Thursday, May 22, 2008

Subconscious Problem Solving

During my workday, when I’m not working on my art, answering e-mails, or doing other business related activities, I take some time off and pursue something completely unrelated to art, and I’ve found that this time has been most valuable to me as an artist. I think it has something to do with subconscious problem solving – my best ideas come to me when I’m letting my mind wander while running, playing the piano, or even working on a Rubik’s cube (yup – those are my hands in the piece above!)

Ever hear the phrase, “Work smarter, not harder”? I find that rather than agonizing for hours over how to handle a background, tweak the subject’s facial expression, or even promote my art, simply stepping away from the problem can help me to arrive at the solution much faster.

Can any readers relate to this? Do you “zone out” at work and find it helpful to your overall productivity? Post a comment and let me know!


Liz P said...

Absolutely, Holly! Taking a short walk, tending the garden, even folding laundry or emptying the dishwasher work for me!

I think that, although the "stepping away" part might seem to be what helps us, it's actually the 'stepping back in' and seeing our work fresh that does the trick!

Deborah Ross said...

Yes, usually I get such brilliant ideas when I'm driving. I don't know why this happens, but lots of times I've gotten a whole chain of creative ideas while driving somewhere, not even a long trip. As far as problem solving, I think I get solutions when I'm drawing, but on another piece, and then I'll go back to the troublesome one with a new attitude.

Debbi said...

That's so true. When I work for an extended period of time on a piece I think my eyes and brain get tired. The breaks are great for recharging and also letting your mind wander.
I also find classical music helps to take me "outside" of myself.