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  • Writer's pictureKonstantin

The Effect Of Emotional Intelligence On Your Drawing Progress

Updated: May 27, 2020

Since now I've read a lot of scientific studies proving that drawing and really any kind of art is developing one's emotional intelligence. What about the other way around? I've never read anything about how already established and developed emotional intelligence is affecting one's drawing progress. I've done some research and today I'll share a few insights with you.

How is emotional intelligence affecting your drawing progress?

Emotional intelligence is basically the ability to communicate effectively with others and to express, manage, and understand emotions. A high level of emotional intelligence is contributing to accelerated drawing progress and is associated with a better understanding of art creation.

In this article today we'll take a look at the different components of emotional intelligence and discuss in what way exactly these components are affecting your drawings and especially the way you're learning to draw. We'll also talk about the other way of how drawing can improve your emotional intelligence scores.

I. Five Components Of EI And Their Impact

Emotional intelligence can most easily be explained by dividing it into these 5 main pillars of emotional intelligence. Every one of these key components has an impact on your progress on the learning curve leading to becoming a drawing artist.

Let's go over the meaning of these components together and how they are affecting the way you learn how to draw. Does every single one of these EI pillars have a positive effect on one's drawing progress?

What are the five key components of emotional intelligence?

1. Self-Awareness

2. Self-Regulation

3. Motivation

4. Empathy

5. Social Skills

Let's dive right into it.

1. Self-Awareness

Self-awareness in this context and generally means that you're aware of your own characteristics that define who you actually are. It also means that you are aware of your feeling and emotions that control your behavior toward other people around you.

This first pillar of emotional intelligence helps you appear more confident and convincing in conversations with others for example. I always love to refer to the brilliant series Mad Men set in the 1960s dealing with the lives of the founders and employees of an advertising agency.

If you take a look at the protagonist, Donald Draper, you see a man who has such a high amount of self-awareness that he is able to convince almost anyone to buy his ideas for new advertising campaigns. Look at this video below and see real self-awareness and the confidence that comes along with it.

How does this apply to one's drawing journey you might wonder now. Let me ask you one thing first. Do you think a drawing without any kind of emotion is a good drawing?

I think you're most likely to answer no since communicating emotion is the highest possible way of creating art. Well, if you're not able to understand your own world of feelings, how are you going to be able to attach your feelings to your drawings then?

Having a high level of self-awareness can't really boost you up in your drawing learning curve but it does make you able to express your own feelings better in your art. Once you are able to move others emotionally with your art, you know you're good!

2. Self-Regulation

What does self-regulation actually mean? If you have the ability to control your emotions more than your emotions control you and your behavior towards your social environment, you have a high amount of self-regulation. It's that simple.

When it comes to drawing or painting we discover something very interesting. It might sound crazy at the first moment but if you think about it, it makes totally sense.

In drawing and painting, two stages of self-regulation can be beneficial. On the one side, you will be able to create great emotive drawings when you exhibit an extremely high level of self-regulation because this also means that you are able to draw the line between different emotions. Controlling your emotions can have a very positive impact on your drawings.

If you have a very low level of self-regulation on the other side—and here comes the weird part—this is great, too. Especially in (abstract) painting having absolutely no control over your feelings whatsoever can lead you to create very impressive art pieces.

Take a look at the right image beneath this paragraph. Doesn't it radiate different emotions all at once? Either a very high amount of emotional understanding or very weak control over the artist's own emotions could have resulted in that artwork.

If you click on the image you will be directed to the site, where I've found the artwork originally. Check it out if you want to read more about how artists put emotions into their work. The link will open in a new tab.

When we're speaking of acting as a kind of art, for example, this changes drastically. If you're a part in a play in the theater or if you're playing a character in a movie or series and you're not able to control your feelings... Well, you are absolutely in the wrong business, dear.

3. Motivation

Motivation can either mean being motivated all the time or having a motivating effect on others for example in regular conversations. In this context as a pillar of emotional intelligence, it means both.

People with high emotional intelligence tend to emanate a certain kind of energy that has a strongly motivating effect on others around them. If you are emotionally intelligent you are very likely to be motivated yourself all the time or at least very often.

Of course, this is one of the best things you can have in any situation in life. At least in my personal experience, I have to say that I am always more successful and more fulfilled in a situation when I'm highly motivated.

A high level of motivation can bring the best possible performance out of you.

Drawing is not a talent or a gift as we all know by now. You also know you can learn it because you know that literally everyone can. If these thoughts are motivating you or you don't even need some motivation to be motivated, you will be able to climb up the drawing ladder of skill much fast than your peers.

4. Empathy

Empathy is the ability to feel with somebody else when they're sad or happy. Empathy can be divided into three subcategories which are called cognitive, emotional, and compassionate empathy.

Cognitive empathy basically allows you to not only guess what other people might be thinking when they're talking to you. If you possess the ability of cognitive empathy you can read and understand other people's emotions and thoughts based on their facial expressions and body gestures.

Emotional empathy enables you to feel the same way as people around you. It appears as if their emotions were contagious and you are basically just sucked into their world of feelings if you want to or not. This can be very helpful in certain areas but also overwhelming or inappropriate in other situations.

Compassionate empathy is emotional empathy with a little extra on top of it. If you're a compassionately empathetic person you are not only infected by other people's emotions but you are moved by them. That makes you want to help people in an emergency for example.

In any case, you can say one thing about empathy.

Empathy allows you to be able to connect to other people from your environment in a much deeper and more profound way than without it.

When you're drawing empathy will make you more sensitive to understanding emotions generally which is again very useful when you're interested in attaching feelings to your art whether they are your own ones or not.

Empathy will open you the doors into the world of portrait drawing most of all. Portrait drawing can also be a kind of emotive drawing. So, if you understand the emotions of the person you're drawing and take on his or her emotions it will be much easier for you to attach them to your drawings.

5. Social Skills

Social skills refer to the ability to get along with your social environment. If you are struggling with maintaining contact with friends or colleagues chances are that you have only a few social skills.

Many of the pillars we've gone over already have had a very positive effect on your drawings and especially on your learning process to becoming a great pencil artist at some point if your life. Well, you know there are exceptions to every rule.

Being really good at social skills doesn't actually mean anything in terms of your drawing or painting career. Communicating verbally in an effective way is great, of course, but that's already everything I can say about that.

Having only a few or no social skills at all can mean that you're very comfortable drawing to counterbalance that. People who are not really comfortable with talking to other people or maintaining relationships are often real talented in expressing emotions with a pencil on a piece of paper.

II. Related Questions

1. How Is Emotional Intelligence Measured?

Emotional intelligence can be measured by participating in the MEIS, the Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale. This test will measure the individual EQ score of the participant who has to answer several EI related questions.

2. Can Emotional Intelligence Be Taught?

Some people are simply born with a certain level of emotional intelligence. Those people are able to increase this level and people with very low emotional intelligence are able to initially learn emotional intelligence by exerting certain exercises and asking themselves specific EQ related questions.

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