By Debbie Soufian
As an accounting student, I can appreciate the emphasis placed on the left brain. To be analytical, logical, calculated: these are skills that, once refined, can pose many advantages to our progression and advancement as a human race. The rate at which we constantly iterate and transform our perceptions of what we achieve is not to be taken for granted. We dedicate funding toward STEM fields in order to accompany this growth and take pride in what we are capable of.
However, I have always found this separation between creativity and logical-mindedness quite obscure. Not only do we need both to further progress, but the combination of the two prove to be greater than the sum of its parts.
As per example, artist Titus Kaphar, a Yale Graduate and Macarthur-winning alumnus, moved back to New Haven, Connecticut, where he built a literal haven for creative individuals outside of New York to point artists of all mediums toward collaboration, mutual support, and connection, and to develop their skills and passions. The goal is to bring opportunity to the neighborhood, This highlights a basic principle about the role of arts in our societies. Any global community shares the related fact that where the arts lives and breathe, so does innovation and vibrancy.
Similarly, artist Theaster Gates initiated a project in Chicago by “[leveraging] the power and potential of communities, buildings, and objects that others have written off” (Rebuild Foundation). See, to the logical mind used in accounting, a monetary write-off, especially with the passage of time, is considered less and less likely to be collectible. And that is that. But by using our imaginations, our ability to come together and visualize a different way, we are able to turn around seemingly hopeless situations and create real impact and change. With this thought process, which involves the right brain, we realize nothing is impossible if we only perceive otherwise.
All innovation and advancement should be registered as an art form. Tangible discoveries, products, and objects are all acts of creation. Anything that comes to fruition after existing in the mind and can be experienced, used, and interacted with is art. This is our human gift, and why art is considered the highest achievement of man. It is what separates us from animals, and connects us with God– our power to co-create either for good or bad. Having the ability to create beauty and value from that which lacked any substance is not only a human gift, but also comes with high responsibility. We have the choice to claim accountability, to acknowledge that our actions have a great impact on our environment, on societies and their people. Therefore, we all have a collective and mutual responsibility to one another.
Therefore, it is not so much the extreme of mastering or even identifying with one side of the brain, but rather balancing the skills that are both available to us should we choose to cultivate this gift. Often it is through collaboration and exploration that we find our greatest, most sustainable discoveries.