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The healing power of creativity: How do you create neurographic art?

Art is commonly associated with self-expression, but it is also a powerful tool for healing. Engaging in any artistic practice, whether it be visual arts, music, writing or any other form, allows individuals to tap into a reservoir of inner strength and resilience. In the act of creation, individuals often find a sanctuary where they can confront their feelings, process trauma and cultivate a sense of empowerment.

There are various examples of how art has helped people heal from traumatic incidents. The artist Frida Kahlo who suffered from several bodily injuries (arising from illness and accidents) turned to painting as a means of processing her pain and trauma. Jazz singer Melody Gardot used music as a therapeutic tool to strengthen neural connections after a serious accident. While these are quite extreme examples, creativity possesses a profound ability to foster healing, often manifesting in the most unexpected of ways.

Neurographic art was created in Russia in 2014 by a psychologist named Pavel Piscarev. The word originates from ‘neuro’, which refers to anything associated with brain cells or neurons and ‘graphica’, which refers to artistic images or symbols. While neurography involves mapping the nervous system's pathways, neurographic art is a result of lines, shapes and colours intertwining to reflect the complexities of our thoughts and emotions. It is a process of self-discovery and expression through the creation of images.

An image of neurons firing in hues of pink and purple by Hal Gatewood
Hal Gatewood, Neurons firing

Neurographic art has gained prominence due to its therapeutic potential. By channeling emotions onto paper, practitioners can gain insight into their inner landscapes, confront personal challenges and find solace in the act of creation. The rhythmic motion of drawing and the focus on the present moment promote relaxation and mindfulness, offering a reprieve from the stresses of everyday life.

At its core, neurographic art is founded on the principle of "neuroplasticity" — the brain's ability to rewire and adapt. Individuals engage in a meditative flow through guided exercises, allowing their subconscious to guide their hand movements. This freeform approach encourages exploration without the constraints of predetermined outcomes, fostering a sense of liberation and spontaneity.

The art form has also gained popularity because of its accessibility to people from various backgrounds and transcends age or skill. Whether you're an experienced artist or a novice enthusiast, the process invites you to delve into the depths of your imagination and unearth hidden reservoirs of creativity.

To make neurographic art, one needs to be relaxed and comfortable. With a black marker, make a line or a doodle. Wherever the lines intersect, round off the corners with the marker. Continue drawing by adding more lines and shapes to fill in the spaces as desired. Continue to round off the corners where any lines or shapes meet. Once satisfied with the drawing, move on to colouring the spaces with any medium of choice. As it is evident from above, neurographic art is for everyone and does not require any specific artistic skill.

Neurographic art transcends the boundaries of conventional artistic expression, offering a unique blend of creativity, mindfulness and self-discovery. Whether you're seeking therapeutic release or simply looking to explore new avenues of artistic expression, delving into the world of neurographic art promises a journey of profound exploration and transformation.

By Vikram Naik

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