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Neurographic Art

Stress. Problems. Concerns. Challenges. They have just become a part of our everyday life, haven't they? Lately, for me, things have really come to a head and there have been some days where I have struggled. Nerves on edge. Blood pressure high. No, not a good way to get through life. Not a healthy option, either. BUT I am getting better. And, believe it or not, art is one of the tools I use to calm me down and getting my thinking straight.

For years, researchers have known the calming effects art has on people. People of all ages, too. What is shocking is some studies have even proven it really does not matter the medium you work in or with. All have the same calming properties. Perhaps it is the act of simply taking time to create something. Maybe it is allowing the right side of the brain to take over, leaving the chatty left side of the brain to sit in the corner and be quiet for a bit. Whatever the reason, creating art relaxes nerves, lowers blood pressure, and sometimes gives the creator clarity on the problems they had prior to their arting session.

Now, I have been seeing "Neurographic Art" EVERYWHERE lately. I had never heard of it until a couple months ago. After doing more research on it, I thought it would be fun to try a Neurographic Art project myself...and thought you might enjoy trying it in your "classroom", too.

The idea of Neurographic Art was created in 2014 by Pavel Piskerav, a Russian psychologist. This art form combined science and psychology with multimedia art. It is a way to use the conscious mind and the unconscious mind to problem-solve the challenges you may be facing in life.

This project is very simple, and the supplies needed are simple as well:

- Paper

- Marker

- Coloring medium

Big or small, we all have challenges. Sometimes they can even become stumbling blocks. But Neurographic Art has a step-by-step plan to work through those problems.

1) On the back of a piece of paper, write down your "problem" or "challenge".

2) Flip the paper over. Focus on that problem for a moment and, while still thinking of the problem/challenge, take 5-15 seconds to draw lines on your paper. Don't think about the lines, just focus on your problem. Let your subconscious mind put the problem on the paper in the form of these lines.

3) After your random lines are finished, take a moment to continue all lines to the edges of the paper.

4) Any place where the line connect, use your marker to curve out the edges. This will start to create a "neuron" appearance to your artwork.

5) Now, with your conscious mind, look at your piece and add lines of your own. Create balance, harmony, beauty out of those "challenging lines". This is where you may start to feel more control over your problem, and you may start to think of solutions to overcome your challenges. Once finished adding these shapes and lines, curve out any places where lines cross.

6) Add color. This is optional, but so much fun. It is, again, where your conscious mind will see the beauty that can be made out of challenges and struggles.

I am reminded in the process of creating this piece that my struggles are designed to strengthen me. Muscles do not build and grow unless pressure is applied. I believe this applies to humans as well. While I may not understand all that is going on around me now, I know I will come out better on the other side. I know you will, too. And I hope the tool of "Neurographic Art" will help you overcome any struggles you have now and any others you may have in the future.

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