With Thanksgiving coming up next week, it’s the time of year to be taking a moment to reflect and think about what we have to be thankful for in our lives. For many of us, it’s a wide-ranging list – from family, to friends, to hobbies, to chocolate! Everyone has a slightly different list, with varying priorities and concerns, and of course these change from year to year and month to month depending on what’s going on in our lives at any given time.
But there’s something all the readers of this blog share, and that’s a love for art. There is a particular value in the part of our lives that touches our artistic, creative side, and it’s worthwhile taking a little time to think about what this aspect of our experience and personalities gives us to be thankful for. Considering these things in a conscious way can help you to appreciate them more in the future, both when you’re exercising your artistic nature and when it’s simply part of the background of your life. Here are seven things that art gives us which we can be thankful for!
1) Freedom of expression. There’s nothing like exercising your artistic talent to allow you to express your thoughts, worries, hopes and feelings in new and constructive ways. In addition, you create something that you can share with others, and that can resonate with them and perhaps even help them deal with similar issues. Buying art has similar benefits in the choosing and sharing of a loved piece.
2) More to learn. Being an artist is a constant reminder that there is always more to learn – more about your materials, more about techniques, more about the ideas you’re working with. Similarly, art lovers have a similar experience, being encouraged to learn more about the artists they admire, the history of art, and the nature of the art world.
3) Art ‘therapy.’ When you’ve had a difficult day, or are struggling with something that seems outside your control, engaging with art can help you regain perspective and restore you to calm. The act of viewing or painting is in itself a soothing one for many people, and on top of that the art will remind you that the world is bigger than whatever difficulties you’re currently facing.
4) The joy of teaching. Sharing your knowledge and experience can be a profoundly fulfilling activity, as we’ve discussed before on this blog. Being an artist or an art enthusiast gives you inside knowledge about a field that many people find fascinating and attractive. Teaching others is valuable for you and for them, and gives you the potential to make a difference to someone’s life.
5) Visual thinking. When you’re unsure how you feel about a particular issue, or haven’t worked out what your position ought to be in an argument that is bothering you, creating (or viewing) art can help you work out what is really important to you, and where you want to be standing. The artistic process often has a somewhat meditative aspect, allowing you to reach a conclusion without worrying about it.
6) Communication. Sometimes artists find it difficult to express themselves through the written word, or verbally. This can be frustrating and even worrying, when you have something to say. Engaging in the creative process means that you have an alternative form of communication, one that is open to you all the time and which can be done in your own time with a whole range of materials and mediums.
7) Innovation. If you’re finding your regular routine too set and unchanging for your liking, you can turn to art to bring new life and variety to your day. Both creating and choosing art gives you the chance to bring something new to your world, and to any others you share the piece with. Similarly, if you’re creating, you can try new techniques, concepts or mediums to add a bit of spice to your work!
Do you find that art gives you other things to be thankful for as well? Share them with us in the comments!