Our culture is shifting. We are beginning to honor and recognize that the arts are important and valuable. And while this is awesome and amazing, we still have a lot of work today. One way we can all empower ourselves is through learning. Reading. And sharing.
We are more creative than we think
One important objection people have to engaging with the arts is that it is only the venue of creatives. This thinking is wrong. We are all creative. In fact, we are more creative than we think. It can be how you prepare a meal or the way you navigate a soccer ball to the goal net, all of these behaviors and actions can include creativity.
Creativity is a choice. For too long we have elevated creativity to a special status. Only “special” people had access to this experience. This attitude and mindset is elitist; it alienates people from engaging in and trying on their creative interests. So it’s about time to acknowledge the ways we are creative in our everyday. Maybe then it will be less intimidating to pick up that paint brush when we do have the desire.
Doodling is a language
New research is investigating if we have an innate need to doodle.
Neil Cohn studies graphic novels from a scientific angle and finds certain symbols consistently communicate specific messages. This same kind of study applies to doodling. Doodling may even be a precursor to today’s written language; early written language developed from pictograms or symbols.
Doodling, and art, are means of communication and our very beginnings are tied to the act of creation. Consider indigenous tribes of Australia today who still draw or doodle to complement their conversations. This visual act enhances and supports their oral communication.
So, the next time you catch yourself doodling in the margins of your work realize it may be another means of furthering communication.
Coloring Books for Adults
More people are recognizing how the arts can be a means of psychological comfort and release. This article discusses how some therapists recommend coloring books for adults to relieve stress. The act of coloring encourages our mind to wander and release itself from daily stressors so coloring actually is a means of practicing mindfulness, a kind of meditation practice.
The first psychologist to use coloring for a relaxation technique was Carl G. Jung who created mandalas. Next week I’ll show you how to create your own mandalas so be sure to join us to learn about a new (actually very old) means of creative play.
In addition to its satisfying, meditative process coloring helps us reconnect with our childhood and a sense of play. More and more research today is showing how play in the lives of adults leads to happier, healthier, less stressed human beings!
I already created a coloring book for adults; I drew illustrations inspired by my travel in the Middle East. You can access it as part of the Artist Strong Toolkit for free when you subscribe to our weekly, exclusive content.
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Do you feel a cultural shift about the arts? Where do we still need to work to promote and support creative practice? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.
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