Studying this year has been way more demanding compared to studying last year.
Why? On the surface it shouldn’t be. I have the same type of visual art subjects. I still study the same number of subjects across the same number of hours. While the courses are delivered at a higher level, with a higher level of expectation of completion, it’s almost the same.
So, why am I finding studying this year so much harder and demanding than last year?
I think I’ve got it…
Over the semester break, I figured it out.
It’s most likely the type of subjects that have I have been studying this year. I have studied both visual arts with an increased focus on managerial, or rather administrative style subjects.
You see, I have found the visual art subjects enjoyable – that is – the visual art subjects that include using pigments, paints, pencils, etc. (ie using hands and head). They are building on knowledge learnt last year.
However, those managerial and administrative subjects have been stressful.
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My head hurts thinking about it…
So why is that? Let’s compare this year to last year. Last year, on learning new visual arts subjects, my head hurt after my creative lessons.
However, this year, I find that my head hurts after doing managerial or administrative subjects.
Why? This shouldn’t be hard for me. I spent many years labouring over a word processor, using spreadsheet software and a variety of other IT software.
So why is this so hard now?
Use it or lose it…
Could it be because I have not used those logical skills for some time.
I figure that it’s like when you start to do exercise after not doing it for a while. You are sore, stiff and feel sorry for yourself until you get your muscles back into tune.
Could this also be happening with my brain?
Right brain vs left brain
A quick search on the internet brings up much information about the right and left-brain hemispheres. The following article link gives a run down on left and right brain hemispheres Left Brain vs. Right Brain: Hemisphere Function (simplypsychology.org).
What does that mean for me? I have been using my right brain to create visual art, while using my left brain to use IT software for administrative tasks and creating digital artworks. I exercised my right brain last year, with minimal left-brain exertion. Yet this year that has changed. This year it has been less right brain thinking and more left brain thinking – OUCH!
Managing my left and right brain
I’ve realised that it’s manageable. It is as simple as rearranging my work week. While this can be hard when you have your class schedule set for you.
I now rearrange my week so that I create early in the week. This is a wonderful gap of 3-4 days of creativity. In the latter part of the week, I will change to administrative and managerial work. Then – on the weekends, I rest my brain. During the week, I will do a range of other thinking types, such as cooking, knitting, or even digital art. This helps me ‘massage’ my brain.
However, after a demanding semester, and during my semester break, I found the most relaxing activity has been to knit. I don’t know why, but at the end of the last semester, I went to my local craft store, bought yarn and started to knit. I knitted at nights for the whole semester break. Knitting is like a salve for my poor sore head. I feel it massages my brain when I do it. Over the years I have had creative periods, like explained in my knitting blog post. Now I get it!
I get it now…
I wondered why I didn’t notice the right brain and left-brain head hurt until now. I worked in an administrative, operational and managerial space for many years. Yet over that time, I yearned to create, but didn’t yet the opportunity. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t focus for a long period on using my creative right-brain.
Now I am in a situation where I am using my preferred right brain thinking. I felt how sore it was getting used to right brain thinking, now that’s been exercised, I needed to get my left-brain thinking exercising.
Like all exercise – it’s manageable, but you must keep doing it. You need to use them together to help you create your artwork, and to help you keep creating your artwork as a professional visual artist.