7 Reasons Why Making Art is Good for You


I’ve been thinking a lot about why I do what I do and how to describe it better, it’s so tricky sometimes to find the words.

What I can tell you right now is that I am passionate about using creative process as a form of radical self-care. 

I also thought about all the reasons why I make art and how they serve me. Here are 7 of my favorite reasons why making art is good for you!

You don't have to take my word for it, studies at various universities and by the American Art Therapy Association have documented these results. Personally, I know it in my bones! I notice how I feel before and after and the shift is sometimes subtle, sometimes dramatic!

Engaging in creative process reduces stress and anxiety. Creating art can provide a sense of relaxation and a distraction from the pressures of daily life. This includes painting, drawing, coloring, cooking, gardening, photography and dance to name a few.

  1. Making art improves your mood. Creating art can also have a positive impact on lifting your emotions. Studies have shown that engaging in creative activities can increase feelings of happiness, satisfaction, and self-esteem. (As long as you invite your Inner Critic to take a break so you can enjoy playing and experimenting with out that annoying voice in your head!)
  2. Art-making boosts your brain function. Creating art can stimulate the brain, promoting neural connections and improving cognitive function. This can lead to improved problem-solving skills, memory, and focus. It’s true, making art makes you smarter and keeps your brain young! 
  3. Creative expression and exploration enhance self-awareness. Making art can help you explore and express your thoughts and emotions in a tangible way. This can promote greater self-awareness and help you better understand your own experiences and perspectives.
  4. Making art promotes mindfulness. Engaging in creative activities like coloring can be a form of mindfulness practice, helping individuals to be more present in the moment and cultivate greater awareness of their thoughts and feelings.
  5. Creating in community can fill your need for connection. Making art can be a social activity, providing opportunities to connect with others and build relationships. This can be particularly beneficial if you struggle with social isolation or loneliness. We saw the power of virtual community firsthand during the pandemic and I am happy to see online communities continue to flourish and in person communities coming back again!
  6. Making art gives you a sense of purpose and contribution. One of any human’s greatest needs is to feel that you have a purpose and you are making a contribution. When you make art, you are making something beautiful to share with others, often inspiring and encouraging others to do the same. As you find your inspiration and inner creative voice, you show others the way to do the same.

Which of these reasons for making art matters most to you? I know it’s hard to pick! All of them are important but for me #4 is how and why I most often make art. There is no doubt that making art is good for you and for me.

Here’s to making more time for art this week! Need some inspiration? Come on over and join me on YouTube for Painting in Your PJs live. This almost daily live is designed to inspire, connect and share all the ways we can use creative process to grow, to relax, to heal and to play. I go live most Mondays to Thursdays at 7am Mountain time. Bring your favorite beverage and your art journal to create along with me. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/live/HAhUBdNcO8g?feature=share. Be sure to subscribe so you know when I add new videos or go live.

I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. Which of the 7 suggestions for why making art is good for you resonates most with you and why?


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