I was reading an interesting article on how brainwaves work and how they can affect the way we produce art. There are four types of brainwaves: Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta….orderered here according to how far/close we are to our subconscious.
In Beta mode our brain is fully conscious and ready for managerial tasks etc. The Alpha state is very fascinating, this is when we are involved in a task that doesn’t require too much concentration, which sets ideas free to flow…I catch myself in this state of mind many times during the course of the day, this is why I carry my ‘Ideas’ Book’ everywhere I go! The article I read inside The Artist magazine also mentioned that in the old days knitting was seen as an activity that ‘gave too many ideas’ hence women were discouraged from doing it.
The Theta stage is much closer to the subconscious, this is when we are about to fall asleep or daydreaming. Many full-time artists try to switch off from everything and reach this state of mind before beginning any work. My drawing teacher used to tell us to let the pencil ‘explore’ the paper and ‘find’ the drawing inside. I guess this is also why the morning pages were invented (and my drawing version of it!).
Lastly, the Delta state happens in deep sleep and it serves other purposes such as repairing the body.
I understand now why forcing myself to sit at the drawing table straight after a day in the office never seems to work. Will try and get some more of those lovely Theta waves first!