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An Interview with an Art Legend

If you wish you were more creative, this conversation is for you.

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is the number one drawing instructional book used in the world. Published 40 years ago, it revolutionized the way we think about learning to draw, by incorporating the then-nascent field of neuroscience into arts education.

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain has been translated into 13 languages and has sold over 3 million copies.

I was privileged to speak with Betty Edwards artist and best-selling author of this fabulous book. We speak with Betty about her thoughts on creativity, learning to draw, its big-picture effects on society, the process of writing, and more.

Betty has been drawing since an early age. She got her bachelor and Master’s from California State University and went on to complete a Ph.D. in Art Education and Psychology from UCLA. She has taught high school, university, and adult workshops. She has written several other celebrated drawing books, including Drawing on the Artist Within, and Color: A course in mastering the art of mixing color.


Art is discovery, of the highest nature.”

“If you can learn to read you can learn to draw.”

“Everything you need to know is right in front of your eyes. I was surprised that students weren’t learning to draw…”

“There’s a controversy that rages among neuroscientists, about where the [right side of the brain functions and left side of the brain functions] exist in the brain. I sort of ducked out of that controversy by calling those 2 styles “L-mode and R-mode

If you’re an educator it doesn’t really matter where the R[ight hemisphere]-mode is located, we’re not cutting into the brain! We simply need to know the facts of those modes of thinking, and how to bring those modes up to conscious level.”

“The school system teaches what is easy. R-mode isn’t easy to fit into a system.”

“You’re in a different mental state when you’re drawing.”

“In untold numbers of people, there is a yen to learn to draw…Drawing came long before written language…maybe it’s just fundamental to human beings to want to portray what they see. We’re the only creature in the world… who make drawings of their perceptions.”

Betty’s Blog and Workshop Schedule:

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