Living in the state of Tamil Nadu, known for its rich artistic and cultural heritage, we should realize the many ways in which art enriches our lives. We grow up listening to Carnatic music and watching Bharatnatyam recitals; our temples are adorned with intricate sculptures and we get tourists from all over the world who come to marvel at their grandeur. We have always been surrounded by art through our lives and that may be the reason why we stopped appreciating it.
How does art affect us?
- Art has been a part of this world since time immemorial. The cave paintings found not only in India but in various parts of the world are testimony to the fact that art has always formed an integral part of our nature. In simple words, art makes us whole.
- Art allows us to express ourselves. It is indeed a medium that can express without offending and when we use art to get our message across, we reach a global audience as art overcomes language barriers.
- Art stimulates us. Especially for adults, it plays a huge role in boosting our brain functioning.
- Art helps us handle stress better. Anyone who has tried their hands at an art form will agree with this. Indulging in arts helps us keep our minds away from problems and gives our brain a well-deserved break. In a way, art can be compared to a form of meditation.
- Art helps in the release of the brain chemical called dopamine which makes us feel happier.
- Today, in a world where everything is measured in terms of money, it is to be noted that the field of art also contributes to a country’s economy. It adds to the cultural experience a state has to offer and helps in tourism development which in turn translates to more jobs and a bolstered economy.
Children and Art
Give a child a box of paints or tubs of play dough and you will have silence for at least the next half an hour as she stays immersed in whatever she is creating. This is because children have a natural affinity for arts. While kids are encouraged in art when they are small, as they grow up, academics takes over and they lose touch with their artistic side. This is indeed a sad thing because kids benefit immensely from various arts.
- Music has been proven to improve brain performance and a number of studies conducted attest to this fact. Kids who had music as a part of their routine have academically outshone their counterparts who had no musical exposure. Children showed a lot of improvement in mathematical calculations and their reading skills too improved.
- Adolescence is an awkward phase and music can help in adapting socially during this trying period. Connecting with other children who are also learning music and being a part of a team will help them through this emotionally turbulent phase.
- Learning a new art form can boost a child’s confidence. Be it singing, dancing or even learning to play a musical instrument, children take pride in learning something new – it makes them feel accomplished.
- Art pushes everyone to be creative and creativity and originality is something that every professional field requires today. So, this is something that will definitely work to their advantage when they become adults.
- With art, the adage ‘practice makes perfect’ certainly rings true. Without hard work and perseverance, mastering art is not possible and this teaches children focus and patience. Children who have followed through with arts become more resilient adults.
Our kids need to be encouraged when they show an interest in an art form because they need art, and to make sure it keeps evolving, art needs them.
Are You Ready to Take Up an Art Form?
It is never too late! It is time to let go of whatever has been holding you back from indulging in the arts.
- Choose any art form you have always fancied and give it a go. Be it painting, singing, learning a new instrument or maybe even photography – give yourself a chance to learn something new.
- You are never too old to learn. Do not let age hold you back.
- Often people say “I can’t paint,” or “I’m bad at music,” and unfortunately refrain from attempting anything artistic. You don’t have to be extraordinarily talented to derive benefit from an art. Remember, art doesn’t discriminate.
- Enrolling in an art program isn’t necessary to learn a new art form – there are a plethora of learning options online. However, enrolling in a physical class will help you meet new people with similar interests and will expand your social circle.
- If you are still not convinced, try a mandala colouring book at home – just to get a feel of how art can actually make you feel. Then maybe you can progress to making your own mandala drawings.
- Then again there are some of us who are just too caught up with our work and home life to actually set some time aside for ourselves; we might have even been art lovers as children but somewhere along the way, mundane life just took over. If you fall in this category, do set aside some time for yourself to indulge in an art form – you will definitely get hooked onto it once you experience the benefits.
If you are still not convinced to take up an art form, maybe this inspiring quote will help:
“Art is not an elitist gift for a few select people. Art is for everyone.” – Richard Attenborough.