Are you aware of any of the mental health benefits of creating art? Do you realise how simply picking up a paint brush and splashing some colour onto a canvass can make you feel amazing? If not, then you should give this article a read. We’re going to take a look at how the art of creation can transform your life.

the mental health benefits of creating art

You don’t have to create anything groundbreaking! You don’t even have to share it with anyone if you’d prefer not to. All you have to do is create!

What is art?

“Art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”

Or rather simply: “We like to make stuff that looks nice because it feels good”.

When most people think about art, they picture a gallery filled with colourful paintings. However, art spans far beyond the “traditional” understanding of the word.

To me, art is a much broader term. For example: one could argue that a chef is an artist of sorts, only they work with a different palate. Their art comes from thinking up new and exciting recipes; the collaboration between one ingredient and another, timed & combined to perfection; and the way in which the food is presented on the plate. Certainly, it’s not something that can be preserved and hung on a wall for people to contemplate for years to come…but, for a brief moment-in-time, there is beauty.

sushi palate

Now think about the way in which a writer weaves imagery with their words. A carefully crafted collection of syllables & sounds that fill your mind with powerful imagery…

“Calligraphers glance through the mist
translating raindrops to blackest ink,
writing the night for our perusal
While shadows compose symphonies 
before a sympathetic moon as though
they’re dying for the lights approval”

Visitant – AllPoetry

Of course, it doesn’t have to be all that elaborate either. Some of the most beautiful and profound art was borne from simplicity…

“It is better to know how to learn than to know.”

Dr. Seuss

Powerful stuff right? 11 simple words combined in a way that provokes such deep and provocative thinking. That’s art.

The fact is, art is all around us in our day-to-day lives. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take a beautiful photograph. Nor do you have to be an expert jeweler to construct a piece of jewelry. In fact, you don’t have to be anything other than yourself. Again…all you have to do is create! If there’s something you’ve always wanted to try, now is the time to try it.

photography art

“I don’t have a creative bone in my body”

Wrong. Every ounce of you was born to create. Consider the most natural aspect of human nature: procreation. That in itself is art in its rawest form. Yes, unfortunately there are those who are unable to create life, but that’s not to say that theirs is without meaning. There is an immeasurable amount of purity in being an adoptive parent. Whilst you may not have physically “created” the child yourself, you’ll spend the rest of your life shaping it. Not so dissimilar to Michelangelo and the Statue of David.

the statue of David

But of course, most people will shy away from anything artistic because they tried it once and they were terrible at it. Spoiler alert: we all are! Yes there is the occasional prodigious freak-of-nature who is born with an unreasonable amount of talent, but most people have to work at it.

If you really want to feel the mental health benefits of creating art, then all you need is to feed your imagination and experiment. I hear so many people say “I can’t even draw a stick-man,” as though it means that they’re unable to create anything worth a look. Some people are better at certain things than others. That said, if you practice, you’ll notice a big difference in your ability and therein lies the pleasure (but we’ll get to that shortly when we take a look at the personal benefits of creating art).

The fact is, we are inherently creative. Take a look at children as an example: have you ever met a child who doesn’t like crayons; or crafting their favourite monsters out of PlayDough; or fighting off an invisible horde of bad-guys with a stick—sorry, I mean laser rifle?! I challenge you to find a child who doesn’t thoroughly enjoy the art of creation.

the mental health benefits of art for children

The trouble is that somewhere a long the way, many of us lose our imagination. Instead, “life” takes over and we forget about what it means to be alive. We’re all so obsessed with finding a deeper “meaning” to life by working overtime and wasting money on things that we don’t need. When the reality is…we were born with the right idea.

“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

Pablo Picasso

How can being more artistic benefit me?

OK, so now that we’ve explored art and creation in great depth, let’s take a look at the mental health benefits of creating art.

1 – Free stress-relief

the mental health benefits of creating art - stress relief

Life can be utterly miserable at times! It’s difficult to find the right balance between working, paying off your bills, finding time for your family, caring for your children, getting the car fixed, taking your dog to the vets, cooking dinner…wow…the list goes on and on! But where, amongst it all do you find time for yourself?

