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The benefits of being an artist are many but, today, we’re going to talk about the five perks that I feel are most important to your well-being.
For the majority of us, we learned how to be artistic at a very early age. Finger painting, singing, creating with playdough, all of those things are the gateway to creative living.
As we grew, reading, writing, and math became the focus and the arts slowly began to take a backseat. Sure, we may have been lucky enough to have artistic extracurriculars, like dance, art classes, singing, or band, but it went from being the main way we learned to almost an afterthought. Just something we would do if our parents had the extra money and we had the extra time.
Now, as adults, many of us feel as though something is missing but we just can’t put our finger on what that something could be. We are so stressed out and busy trying to survive that we often feel like a hamster on a wheel.
Maybe, just maybe, that feeling of longing for something we can’t name is our inner voice giving us the nudge to exercise our creative side. At some deeper level, we instinctually know that being an artist is as important to our wellbeing as eating right, exercising, and getting a good night’s sleep.
At this point, you’re probably thinking how in the world does being an artist change anything?! Oh-ho, but it does, my friend! Let’s take a look!
In This Article...
What’s the Big Hurry?!
Being an artist makes you slow down. Instead of just “seeing” what’s around you, you start to “notice” what’s around you. Gone are the days of looking at clouds and seeing white masses of fluff in the sky. Now, when you look at a cloud, you see Titanium White, several shades of purple, and a super pale yellow. You wonder what brushes you would use to create those billowing peaks and if you’d need to incorporate a fluid medium or maybe Zinc White to paint in those wispy bits.
Flowers become an astounding mixture of light and shadow, buildings are now masses of brushstrokes moving in different directions, and each leaf on a tree becomes a blend of multiple colors.
Being an artist naturally makes you slow down and be in the moment. You start to practice appreciation without even knowing you’re doing it and that leads to finding more things in your life to appreciate. Being appreciative of the world around you and what you have in your life is a fantastic way to live. It stops you from focusing on the negative because you’re too busy enjoying everyday blessings!
When You Just Don’t Have the Words
We all have times when we get tongue-tied and can’t seem to express how we’re feeling. Or maybe, you’re non-confrontational or are just someone who would rather walk away. All of that gunk that we’re carrying around needs to go somewhere. Keeping that stuff inside, and letting it bounce around in there for who knows how long, is not healthy. Uh-uh, friend. Get that nasty stuff out!
Being an artist means you can whip out a canvas and turn that frustration, stress, sadness, or anger into a beautiful painting. Talk about turning a negative into a positive! There is nothing quite so satisfying as slapping some paint around on a canvas or creating a painting that has a deep meaning that only you know.
Releasing your feelings through art is an easy way to have your say without the drama. Paint it out, friend, and let it go.
For some quick an easy painting exercises to release those pent up feelings, take a gander at my article, “Art and Mental Health: Painting for Stress Relief“.
Also, Katie Jobling’s YouTube acrylic painting tutorial, “Stress Relief | Acrylic Painting Ocean Tutorial” is a great one to try if you need a follow-along video to get those nasty thoughts out. Even if you don’t try painting it yourself, Katie does a lot of scumbling with her brushes which I find very satisfying to watch. I can almost feel the stress leaving me with every aggressive paint stroke!
Colorful Opinions Wanted!
Have you ever gone to a paint party, where everyone is painting the same thing, and every single painting ends up different in one way or another? That’s partly because we all have a very unique way of looking at the world around us and how we interpret what we’re seeing is very personal. Almost like a fingerprint.
Being an artist allows you to create something that gives other people a glimpse into who you are and how you see the world. It can be a bit scary to lay yourself bare like that but it’s also exhilarating! You share your thoughts in a very real and raw way that can emotionally touch people in a way that can sometimes be louder than words.
You have thoughts and stances on important issues and, in a world where social media gives people a platform to express themselves through written words, you can share your opinions in a unique way, through color and shape.
Confidence in a ….. Tube???
One of the most important benefits of being an artist is the huge amount of self-confidence it builds. Every time you start with a blank canvas and paint a piece of art, you prove to yourself that you are capable of turning nothing into something beautiful!
Mistakes made are opportunities to learn and improve. And, every improvement is like another rung on the ladder climbed. The only thing required of you is to not give up and don’t give in to frustration.
When you build confidence through being an artist that translates to every other part of your life. I often find myself saying “Girl, if you can paint a realistic landscape, you can do this!”
Listen to Your Gut
Even if you are following a YouTube painting tutorial, you still have to load up that brush with paint and make the brushstrokes. Watching someone else paint, while they try to explain what they’re doing, is a great way to flex that artistic muscle and I highly recommend it. But, sometimes, you just can’t understand how the YouTube teacher is holding their brush, or what kind of pressure they’re using when they lay paint down, and so on. That’s where trusting your instincts come in.
Being an artist allows you to take risks in a very safe way. The more risks you take and the more you listen to your gut, the better you’ll get at trusting yourself to make the right choices. And, just like how gaining confidence through art benefits other parts of your life, so too will trusting your instincts.
When you hear people say that the answer to your question comes from the inside, this is what they mean. On a deeper level, you already know what’s best for you in life. Being an artist gives you the opportunity to recognize what that inner voice sounds like so that you can tap into it whenever you need to.
Last, but certainly not least, being an artist is just plain ol’ fun! It’s like going back to a time where playing with color was an adventure. A time when your biggest concern was whether you had every color of crayon you needed to complete your stick figure masterpiece.
We all have stress, and life moves so quickly, which is why it’s even more important to find something that brings you joy and allows you to escape and unwind. Being an artist means you don’t even have to leave your house to find a fun activity!
My hope is that you live a life filled with confidence, self-trust, wide-eyed wonder, and that you make time to appreciate your world and have as much fun as you did when you were a child. Luckily, you’re an artist and being an artist gives you all of this and so much more!