“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” (Pablo Picasso)
There are a lot of misconceptions about art. Some people think we need to be creating paintings or sculptures to be considered real artists. However, we are all born with an innate desire to express ourselves, and art encompasses a wider range of activities that can help us to express ourselves. Art, in addition, can be a useful means. Activities like painting, sculpting, drawing, and photography are relaxing and can lower our stress level, leaving us feeling mentally calm. Creating art provides a distraction, giving our brain a break from usual thoughts. When we get totally immersed in art, we may find ourselves in what’s known as “the zone”, a state of “flow.” This meditative-like state temporarily pushes aside all our worries. Leonardo da Vinci said that “Painting embraces all the ten functions of the eye; that is to say, darkness, light, body and colour, shape and location, distance and closeness, motion and rest.” Creating art trains us to concentrate on details and pay more attention to the environment. In this way, it acts like meditation.
Creating art alto stimulates communication between various parts of the brain. In this way, creating art has been proven to increase psychological and emotional resilience and resistance to stress.
In fact, art is communication. Art, like language, is a medium to express ideas and to share information. It helps us to share thoughts, ideas and visions that may not be able to be articulated any other way. We need art to have a full range of expression.
Art is also a shared experience. The creation of art is a collective activity. Art forms such as dance, theatre, cinema, all require a group of artists and an audience. Art offers us a reason to come together and share in an experience. We need art to keep us connected.