Why There Is A Left And Right Way To Be Creative
As a child I had a learning disability.
Somehow it was picked up at a very young age. I have very vague memories of it. I was sent to a specialist as there seemed to be a problem with how I used my brain. I was using both sides of it at will. I would do certain things right-handed and other things left-handed. I still do this. I use a pool cue left-handed but can switch to the right if I need to get better angle at the table. I exclusively use a shovel left handed. Not that I do a lot of digging. I write with my right hand. Supposedly if you are right-handed, as I am, you predominately use the opposite side of your brain, your left. My learning problems were attributed to the fact that I was unilateral with my hands. Therefore I had to be trained to use one hand in order to focus my brain.
Reading seemed to be a problem.
The specialist would get me to read. Reading seemed to be a problem. I was not good at enunciating. Later I was also sent to elocution lessons. I think a major part of the problem was shyness and not specifically a learning inability. The lessons helped but it was only later in life when I truly began to express myself that I progressed. I did have to force myself to speak up though. I still mumble if I am not confident about something. As a singer I learnt to project my voice. But that is singing and not speaking. The key to unlocking it, if I think about it, was through a girlfriend who taught me basic yoga breathing exercises. I learned to tap into my diaphragm and since then I can sing the house down.
Apart from the reading he would get me to draw circles. I would naturally start drawing a circle at the top. This meant that I would end up with something more pear-shaped than round. I was taught to start a circle at the two o’clock mark and draw in an anti-clockwise direction. Or was it at the ten o’clock mark and then clockwise. If I sit down and try to do this and am aware of what I am doing I am have no idea which it was. Probably it is not important, only that I should not start at the top. I found both things frustrating and irritating. It was a chore and unpleasant. I didn’t like going to him even though he was a genuinely nice person. He was firm but not preachy. There was purpose to all this. The circle drawing was supposed to train me to use one side of my brain. The logical side and not my creative side I suppose. My whole life I have battled with doing the logical. I fight against what is expected of me. It is at odds with what makes me happy, namely being creative. It is a balance I have yet to understand or manage. I suppose it all comes down to control.
To be creative requires letting go of your inhibitions. You cannot successfully create if you are being hemmed in or required to follow a set of rules. You need to have free will, you need to rebel in your own special way. Only then will the true artist emerge. I think every person attempting an artistic endeavour fights with the same problem.
I guess I have a certain advantage. I have a very analytical or business side and an opposing wild child. It is a curse though as they are both fighting for control. More often than not the voice of reason triumphs over freedom of expression and beats it into submission. I have only recently become aware of this. I now try to give the child more room to play. I give it toys. I let it draw pears, and peaches and even artichokes. Everything doesn’t have to be round.
Everything doesn’t have to be round.
I am sure that the training has helped me be more successful even though I still note that I am ambidextrous. I do wonder though what would have happened if I was allowed to continue fully utilising my entire brain. This side for one thing and that side for another. Would I have become a full time rebel? Would I be lost in a world of confusion and not be capable of getting anything done? Whatever, I am what I am and I’m proud of it. I am no longer shy. I have learnt how to express myself effectively. I am still learning.
I can draw a perfect circle if required to do so.