Dailymail has a story about a 21 year old girl who destroyed the left hemisphere of her brain in a car crash. It may seem strange to even be alive at all with only half of your brain, but Taisia Sidorova has shown an artistic ability she didn’t show before the crash, as seen in the painting above.
I often hear people saying they don’t have artistic talent, like it is just something other people are born with. There are aptitudes certainly, but mostly it is about getting the overly analytical portion of your brain to stay out of your way and let you work. When most people try to draw someone’s portrait for the first time, they start by drawing a head, or an eye, or a nose. The results are cartoonish and unflattering because they are drawing their mind’s stereotype rather than just looking at what is right in front of them. If you look at Taisia’s painting above, the overall effect is like a photograph, while the art is in the color, brush stroke, and impression of the scene.
If you’ve ever tried to learn how to draw from a book, it goes something like this:
This just isn’t the right approach. Drawing isn’t a step by step process. My first great sketch I drew in a circle, like the movement of clock hands, fully completed. It seems like a crazy way to work to me now, but the ability in in perception, not in technique.
Years ago, I read a book with some great tricks for getting around those mental blocks. I recommend to anyone who would like to improve their artistic abilities, even if they feel like they are starting from nothing. Betty Edward’s Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. She’s also got some other good books on things like improving creativity and getting around the artist’s equivalent of writer’s block.