It’s common knowledge I assume, that the part of the human brain called consciousness (is it a part of the brain or is it its own thing?) draws connections to experiences, sights, sensory stimulus and the like to create new points, or thoughts or experiences. The brain is constantly trying to improve upon itself. Lots of this work goes on in the background, without us knowing. Unconsciously. Subconsciously. For this reason, if you’re walking you might have a sudden realization on how you can improve an aspect of your life. One might call it a random burst or a sudden insight, but it’s not random at all and not so sudden after all. It’s something that’s been building up internally for quite some time, ever since you were in the kitchen and asked yourself if you drink too much milk. A week later, your brain will have gathered enough data from the week on your milk drinking patterns and every factor it knows of having to do with health and its effect on the things it finds important, namely well being, effectiveness, ability, strength, and other stuff. At this point it knows what the thing is you need to change to better or your life, or maybe it simply has a yes or no answer to the milk question.
Where am I going with this? Oh yes. The brain only draws from experiences. There’s a theory that says no idea is a new idea, it all comes from some origin point in the external or internal world. But I won’t get into that now. If I’ve been drawing faces for a year, I might have a sudden insight telling me how to draw an eye more accurately. That might be in a visual form, or it might come in words. Or if you’re really weird, it’ll come to you in a song and you’ll have to decode it. But don’t worry about that you’re not that weird. What won’t happen though, is having a sudden insight on how to draw a better dinosaur. Stegosaurus, to be specific. This is because you’ve never drawn a dinosaur before in your life. Maybe once when you were a small child, but your brain doesn’t take that seriously enough, so the frequency of reapparition (term that I just made up that I will attempt to accurately define by next post) isn’t high enough for insights to be considered worthy by the brain. But who knows, maybe you’ll see the dinosaur that you drew in your head and find a way to improve it, but that requires the thought to appear.
This is why you should have variety in the things you do. Because if you keep drawing faces for the rest of your life, all you will ever get better at is drawing faces. You will have a perfect face (on paper, not on your face) but you won’t be able to draw a sunset or a hummer or a treehouse or a snake.
Metaphorically and literally, try different media, colors, objects and subjects, languages, scales, people, types of people, groups of people, kinds of people, places, smells, areas, regions, locations, services, music, styles of music, genres of music, patterns, habits.
There are more things that you should try different types of, but that is the extent of the list that I could make up at this time. Try! Do. Feel? Go.