Certainly, being more artistic might not eradicate all of the stress from your life. However, it will certainly go a long way towards relieving it. Try it! Buy a piano, pick up a paintbrush or start writing. If you can find the time to dedicate just fifteen minutes of your day to creating something, you’ll be amazed by how incredible you’ll start to feel!

2 – Stimulate your imagination

the mental health benefits of creating art - imagination

Your imagination has the capacity to do so much more than merely help you day-dream about being a millionaire. In fact, the more you challenge yourself to be artistic, the more stimulated your imagination will become. This revelation can compliment your life wonderfully! It can help you to overcome obstacles in your life with greater fluidity. You’ll perform better at your job. You might even think up an exciting new business idea to get stuck into. Think of your imagination as a muscle…now flex it!

3 – You’ll become a far more observant person

observant peace of mind

One of the most depressing things about “living in the real world”, is that we slowly become numb to everything around us. If you want to feel something, then you need to find your passion! Start getting creative and you’ll begin to notice the beauty in everything. This new found level of awareness will enrich your life and ultimately bolster your familial, platonic, and romantic relationships.

4 – You’ll feel a sense of purpose

florist, purpose

Too many people today feel worthless and it’s largely down to the fact that they leave little room for joy in their lives. The sad reality is that many of us have to work jobs that we hate, just so that we can feed & support our families, and keep a roof over our heads.

Now, you can wallow in your misery all you like. Or, you can be accepting of the fact that that’s the way it is for (almost) everyone—but wait! There’s hope…because what you choose to do in your own time is entirely up to you. So, do you come home and sit your arse on the sofa until it’s time for bed, followed by work & repeat? Or, do you carve out a little bit of time to find your true purpose in life? Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up your Netflix! You just need to cut down a little, that’s all.

I’ll tell you what’s getting us all down…The ridiculous, though widely accepted notion that if doing something doesn’t earn you money, then it’s not worth doing at all. Well, guess what? That is unequivocally, categorically, and absolutely incorrect! Remember this: you work to live, but you create to feel alive.

5 – IT FEELS AWESOME!

the mental health benefits of creating art - overcome

Of all the mental health benefits of creating art, this is the most important; it makes you feel awesome!

You ever received a drawing from a child? A bunch of ineligible scribbles on a page that they’re adamant is the spitting-image of you?! Yea, it’s utter-shite. But, when they give it to you, they do so with the biggest smile on their face—because they, did that! They opened their mind, pulled out an image, and then went about doing their best to replicate it on paper, and it felt good! Sure, to most people it’s pure garbage, but that doesn’t negate the fact that flexing their creative freedom filled them with an awesome feeling. You mustn’t lose that!

Again, this is the issue that too many people get caught up on: the fact that they’re not very good at art, “so there’s no point doing it.” Ignore all of that nonsense, because most of the pleasure that comes from creation is the sense of achievement you get when you notice your own progression.

I’ll give you an example. Think about how it felt the moment you first learned to ride a bike…And if you can’t ride a bike then think about the moment you first learned to swim…And if you can’t swim then keep on going until you think of something that you can do, and then try to remember what it felt like the moment you first learned to do that. Do you remember the sense of pride? The sense of achievement? It felt so good because 10 seconds before you were bloody terrible at it! Then, 10 seconds later, you were better! Something clicked. That is why it feels so good to create art. Because with every terrible drawing; every bum-note on the guitar; or every failed attempt at making blueberry muffins…you get better!

Conclusion

“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.”

Neil Gaiman

Surround yourself with art

Of course, in addition to creating art, you should endeavour to surround yourself with as much as possible. Have a read of our piece on colour psychology to find out more about how various colours can influence your mood. If you’d like to get your hands on an original LED art piece by Authentic Illuminated Concepts, then please do not hesitate to contact us today!

Did you find this piece useful?

We hope that you’ve read this piece and found it inspiring. Our aim was to fill our readers with the desire to pick up a pencil or paint brush and create something which wasn’t there before.

If you’ve thoroughly enjoyed this piece and know of anyone else who might, then please do give this a share through your social media channels. A simple Facebook share would really make our day!

In any case, we wish you all the best. Have fun creating and enjoy a life full of colour!