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september 14 2011

Left Brain Vs Right Brain

written by: Christian Oth
So, I thought I’d do a bit of a personal post here. As you can see from the title this is going to be about the creative side versus the logical side and the constant struggle of switching back and forth between the two.

Creating something new is probably the most rewarding human experience for me. It ranks right up there with experiencing genuine love, the pride of an accomplishment, physical well-being and passing life’s milestones with grace and glamour --- even euphoria. It is a very human trait: We conceptualize, design, convert, build and man, just dream stuff up. Often it is the process rather than the finished product that keeps us going. I know this is what drives me --- no, not crazy, but I just love the forward motion.

Now, equally important, there is the left brain: The logical side that keeps everything in balance; it is the side that works with numbers and handles the "reality check". It’s important to give these "mind muscles" a good workout too. 
There is no doubt that us artists have more of that right brain stuff and like to immerse ourselves in these endeavors. To roam freely, unencumbered and wholly is a certain luxury that very few of us have. It is a wonderful feeling though to take a couple of weeks or months off from the everyday and do something different and new.

A really successful work marriage needs left brainers and right brainers working together and creating an environment of mutual content. Left brainers flourish in the advancement of the purpose, right brainers like to roam free, unencumbered by tax deadlines, payroll and the such.  Successful creatives  find someone capable of handling these important left brain activities and thereby allowing them to create the best of both worlds.

However, when enlisting this help from the lefties, there still remains a solid amount of that left brain stuff  to do. You see, us creatives never like to relinquish control. 
So how do I handle it? To be honest, it's a work in progress, but it most certainly starts with a solid team made up of of both disciplines  ....I am lucky to have a lot of help from the left brainers at my studio and other amazing individuals I surround myself with. I have to do an immense amount of it myself too (just getting through email during an average day is a job in itself...). I try to separate my time between both but definitely thrive creatively when I change environments, such as heading out to a photo shoot. 

I would love to hear from you fellow creatives, how do you get a handle on all that lefty stuff?



Carrie Roseman about 3 years ago

This blog entry couldn't be more timely; this rings true for exactly what is going on in my photography business right now. I am far more superior on the creative side of things than I am on the number-crunching side of things, but recently (as of this year) have been blessed with the help of amazing left-brainers (who all happen to be women as well - woo hoo!) who firmly believe in my talent and what I do. It has nothing short of completely saved me from going insane and helped me to organize, budget, associate, and plan in ways that I didn't even know were needed. Learning how to run a business and get paid properly for my time and talent is a constant learning curve - if it were up to me (and money was not a factor), I would just be planning shoots all the time that would satiate this creative hunger that is constantly surging through my core. I am always learning and trying to balance and move forward. Thank you for the blogpost :)

Petronella about 3 years ago

So true. You can't do it alone. You need a good support system. I'm weird in that I'm very methodical, analytical but also creative.

I've found that the 2 parts of the brain never coexist at the same time and I need someone who can see the bigger picture & tactfully guide me forward to balance out both sides ... otherwise, I go crazy analyzing, creating systems & processes & forget about the creative stuff.... or end up being so focused creativity that things get messy.

Joel Berti almost 3 years ago

It's embarrassing to admit but I just spent the entire day attempting to watermark photograph's I'd recently shot for a local bar. They're essentially party shots for the bars 3rd anniversary and therefore essential that they be posted sooner then later. But I found it very difficult to figure out how to watermark in Lightroom 2. This probably sounds like a ridiculous and minor left brain problem compared to what one can run into daily with a full time photography business. I've just begun that journey and I'm taking my first steps towards earning my keep with a camera yet I get horribly stuck on minor technical tasks like watermarking. I'll spend a great deal of time on a left brain problem and go nowhere. Where as I'd like to believe I move on and adjust somewhat quickly and clearly when faced with a creative decision or problem. Unfortunately I don't have any advice. It relieved some weight though to read about the two sides of the brain. Thanks for keeping it simple.

Zosia Zacharia almost 3 years ago

I could not have written or said this any better-so thank you for sharing. I too thrive on living with the right side of my brain, Im a visual person not a computer monkey. Im in constant flux with my left side, with it nagging me to sort out my months of receipts, book fights, minding my p & q's and spell checking when writing emails, particularly to clients and along with keeping a diary to keep me on track. Bigger lefty stuff is left to people I can pay and trust to get the job done, accounts, techie website dudes etc.

The right side of my brain refuses to give up day dreaming dreams into reality through the lens and so far this delicate balance is working well enough to earn me a modest crust. I dont yet have a dedicated team to work with but I am lucky enough to have a left side 'heavy' partner and be surrounded by a small community of inspiring friends and mentors to reach out to, especially when the left side of the brain needs employment.

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