Art: Waste of time or Magic?

We’re all stuck under the wrath of OnLiNe LeArNiNg and have scrolled through the entirety  of social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok and suffer as we watch people jump over milk crates. However, now I’m – and I’m sure several others are as well – getting bored of the usual transition from our bed to our table and then back to bed and then back to the table and it continues for months at this point. Which is why it is no surprise that our mental health can deteriorate to a state none of us ever thought it would. On the bright side, some of us have already figured out what to do when we need to channel our anger, sadness or any emotion and are moving towards a stable, at least stabler, mental health status. But, from my knowledge, most of us haven’t. 

So, why not try art?! When I say “art”, I don’t just mean using paint. Instead I mean try sketching, or digital art, maybe write poems based on art pieces, or art pieces based on poems! Literally, art can be whatever you want it to be. It really doesn’t matter if you don’t think you’re good, talented, or skillful at art because I’m certain even Picasso’s first works were not his bestsellers. 

So, why am I telling you to try art? Here’s why:

Listen, it’s no surprise that art is good for your mental health. Just using the colours, charcoal, ink, words, music, ANYTHING to throw onto a blank canvas, paper or document can reveal so many of your inner emotions that you didn’t even know existed. Although I’m speaking from experience, the following scientific study does support my argument:

Scientists have used brain imaging, brain wave technology, and biofeedback to gather evidence on Neuroaesthetics. “Neuroaesthetics is the study of how aesthetic perception, production, judgment, appreciation, and emotional response are produced and experienced from a neurobiological basis” (McClure Thomas S & Siegel, Jessica A) or in other words, the scientific study of the neurobiological basis of the arts. These scientists have found that producing art, in any form, reduces cortisol levels, our primary stress hormone.

Enough of the big science words, what the previous paragraph means is that even scientists recommend producing art to ease off stress. Think of how big of a breakthrough this is! Now if you think you’re wasting your time while painting and should be studying instead, think about this: you’re LITERALLY helping your body get rid of stress. On top of that, here’s two more exciting reasons:

  • First, art helps build and strengthens cognitive reserves in the brain, or “connections”. We know this because of the aforementioned study – but by creating connections, you’re strengthening your brain’s resilience, cognitive reserve, and also are preventing memory loss. This is important because well, we’ve got a ton of tests to do. 
  • Secondly, a critical factor which, for many, is the thing that keeps them going – our self esteem. Self esteem can be built through art because it provides a sense of accomplishment in both adults and children. This boost can come from just finishing a task for some people, or creating something extravagant for others. Finishing projects gives us a boost of dopamine and confidence that makes us feel better about ourselves. 

Phew, that was a lot. But, please remember these three key points; easing stress, feeling better about yourself and improving your memory. This is what art gives you. Now if you feel like it, take some time off the screen and grab a pencil, paintbrush, iPad or whatever and let your imagination run wild! I’ve done my part in telling you its benefits, now go make some magic.

By Sanya


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