All of us at some point in time have drawn something, be it in school or for fun or even just doodling on a sketchpad while on the phone with someone.
It turns out that people who do this have an advantage over those who don’t because they’ve been training their brain into becoming a well-oiled machine without even realizing it.
Apparently, all kinds of things are happening in the head while carrying out these little activities, affecting the way all cognitive function develops. Doodling improves your motor function as well as your creative center, possibly making you smarter in the bargain.
Let’s have a look at what has been going on in your head while you were putting the pencil to paper.
1. A More Creative Brain
When you do anything creative, the right side of the brain is busy processing the information you are generating. As with any other part of the body, when something gets used often it become stronger or, in the case of the brain, more used to doing the work.
This leads to inspiration begetting inspiration as long as you actually get down and do the work. Many writers, for instance, report that once they started on their first book, they found themselves more inspired than ever before, turning an initial trickle of word into a veritable flood. It’s not just the brain being trained, of course, while drawing, you’re also working on physical skills.
2. Better Fine Motor Skills
Drawing requires some seriously good coordination to get the details right. In fact, the fine motor skill work takes years to master and several schools of fine arts have years of curriculum devoted to it.
Through constant practice, however, motor skills will develop to almost superhuman levels of control, unseen in any but a few professions, such as surgeons, dentists and chemists. Training these skills means that you’ll never spill a drink while pouring it or have paint drip while putting a new coat on your house.
Even more interesting, though, is that the increased creativity and the development of fine motor skills when taken together are more than the sum of their parts and your brain will be healthier overall.
3. A More Active Brain
While drawing, the right, more creative, side of the brain has to remain in constant communication with its left side, which is where the motor skills live. This leads to neurons firing more often and makes for a healthier brain.
At the same time, the membrane between the two halves develops in a way to facilitate traffic between the two halves, allowing for quicker thought process and better communication between mind and body. This drastically boosts concentration and memory function, the two abilities most associated with intelligence.
Besides making you smart, drawing also makes you able to communicate better due to the increase in neurons firing over the wall separating the two brain halves. This means that you’ll be much better able to interpret other people’s body language and facial expressions, while simultaneously making you more able to convey the nuances of your message.
These benefits are in no way something that develops overnight, it takes years and years to experience the benefits of drawing. The good news is that you can start at any point of your life, no matter how old you are and still develop these traits.
The greatest benefit, however, is for children, and more and more child rearing theories do include a lot of room for drawing as well as making music, which has a similar influence on the brain’s development.
Either way, take action to improve your brain functionality by drawing; it doesn’t matter if it’s a work of art or just squiggles, your brain with thank you for it!