Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Effects of Drawing on your Brain

Human beings are creative machines. Creation is an ongoing process that defines us both biologically and psychologically. Our brain has built in tools that allow each of us to adapt, alter, and control our environments in a way that secures the perception of survival. Unfortunately, our society has given a very confining definition to what constitutes an act of 'creation.

This brief post is going to try and offer you some food for thought.

As you read, it is vital to remember that your brain LIKES to create. It is in your DNA, it is in your cells, it is in your sub-atomic structure. YOU are a creative being.

Now, here is a question: Do you like to draw?

I didn't ask if you were an artist, if you were any good at it, or if you could draw a straight line. I just asked if you liked to draw?


The act of drawing effects your brain in a way like nothing can. Check out the benefits that drawing has on your brain.

  1. Improves hand-eye coordination
  2. It can actually add synapses to your neurotransmitters  This means that memories and experiences stored in your brain can become stronger, more vivid, and easier to access.
  3. Drawing increases many of the cognitive functions that researches typically label as the 'creative' and 'right brained' activities.
  4. Intuition increases.
  5. Produces positive brain chemistry like Serotonin, Endorphins, Dopamine, and Norepinephrine.
  6. Your brain stem can actually get thicker.
  7. Your awareness of your surroundings can get sharper.
  8. Your memory can improve.
  9. It produces an overall state of alertness that all of your other brain functions can use for improvement.

Brains are mysterious. These results are studied all over the world. But I submit that 'drawing' is the purest form of creation that can produce deliberately. We are literally taking our brain's machine and creating something 'outside' of ourselves as an interpretation of something inside of ourselves.

Drawing effects the brain in a way that music, reading, sports, singing, or nearly any other activity can induce.

So, what constitutes drawing?
...anything your hand puts on a surface for the simple reason of 'just because'.'
doodles, sketches, creative dabbling, you name it.

It does NOT have to be art, it does not have to look like something, it has no rules, it has no evaluative property, it is just whatever creative little thing you just made.

Our society tries to shout down our right brains by the time we are 8 years old. That does NOT change the nature of what the brain IS.

I know drawing scares people, but that's not your fault. If you are overweight, does that mean you should NEVER work out? If you play an instrument, did you have any expectation that you were going to be proficient without a lot of practice?

Don't apply rules of perfection to drawing that you do not apply to anything else. That is the lies and fears of bad programming passed on to you from an inherent fear of 'creativity.'

Here are some examples of 'drawing'


Now, the one major rule that DOES exist to gain these benefits, you have to draw consistently. I suggest stapling a wad of paper together, and calling it your sketchbook. Nobody has to see it you know...

While I could never cover the entire topic here, if you are interested, I recommend a time honored book.

Please stay tuned. I will be addressing more about this in future posts. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have on this subject!

Go draw something