“Art has always been the raft onto which we climb to save our sanity. I don’t see a different purpose for it now.” -- Dorothea Tanning
In today’s busy world, setting aside time to make art is not always a terribly high priority. Work, kids, family, friends, health issues. Ain’t nobody got time for art! Sometimes even getting out of bed can be a struggle. Adding a creative project onto your schedule may seem daunting, but, under the right conditions, you’ll be better off in the long term.
No joke; doing something creative can actually lower your body’s level of cortisol, a hormone that can affect your mood and induce fear. This happens for several reasons, but mainly because you’re ultimately in control. You can work at whatever pace you feel like, you can write, paint, dance, or sing however you like, and you can choose any subject you like. Working on something gives you time where you can focus on yourself. You don’t have to worry about that one guy in the office who always puts in fish in the microwave. You don’t have to worry about your all-day work meeting for tomorrow. You don’t have to worry about your son raging at his Xbox every night. There are few feelings better than losing yourself in the creative process, and by doing so you give your mind and body a little space to breathe.
None of this is to say you’re just entering some sort of alternate dimension where you can paint away all your problems with rainbows and unicorns. In fact, doing something creative can actually help you work through those issues! Working on a creative project generally requires a certain amount of planning with a definitive goal in mind. Practicing these skills in a low-risk creative setting will help strengthen your ability to plan in other areas in life. Having these skills allows you to approach things in your life with a clear head (well, clearer than before), lowering the risk of making angry or ill-informed decisions. Taking art classes can be even more helpful in this regard; having an understanding instructor or supervisor can help you work through those processes in a more structured environment.
We here at Cut Out and Co. believe deeply in the transformative power of art and we want to show you that the process of making art does not have to be intimidating. Lower stress and better organizational skills are just some of the small benefits to art-making; next time, we’ll show you how art can improve your relationships with other people as well!