Turning Art into an Educational Experience

One of the reasons I wanted to go back to school was to have more time for my artwork. So far, it’s been quite the opposite experience: I have no time what-so-EVER to work on my art! Or do anything at all for my own enjoyment, for that matter. Zero time. If time availability could go negative, it would. I think I’d need another semester just to finish this semester’s reading!

I did, however, recently try a quick little online quiz that tells you how left- or right-brained you are. Going into it, I was quite confident that I would be pretty balanced between left and right brain. On the one hand, I work as an engineer and have two engineering degrees. On the other hand, I am an artist, musician, and fiction writer. To my surprise, the quiz told me I am 91% right-brained, and 9% left-brained. It’s not even a close call, even accounting for the large amount of statistical error that could be introduced by the fact that it’s a quick and dirty test. No wonder I always felt like something was “missing” while I worked as an engineer: apparently, 90% of my brain!

Now that I’m back in school, I’ve had to get creative to find ways to exercise more of that right brain. One method I tried was to draw while I studied for my theology midterm, inspired by a success from grade 10. I can remember some facts from my grade 10 history¬†class, thanks to some cue cards I’d drawn up at the time. I thought they’d long since been tossed, but I recently found them again (O happy day!). Here are a couple of the memorable ones. Thanks to the “H” astronaut, I can still remember almost 20 years later what a huguenot is.

Study Cards
Grade 10 history study cards

So, for the Theology midterm, I ended up drawing 18 pages of cartoons to remind myself of the different principles. (Note to self: doing 18 pages of cartoons on the same day as actually writing the midterm is not a good idea. Both my hand and my brain were hurting before I even got to the midterm…) Below are 3 of the 18 pages.

5 Types of Theology
5 Types of Theology

 

Theology and Philosophy on a Date
Theology and Philosophy on a Date

 

Philosophy Definition
Philosophy Definition

In general the cartoons are intelligible to others, but sometimes things only have meaning to me. For example, the bottom right of the Philosophy Definition cartoon has my logic circuit diagram for “to be or not to be.” ¬†Whatever works! Someday I hope to draw amazing cartoons like in Fr. Peter’s Napkin.

Back to schoolwork for me! Next weekend, I will be attending a full-weekend workshop on Eastern Christian iconography, where I will go through the steps of creating an icon of St. John Chrysostom. I will be blogging about that, so stay tuned!

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