To be honest, I have never considered this question deeply. How has art benefitted me?
After giving it some thought, I’ll share 5 personal benefits that I got from Art.
1. Art allowed me to be better and confident.
I have been taking Art lessons outside of school since 6 years old. The lessons were cookie cutter methods where we copied what the teacher drew on the board, or copied a particular formula.
This additional training took my Art to a different level as I excelled in the local school Art. I was “better" than everyone else. I built up my identity and confidence through what I was able to do in Art, versus focusing on what I couldn’t or was bad at.
Here's a sample of my art in Junior College: (Mind - 2001)
2. Art allowed me to express my feelings, in a tangible manner.
I also took to creating handmade cards and gifts. I was always on a lookout for cool card ideas and DIY craft that I can create for friends. I was happy doing it and I didn’t ask why I did it. I just did it. I thoroughly enjoyed the process and it was second nature to me. Gratitude for teachers was expressed in the form of a card, love for siblings was expressed in the form of a small drawing and notes, friendship can be expressed in the folding of an origami for a friend. I found my love language.
3. Art allowed me to get in touch with myself
In Junior College, I got to experience a different side of Art. I learnt how to express deeper emotions through Art processes. Using Art processes to clarify and uncover buried emotions and presenting it to the world. I discovered that I could take my feelings and emotions seriously in Art. Nobody is going to tell me that I am over-reacting. Nobody will tell me to quit moping. Art accepted me the way I was and listened to me attentively. I can hold a conversation with myself through making Art.
4. Art accepts everyone the way they are
When I lifted my head and look around my Art Room, I discovered another benefit- Art accepts everyone the way they are. 90% of my Art classmates were 17 year-olds who had no prior training. Unlike me, they took a leap of faith by coming into the Art program. There they are, making statements through Art just like me. From zero, they learnt how to observe, draw and subsequently express. We have all been accepted by Art.
Here's a recent sample of my art: (Fox - 2013)
5. Art taught me about love.
In Art, everyone is loved. I learnt to listen to myself with kindness and compassion. Art taught me to give time and space for all the hidden feelings and emotions that society teaches me to sweep away under the carpet. Art allows me to take a torch light and shine light on all these emotions that are kept away. Art tells me its alright to feel hurt and sad. Its alright to express it. Art gave me a gentle way to love myself and everyone around me.
What benefits do you get from doing art? Share your comments below.