Drawing a Self Portrait with Your Non-Dominant Hand - Pt 2
A perfectly playful way to reconnect with the childlike joy of creating without inhibition.
"Every child is an artist.
The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."
👩🎨 Guess the artist who drew these images above?
Well, they were both drawn by me!
This is by far my favourite creative prescription to date, one that I’ve delivered in many workshops - much to the amusement of my participants.
Part 1 of this exercise can be found here - this makes a good warm-up exercise.
🙃 These drawings, one all serious and arty farty; the other one, a self-portrait drawn in marker pens with my non-dominant hand, are naive and colourful; they express all sides of me - the serious and the silly. There’s room for both.
In fact, it’s essential we make room for both if we are to continue to grow - creatively; spiritually even. Because it’s essential to innovate and make improvements not just to ourselves but also to play a role in untangling the complexities the world currently faces. A grand statement? Yes and one I stand by.
By striving for personal improvement we also contribute positively to the collective challenges we encounter. This is the power of our innate creativity.
The Power of Play to Make Profound Change
As an artist, drawing with my non-dominant hand is the one exercise that has really helped me break free of my inner critic - that pesky voice that constantly tells me I’m no good.
Luckily I also have Daisy, my 10-year-old daughter to stop me from taking myself too seriously, who also constantly reminds me to be more playful.
As the classic Picasso quote highlights, we have innate creativity within each of us. The challenge we all have is maintaining that creative spirit into adulthood.
Sadly as we grow we become self-conscious. As early 20th century art critic Carleton Noyes said:
“Imagination surrenders to the intellect; emotion gives place to knowledge.
Gradually the material world shuts in about us until it becomes for us a hard, inert thing, and no longer a living, changing presence, instinct with infinite possibilities of experience and feeling.”
Well, those words just make me feel sad!
Drawing with your non-dominant hand can be a playful way to reconnect with that childlike joy of creating without inhibition. To soften the edges of existence and open the infinite possibility of being!
🧑🎨 Why This Exercise Is Valuable
Mindfulness and Presence 🧘♀️: Creating art with your non-dominant hand pulls you into the present moment, fostering mindfulness.
Creativity Boost 🌈: Embracing the challenge of using your non-dominant hand often unlocks unexpected creative pathways.
Self-Acceptance and Imperfection 🎨: Working with your non-dominant hand helps you embrace imperfections. This is a powerful lesson in self-acceptance and letting go of the need for perfection.
Personal Growth and Resilience 🌱: This will feel uncomfortable - go with it! The process of creating something challenging is a metaphor for overcoming difficulties in life. It encourages resilience, adaptability, and a positive attitude towards facing and conquering obstacles.
Expression of Emotions 🎭: Drawing a self-portrait, especially with your non-dominant hand, is a form of emotional expression. It may reveal aspects of yourself that may not have been consciously aware of.
Pick up a pen,
Draw your self-portrait with your non-dominant hand,
So today I invite you to take some time out from your oh-so-serious jobs and important work, to doodle some silliness. Better still, borrow a child (one you know obviously) and get them to help you express your creative, playful side.
Remember, it's not about creating a perfect masterpiece but about the journey of self-discovery along the way. Give it a go! ✨
🎨 Stay Creative!
Part 1 can be found here: