small to comfortably use it. So, I switched it and put it on top of the printer desk on my left side. Yes, I am ambidextrous but after years of clicking with my right hand it was a little frustrating to remember to use my left middle finger to double click and my left pointer finger to "right" click. Sometimes it still takes conscious effort to get that middle finger to double click. Single clicks are okay, but double clicks are more difficult. The payoff though is that by forcing myself to use the left side of my body for an unusual activity which requires a little more concentration it forces my right-brain to wake up. I believe I read about a similar exercise in Betty Edwards’ "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain," in which you had to do an exercise with your left-side to prepare you for right-brained activities. Dr. Edwards has a new book out now and an exercise on her website which is linked above. I’ll give you another tip from her book regarding drawing in general. Often when we go to reproduce an image we look at it as a whole. However, if you flip the image upside down it becomes a jumble of lines and curves which forces you to reproduce the angles of the curves and lines instead of attempting the entire thing at once. Additionally, I learned in college to "grid" a photo using a square cut out of a stiff piece of paper. You divided your photo into a scale model and then drew the lines on it and using that stiff piece of paper made sure you can only see one square at a time. This forces you to only draw the lines, curves and shading which is in that small box. That’s your right-brained/drawing lesson for today. Now, go out there and make me proud.
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