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This week I began an evening life drawing class at Amplify, a company that is re-imagining education as part of the digital revolution. And so as part of that, they are offering life drawing classes to their employees, not only to the artists and designers, but also to developers and musicians and writers and business people. I love that! I have long known, from both personal experience and research, that drawing aids creativity and problem solving for not only artists but for everyone. Drawing improves cognitive function, even if your drawings lean more toward stick figures than to Michelangelo’s angelic creations. It creates new neural pathways and adds to the brain plasticity. Draw for an hour and you will be more equipped to solve problems related to other areas such as math, science, finance, etc., etc. It can even help you figure out your taxes! It’s also a great form of meditation as well as great practice to improve your skills of observation. (Hello private detectives!)
I think everyone should draw, not just those who call themselves artists, and so does the author of this article on the cognitive benefits of doodling, HERE.
According to Andrea Kuszewski in Scientific American, there are five primary principles you can apply to improve your fluid intelligence, which are: 1. Seek Novelty, 2. Challenge Yourself, 3. Think Creatively, 4. Do Things The Hard Way, and 5. Network. All of which you do in a life drawing class! (Read the full article HERE.)
And another article about this from the Dana Foundation, for those of you who prefer a more scientific explanation: HERE.
So the facts back it up, but the experience is the best proof – it’s fun and stimulating to draw! I’m so happy to be invited to lead these classes, spending some time in the evenings with great models and great people, all in the shadow of the Manhattan bridge in Dumbo. We talk about movement, animation, dimension, calligraphy, marks, and more, and study through practice. Thanks Amplify!
Here are a few photos of the class, courtesy of Julia Sverchuk: