Yes, there are good reasons to say that making art is good for your health – it’s not a random claim.

When I considered learning to paint, 10 years ago, I asked myself what the benefits would be.

I grew up being ‘the numbers one’ in the family. My younger sister was a talented, creative child so she got to do arty things. I watched in wonder as pictures appeared from the end of my sister’s pencil. Her bohemian art-college student life seemed so exciting compared to my accounting degree. I spent my days arranging numbers on a screen. (I had some fun making a little composite video about it)

Children, career, and a country move all filled up my time until a realisation struck. My business involved data analytics. Eventually, I started to feel a physical need to do something unstructured, flowing and creative. And that’s when I started looking into whether painting would be beneficial.

It amuses me that, despite feeling such a strong creative urge, my analytical brain still had to do its work – how strong was my training! 😀

I started painting and just kept going – Obviously!

Learning has been a constant in my life. And very specifically, learning by experimenting is something I love. Artists get to keep learning forever because there is always something new to try. It’s fantastic!

Five ways that making art is good for your health

  • A big one for me is the fact that it uses both sides of the brain. Balancing left brain and right brain activity helps us to solve problems in different ways
  • Getting lost in the flow is a superb stress-reducer. Lower stress levels help your immune system.
  • Painting can give us a sense of purpose. My weekends at home are arranged to include some studio time. Do you make sure you have time allocated for art activities?
  • The physical act of creation satisfies the human urge to put something new into the world
  • Possibly best of all – we get to look at beautiful images. A UCL study found that when we look at beautiful paintings, the pleasure centres of the brain are stimulated. That, in turn increases blood flow to the brain by up to 10%

Now Lori and I have teamed up to put together some online resources for artists and people who want to learn to paint. Sign up here if you’d like to join in our Creative Powerups.

It will be good for your health.

PS. If you want to read the 20 page UCL report, you can find it here. http://www.vislab.ucl.ac.uk/pdf/Daedalus.pdf