Art making stops time. It puts me into a meditative state of mind where the only thing that matters is what I’m engaged in. I’m in the moment. Here right now.
Making the time to create each day improves the quality of my life. Spending 10-15 minutes each day drawing people or ordinary items in my surroundings also allows me to really see them.
Contrary to popular belief, creativity is not something you’re born with. It’s a habit that you bring into your life from regular practice. When we make it a habit of creating every day, we become more creative, and that spills into all areas of our lives.
You don’t need to be an artist or think of yourself as talented to benefit from creating either. The process is much more important. In fact, the more you let go of having a perfect painting or drawing, the more you’ll be surprised at what you can create! It’s funny how that works.
To begin, start by drawing something every day. You could do a ten-minute drawing while having your morning coffee by just drawing anything that catches your eye. It could be a glass, your dog, or something you see out of your window. If you keep up this practice, you’ll start to notice that not only are your drawing skills improving, but your problem-solving skills and mood are too.
The benefits aren’t all anecdotal either. There’s some science behind it. I’ve read that creative expression releases the chemical dopamine which is the chemical associated with the pleasure/reward part of our brains. Dopamine boosts our feelings of well-being, which happens to be what antidepressants were designed to do as well.
My intention for 2016 is to get back in the habit of spending time every day drawing in my sketch book. I don’t want to set myself up to fail, so for now, my plan only includes the month of January. If all goes well I’ll continue into February and so on. If you’d like to join me, like me on Facebook. I’ll be posting ideas for daily practice there, as well as sharing some of my daily sketches.
I wish you all a happy, creative and prosperous 2016!