Use Both Sides of Your Brain

The right side of your brain is where the creative juices emerge – where flow, rhythm, intuition and grand ideas are born.  The left side of your brain is the logical, practical side - detail-oriented and precise.  This of course is not to say that anyone only uses one side of their brain – we need both to function; but we all favor one side or the other to some degree.  The favoritism becomes embedded in our personality, our habits and our routines.

Handed-ness can be an indication of brained-ness.  Since the left side of your body is controlled by the right side of your brain (and vice verse) right-brained people have a higher chance of being left-handed.  Sorry left-brainers, this is not a black and white science – it doesn’t mean that all left-handed people are creative artists, but it does help explain why so many artists and performers are left-handed (Michaelangelo, MC Escher, Raphael, Phil Collins, Paul McCartney, Jimi Hindrix… Indiana University has one of many long lists of famous left-handed people).

What’s the downside of being a right-brained artist?  Maybe you neglect the boring penny-counting side which turns tax-time into a nightmare…or you get so caught up in your new piece that you’re late for an important meeting with a potential buyer or vendor...or more than likely it’s less dramatic, and you just aren’t tapping into the resources and marketing platforms that could get your work in front of the right people.

Artists don’t choose the life of creating because it’s lavish.  They choose it because they’re passionate about what they are creating – whatever medium they use provides an outlet for the ideas, emotions and energy that circle their brains, disrupting their attention and influencing their dreams.  However, in order to make a living doing your art you’ve got to tap into that left side of your brain.  Learn how business works because, like it or not, if you’re selling your work, you’re in the business world.  You’re what we at the SBDC like to call Artist Entrepreneurs – and we’ve got the tools to help you figure out how to pay the bills by doing what you love to do.

The Make Art Your Business conference on November 4th is one such way to learn the tricks of the business world alongside other right-brained artists.  Kathy Johnson, of Artisans Center of Virginia attended in 2012,

“Last year's Make Art Your Business offered great speakers with real insight into the business side of Art.  Ragan McManus and Marc Willson were particularly helpful and provided the kind of focus that sometimes gets lost in the creative process.  Be professional - deadlines - budgets with strong artist statements.  Utilizing social media, building your brand - book or YouTube -- so many great opportunities.  Inspiring and practical.”

Figure out how to use both sides of your brain for Creative Focus at the third annual Make Art Your Business conference.  Monday, November 4th at Blue Ridge Community College’s Plecker Workforce Center.