Integrating Theory And Practice

Lecture 1, 27th September 2011

The Reflective Visual Journal

From this lecture, I have decided to expand upon the 2
key principles:

1 – Drawing/Working By Hand

2 – Utilising Your Creative Brain

The Reflective Visual Journal is a tool the artist uses to put down all their ideas and expand upon them. This is essential for realising the solution to the project brief.
The RVJ is a safe place to explore the mind and try to suspend habitual, critical judgement of our own work that can limit what we need to express.

“Drawing and working by hand in your RVJ is essential as it enables you to engage a physical connection between your hand, your eye and creative right brain”

This is ‘functional drawing’ – drawing for thinking, not making pictures. It is thinking on the page.

Examples of functional drawing:


The right side of the brain is “like a child at play” and allows us to be playful, experimental and creative. The left side of the brain is “more like an accountant” – it takes care of organising, selecting and editing.
The creative process is conciously, repeatedly switching brain modes.

Play / Evaluate
Speculate / Interrogate
Spontaneity / Focus

Obviously we need both sides of the brain working together, and they do complement each other but we need to approach creative work with a concious awareness of which brain mode we are operating in.

If we utilise our brains and concentrate on letting the right brain take over and be free, we can produce an original piece of artwork free of criticism from the left brain interfering. The left brain unconciously alters work to how it believes it should look which caps the creative limit.

The term ‘drawing’ it is not just about using a pencil to make marks on paper.
To quote artist Lizzie Finn – ” I couldn’t draw very well so I had to stick stuff down”
She uses fabric and stitching to visualise her ideas.

Examples of right brain in action:

Examples of left brain in action:

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