Many of those who read this title might think that this can only be directed at those with at least a shred of artistic talent in their bones. Well I’m going to start by telling you that you are wrong to think this. Creating art for yourself and your wellbeing is not about creating something worthy of a museum wall, it’s about doing something you enjoy and connecting with the process of creating. Here are just 4 reason why, no matter your skill level, you should give this a try!
Art improves the development of your brain
If anyone ever says that the art subjects in school are for those not smart enough for the sciences, please walk away from them immediately. Many studies have been conducted recently that show that creation of art improves the interaction between different areas of the brain. While you engage in complex activities of any kind, new connections in your brain are created; and it is believed that the more connections your brain has, the higher your level of intelligence is . Creating art stimulates your brains creation of connections. This increase in brain activity will undoubtedly strengthen your focus and attention span.
Anything which requires practice and discipline is going to have a positive effect on your brain function. Especially in art forms such painting, drawing, sculpting of musical instruments. It will significantly improves your hand-eye coordination and strategic thinking.
Ailments of the mind that occur with age are also proven to be lessened or avoided completely when you are involved in a creative activity regularly. For instance, dementia or Alzheimer’s patients are found to benefit greatly from creating art. Not only does it help retain memories, it can tackle other symptoms such as anxiety, agitation, insomnia and depression.
Essentially, it seems obvious that art must be good for one’s brain! Just look at famous artists of the past. Picasso, Matisse and Louise Bourgeois worked right up until they passed away at age 91, 84 and 98! Artists rarely retire, they work until their bodies give up, but their minds are there!
Art can relieve stress
Your day job might be filled with hundreds of emails, meetings, deadlines and mistakes. This is just a recipe for unhappiness. Having a creative outlet can ensure that your most stress filled days don’t follow you out of the office. Ever thought of trying meditation as a form of stress release but quickly realized that you can’t handle staying still for that long? Well, turns out that art can be a form of meditation. Creating art provides much needed distraction for your brain, allowing your train of thought to silence . Studies show that the average person has 60,000 thoughts per day and every day most of them are the same. The action of creating art allows these thoughts to be pushed aside, allowing you to focus on yourself and your environment. Sounds a lot like meditation huh?
This meditative quality of art makes it an affect method of therapy. Many art therapists advise the use of art to work through stress and anxiety. From work related stresses to more serious conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, art therapy works wonders! More and more people are seeing these benefits, hence the sudden popularity of adult colouring books! It’s not just for fun, we should all get one!
Art improves your emotional health
Artists, although often portrayed as dark and troubled, are probably more in tuned with themselves and their emotions than those who have no form of artistic expression. Art has always been thought of by many as an expression of an individual’s complex feeling and emotions. It’s a way to explore your own feelings and also a way to communicate them to others. Overall it strengthens our relationship with our environment. It creates a forum in which we can express ourselves and understand our own feelings; therefore creating room to understand how we feel about what and who surrounds us.
Creating artwork is essentially creating something from nothing, and it is entirely yours! You are in control and you are the creator. In this way, art gives us power that we may not have in other areas in our lives. How could that not make one happier? In addition, not only does creating art make you happier, viewing it can also add enjoyment and pleasure to your life. Why do you think that we all search for that perfect picture to hang on our living room wall?
Art also builds up your self-esteem! Being involved in an art form pushes you to be more motivated and more involved. When beginning any new project, we are probably filled with self-doubt the when completing a task successfully of course we all feel pride and satisfaction. And, with many forms of art there is lingering proof of our success. We can hang our paintings on the wall, showcase our sculptures or play a friend our new song in the piano. It’s an achievement which lingers.
Art creates a community
Art is a part of our culture, as such it creates a community of creative. What is unique about art culture is that it is found in ALL other cultures. As such, being a part of an artistic community connects us with many other cultures. A challenge in today’s society is arguably our inability to feel connected to the problems and struggles of others. Global issues that do not affect us directly do not always strike us as an issue that we should get involved with. However, art transcends the barriers we have and connects us all to issues of racial, religious and socio-economic discrimination and prejudice. Art brings people together by sharing ideas, emotions and experiences without ever having to be in the same room.
Once these barriers are brought down, it invites a greater capacity for love and empathy for others. In today’s global politics, where more and more walls are being built between people who are of different backgrounds, we need a little more love and understanding!