Are Left-Handed People More Creative? – A Ramble

2016 Artwork Left Handedness and creativity

One of the first things that I will say is that this is purely an opinion article, rather than a scientific study or anything like that.

If you’re looking for objective facts or detailed research, then it might be worth looking elsewhere. But, if you’re looking for rambling subjective thoughts, then you’ve come to the right place.

Anyway, I’ve read a few things in books and articles over the years which suggest that left-handed people (like myself) are more creative than right-handed people are.

This follows the (somewhat contested, and possibly totally disproved) theory that, with left-handed people, the right-hand sides of our brains are dominant. This supposedly means that we have more brainpower available when it comes to things like visual thinking etc… albeit at the cost of the side of our brains that deals with linguistics etc.. not being dominant.

Like anyone, I can only speak from my own experience here – since I’ll only use one brain during this lifetime and I won’t get to use any others. So, I can’t really compare. But, I usually tend to think in visual, verbal and physical (this is the only way I can describe it) ways in fairly equal measure. If anything, the verbal parts of my thoughts are probably slightly more prominent in day to day life than the visual or physical parts are.

Yet, nonetheless, back when I wrote a lot more fiction, I’d often think about writing in a very visual way. For example, I’d draw little sketches of the characters before starting a story. Plus, when it came to actually writing, it would be more like I was sometimes translating my visual thoughts into words. Then again, this is hardly unusual. I mean, if people lacked the ability to translate words into images, then literature wouldn’t exist. No-one would see the point in it.

However, when I switched from being a writer to being an artist – and had enough practice to become vaguely competent at it- it was extremely liberating. I didn’t have to construct an elaborate story to go with any of the visual thoughts that I had. I could just draw or paint the thoughts themselves and not bother with coming up with a story.

But, in many of the art videos that I’ve seen on Youtube – artists who are far better at art than I am and far more creative than I am can clearly be seen to be drawing or painting using their right hand. So, the idea that being left-handed instantly makes you more artistic or creative is absolutely absurd. If anything, practice makes you a better artist.

There’s also the theory that left-handed people are more creative because we’ve had to adapt to a world that is primarily designed for right-handed people. Supposedly, this means that we have to think about things more (which can stimulate creativity).

But, for me, adapting to right-handed stuff is just an ordinarily mundane part of everyday life. It’s not something that I really think about much. In fact, bizarrely, I’m actually better at using a computer mouse, playing pool and playing the guitar (what little I could play on it) right-handed than I am at doing any of these three things left-handed. These seem to be pretty much the only exceptions though, I’m better at doing everything else left-handed.

Whilst this slight degree of ambidexterity is a cool bonus, I’ve never really noticed that it’s had any effect on my level of creativity. Then again, I have no real basis for comparison.

In conclusion, although being left-handed is really cool and although I can’t even imagine living life as anything other than left-handed, it isn’t some magical thing that automatically makes us more creative than anyone else. There are brilliant left-handed writers, actors, musicians and artists out there and there are brilliant right-handed ones too. Creativity is something that seems to follow it’s own unknown rules.


Anyway, I hope that this was interesting 🙂