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Label: creativity

Friday 08th May 2015Create for Your Health

As every creative person knows, there is a deep sense of satisfaction and well-being that comes from the act of creation. Whether it's a reaction to the catharsis many people achieve from creating or the simple fact of having added to the beauty in the universe, it's impossible to deny that creating makes us feel better, brings light to dark days and helps us deal with our emotions and experiences. It turns out that there is a solid scientific base for this perception, as opposed to the purely anecdotal evidence that every artist has.

In the last couple of years, some important and pioneering research has been conducted by scientists around the world on the measurable neurological impact of art. Without going into the admittedly slightly tedious details of the various studies, we can still identify how to benefit from the results they identified. One study, which compared the neurological changes experienced by two groups of people – one group created art, and the other discussed it at length in a museum environment – found that participants who created various pieces of artwork over a 10 week period had significantly increased the density of their neural pathways in certain areas of the brain, while the group that merely discussed artwork experienced no changes. Specifically, the areas of the brain that benefited from the creation process were related to emotional awareness and 'psychological resilience', which is to say that it made them better able to cope with stress and made them feel much happier.

Naturally, every artist has experienced this at some point in their artistic career, but it's nice to have some solid scientific backing for your personal experiences, especially about issues as complicated as neurology. It doesn't matter whether or not your art is your entire life or just something you dabble in, it's nice to have a body of evidence that proves how beneficial it is. Not that we need it, of course!\

So the next time you find yourself feeling stressed out or a bit overwhelmed by life in general, it's probably a good idea to find some time to create. If you ever find yourself a bit of a loose end, take – or make – the time to do a little creating, and protect yourself against future stress while creating something that you can be proud of. If you're stuck for ideas, why not take a look through our inspiration and project idea posts to get inspired? Just explore the tags on the right.  

Posted on May 08th 2015 on 04:04pm
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Friday 27th June 2014Going Beyond Your Medium

The search for fresh inspiration never ends. It's an inevitable and undeniably enjoyable part of living your life as an artist that the entire world can speak to you and inspire you to create. But as we all know, that doesn't make it true 100% of the time. We all have our little slow-downs, so we've explored various ways to fight the creative doldrums over the past few months, and many of these tactics can lift you back up out of a slump. What we're going to look at today, though, is more about how you think about yourself as an artist.

For many of us, we have specialized or gravitated towards a specific discipline, be it photography, sculpture, music, performance art, painting or whatever. But many - perhaps I should even say most - of us have become inadvertently locked into our chosen discipline, and that can sometimes make it extremely difficult to break free from creative slumps. We establish modes and patterns of thinking within our respective disciplines, and sometimes we can't see our own ways out as a result. But what happens when you put down the paintbrush and pick up a camera? Ditch the dance shoes for a collage construction? Wonderful and exciting things, if you go into it with the right attitude.

The key is to stop thinking of yourself as a painter, or a photographer, or whatever your discipline may be. Even if you'd only like to switch out your watercolours for acrylics or oils, even small changes in your habits can have huge impacts on the way you interact with your own work. Don't expect to produce masterpieces right away in a brand-new medium (although don't be too surprised if you do - art is full of happy accidents!), but try to understand the creative process from other perspectives and with other approaches.

Similar to the way that learning a new language or teaching yourself a musical instrument can keep your brain sharp and on its toes, the act of switching media can really break you out of an artistic slump and get your creative neurons firing at full capacity again. Who knows, you might even discover a passion for a style that you'd otherwise never have experimented with! Try to pick something that's always interested you but you've never experimented with before - this is your excuse (or kick in the behind!) to get out there creatively and let your passion through!

Posted on June 27th 2014 on 06:35pm
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