Soothing the Soul: Why Making Art is Good for Us

As a subject art is something which generates a great deal of discussion and debate. There are numerous conflicting opinions over what is ‘right,’ as well as debates over what constitutes art. At school, some of us are put off because we are told our artistic efforts are not good enough, and unfortunately, this means that many adults are turned away from art because they believe they are no good at it, it is boring, or they do not understand it in the right way.

This is a devastating attitude, and the truth is that we are all capable of creating great art. Whether you doodle as a hobby, participate in a summer art camp, enter exhibitions as an amateur painter, or appreciate a beautiful painting, art is something which is always surrounding us. As a bonus, it’s good for your health! Here are some of the top reasons you should be participating in art, and the numerous benefits it can bring.

It helps to develop and work the whole brain

Creating art is far more than the hand making marks on a piece of paper or canvas. It is an activity which helps to increase attention span and strengthen our focus as we concentrate on the different aspects over an extended period. It is also brilliant for developing and strengthening hand-eye coordination, and developing finesse and fine motor skills, as well as building physical strength in the hand. It requires interacting with the world using different tools and mediums and offers a workout for the creative side of the brain.

It dares us to be brave

A blank piece of paper is always a daunting prospect, and many people struggle to get started. Art challenges us to take that fear and channel it into creating. We are forced to explore our imagination and creativity, to dive deep within and explore hidden parts of ourselves, and to take risks with our work accepting that they may not turn out exactly as planned. In the act of creating art, we are forced to confront and explore the notion of what we consider art, and enjoy the process of making it as well as the result.

It allows us to express ourselves

There is a good reason why art therapy is so celebrated and lauded—art is an ideal way to express ourselves when words just aren’t enough. While going through the process of creating an artwork, you may be shocked at what you feel and experience, and this may lead the piece to develop unexpectedly. If you struggle or feel frustrated while working, it is worth taking the time to explore this; why do you think that way? What does this tell you about your attitude to art? How does this affect the end product?

The journey of art can take us to places we never expected, and act as a therapeutic exercise. This is a subject which is about far more than mere marks on a page.

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