About a year ago, my six-year-old daughter brought home a self-portrait with the Eiffel Tower behind her. It’s so beautiful, we placed it in our dining room. Everyone comments on the portrait when they see it for the first time.
Art and artful moments are incredible ways to reach people, to touch them deeply, to create memories. I think this is because art is an inherent part of the human spirit. (It’s why The Craftsman Agency’s vision focuses on artistic experiences.) Yet, sadly, many people lose sight of their own artistic side when they grow up. As Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
While it seems like many people are creating art (especially if you’re looking at Instagram feeds for artists and photographers), the number of creators among the adult population is actually pretty low.
My daughter isn’t the only artist in our family. I used to paint and draw too. Why did I stop? Like many adults, I made other things my priorities: my career, my family, and so on. But as I get older, I see the need to continually explore different aspects of myself. To tap into other parts of my brain. To take the time to reconnect with that artist within.
As the executive creative director of The Craftsman Agency, my job is definitely creative. I spend much of my day researching artists for client installations, ideating campaign ideas, and reviewing our team’s creative work. Still, actually creating a piece of art is different.
Why Take the Time to Make Art?
Whether you’re drawing, painting, creating a collage, or taking a photo, creating art can open up your mind. You’re diving into your imagination. You’re thinking about the possibilities.
It can also help you become more mindful. You’re making a mark or composing an image with intent.
In addition, aspects of making art can be meditative and give you the opportunity to decompress. When I did paint, I often found myself in a meditative state as I blended colors. In a Cleveland Clinic article looking at the benefits of adult coloring books, clinical psychologist Scott Bea explains the reason behind this: “The difficulties of life evaporate from our awareness, and both our bodies and our brains may find this rewarding.”
Art therapy workshops have been used for years to help people coping with conditions such as depression, anxiety, trauma, and addictions. As an article on Artsy reveals, it can be transformative for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s. I feel that we could all benefit from art programs to keep our minds active and help us relax.
An added benefit of reviving your inner artist is that the time you take creating art is time not spent on your smartphone. Our brains need respite from our digital world, as a 2017 NetDoctor article highlights. With less smartphone use, you could see improvements in productivity, boosted memory, and better sleep.
Reconnecting with the Artist Within
Creativity is a muscle that needs to be worked frequently. Luckily, there are many ways to flex this creative muscle. For me, I’m going to look into local art programs to start painting again and bring forth my inner artist. (In the future, my daughter may have some competition for space in the dining room.)
I know it will be a challenge, but I’m up for it. Are you?