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5 Ways Art Can Improve Your Life

In its simplest form, art is decorative. However, art is not merely meant to decorate the walls of our buildings. It is a tool to help each of us differently. As an artist who creates new things every day, I recognize the benefits art has in my life and how it improves other people’s lives as well. Most of the time art isn’t the first thing people turn to in order to improve their life. However, it is definitely a vivid and effective way to better your life.

Here are 5 ways art can improve your life:

1. Add Beauty/Color:

This might seem like a pretty obvious way art improves your life. But, have you ever taken a moment to imagine your home, work place or businesses without art? Things get pretty bland in a jiffy without the artwork that brings color to your surroundings. It might seem like a simple concept, but I think that’s because it is often summed up as such. ‘Put art on that wall because it looks good’ I can hear people suggesting to home owners. But art does more than just ‘look good’ on a wall. The art you choose to put in your home reflects a part of you. At least, it SHOULD reflect who you are.

After all, art is considered a finishing touch to any space. It’s what YOU admire. It’s what YOU love. It’s what makes you think deeply. It adds the beauty and color of who you are to a space making the space feel welcoming and more personal. Art can improve your life greatly by allowing you to embrace your own personality and help others feel more welcomed into your personal space.

2. Depicting Inexpressible Thoughts:

Ever had something you feel and you just can’t express in words? Great joy, Deep sorrow, or perhaps stale emotions. Fear, longing, hopelessness? I could go on. I guarantee every person has experienced at least a couple of these. A lot of the time, we have a difficult time expressing exactly what we are really thinking or feeling to others. Usually, it is because words don’t do our raw emotions justice. They don’t live up to the physical feelings, leaving use clueless on how to truly describe our experience. But it is vital that we do express them to someone or through something. Art is an outlet you can use to express these 3 dimensional feelings without using words. How? By Speaking a different language. By speaking through art. Basically, through the combination of color and imagery you can use a visual language rather than a grammatical one.

For instance, look at the color chart below and think about how each color makes you feel. Don’t worry about WHY, just let the answer come to you.

How does each color make you feel?

Now look at this picture, which uses a colors and shape to take the ‘emotion’ of the color to the next level.

How does each picture make you feel?

Color and imagery add depth to art. When you take these two basics of art creation and use them to express your own indescribable emotions, you will be able to speak a different way. It can be as simple or complex as you desire, but I use it every day especially when I experience unfamiliar and inexpressible thoughts.

3. Self-Exploration:

this one runs along-side inexpressible thoughts. Like the deep complicated emotions we feel, our own characteristics aren't something we can talk about accurately. Sure, we know our likes, dislikes, what we want, and what we need. But, we don’t often know our selves deeply. For example, people claim one of the more challenging questions in interviews is “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” Why this is so challenging to answer I’m not entirely sure, other than the fact that in the fast pace of life, individuals don’t often have the time to contemplate their own mental and emotions limits. That's where art comes in! Something that creating art does is put you in a place of constant contemplation. Literally, you are alone with yourself and the art. For instance, I learn something new about myself with every painting I create. One of the earliest lessons I learned about myself was that I expect to succeed on the first try. It was the first time I ever painted a picture with Oil paint and I was totally out of my element, yet I still expected to create something perfect. When I finished the piece, I was sorely disappointed by my lack of technical dexterity. I was already a great artists, producing drawings that many considered stunning and through that painting, I learned about my deep and unhealthy desire to avoid failure at all costs. I can’t tell you exactly what you’ll learn about yourself, but I know there are corners of your being that can be explored and help better your own understanding!

4. Calm Your Anxiety:

Just imaging waiting for a doctor in a quiet exam room and there’s no art on the walls. Suddenly (EEP!!) You’re left alone with your worries about personal health. And that’s just one way art is used to calm anxiety. Not only does it add color, but it gives the brain something to examine. That’s probably why paintings are there in doctor’s offices! Art is calming, beautiful, and pleasant. It keeps one’s mind distracted from the worries of life. What is even more effective is the creation of art. Studies have shown that as little as 45 minutes of creative work reduces stress levels. And this works even for those who claim to have no creativity! It really explains why there are art crazes like adult coloring books, Zentangling and meditative doodling. Art is naturally stress relieving and fun! I’ve often experienced stressful days and my art is a way to work through the problems and negative feelings internally. It’s relaxing, reflexive, and familiar. That and the frequent viewing of beautiful images reflects onto my mind pushing out any negativity. Drawing, coloring, knitting, anything crafty or artistic can be a great stress reliever. Next time you're feeling stressed, take a few minutes to doodle!

5. Keeping Your Brain Sharp:

This is fairly straight forward. Art combines many different, but essential practices to keeping your brain in tip-top shape! Drawing or coloring is just one way to do this. For instance, drawing a landscape or a still life with different objects in different spots helps one measure distance between items. In other words it increases spatial awareness. Art also requires physical control. Think about how much control it takes to create a straight line, or color inside the lines. Coloring, drawing, and painting develop fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. Even if it’s simply doodling or sketching a little bit a day, creating art regularly keeps all of these skill up to par. While art can improve your life by lowering stress levels, providing beauty, and helping to discover your own characteristics, it also keeps your brain active and ready for anything!

So, there are 5 ways art can improve your life! If you've ever experienced any of the positive effects art can have on one's life please share! I'd love to hear about how art improves your life!



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