How Your Brain Reponds To Making Art
The brain is a fascinating organ; It changes the way it works based on what you’re using it for every day. From sleeping, to problem-solving, reading, cooking, and talking, our minds are a magnificent thing and making art is no exception.
So, you might be wonderinf, ‘How does making art affect your brain?’
We’ve listed some of the many ways your brain changes for the better when you paint, draw, brainstorm, cook, knit, and are partaking in any other forms of making art.
Stop into the stuido (or paint virtually) and get your creative juices flowing; First-time artists or seasoned masters will lobve painting and sipping wine with friends and family… and your brain will thank you too!
What Happens To Your Brain When You Make Art??
** Making art helps you imagine a more hopeful future
Art's ability to flex our imaginations may be one of the reasons why we've been making art since we were cave-dwellers.
Our brain is a predictive machine that uses information to make predictions about we might do next — and more importantly what we need to do next to survive and thrive.
When you make art, you're making a series of decisions like what kind of drawing utensil to use, what color, how to translate what you're seeing onto the paper. And ultimately, interpreting the images and figuring out what it means.
** Art Changes Consciousness
It activates the reward center of our brain
For a lot of people, making art can be nerve-wracking. What are you going to make? What kind of materials should you use? What if you can't execute it? What if it isn’t any good?
Studies show that despite those fears, "engaging in any sort of visual expression results in the reward pathway in the brain being activated...Which means that you feel good and it's perceived as a pleasurable experience."
A study on the subject measured blood flow to the brain's reward center (the medial prefrontal cortex) in 26 participants as they completed three art activities:
1.Coloring a mandal.
3.Drawing freely on a blank sheet of paper.
(And indeed, the researchers found an increase in blood flow to this part of the brain when the participants were making art!)
This research suggests making art may have benefit for people dealing with health conditions that activate the reward pathways in the brain, like addictive behaviors, eating disorders or mood disorders.
** Making art lets you focus deeply
Ultimately, making art should induce what the scientific community calls "flow" — the wonderful thing that happens when you're in the zone. It's that sense of losing yourself, losing all awareness. You're so in the moment and fully present that you forget all sense of time and space.
What's happening in your brain when you're in flow state?
It activates several networks including “Relaxed reflective state” (*focused attention to task and sense of pleasure).
This flow is characterized by increased theta wave activity in the frontal areas of the brain — and moderate alpha wave activities in the frontal and central areas.
** Making art lowers stress.
Although research in the field of art therapy is continuously emerging, there's evidence that making art can lower stress and anxiety. In a 2016 paper in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, a group of researchers measured cortisol levels of 39 healthy adults. (*Cortisol is a hormone that helps the body respond to stress).
They found that 45 minutes of creating art in a studio setting with an art therapist significant lowered cortisol levels.
The research also showed that there were no differences in health outcomes between people who identify as experienced artists and people who don't. So that means that no matter your skill level, you'll be able to feel all the good things that come with making art.
*** JOIN US! ***
Stop in to the studio for a painting and wine class (*remember that wine is also known to help lower stress!), OR paint from anywhere with our virtual classes!
We’re all about fun, creativity, spending time with loved ones, and relaxation! It’s impossible to list the amount of people who have told us how relaxing it is to take a painting class with us; Customers talk about how they entered the studio stressed from their long day, but a few hours later, the leave the studio with a smile on their face and a masterpiece in their hand!
Painting from the comfort of your own home is another great way to spend time (alone or with friends or family), and lower stress, too! Not everyone is ready to get back out into a public place with a group of people, and are looking for ways to spend time at home. Or perhaps you’re VERY busy and can’t commit to a day and time for an in-studio class but want to paint something you see on the calendar…
Anyway you want to utilize our painting and wine classes, we’ve got your covered and you’re sure to have agreat time, unwind with friends, and make something you’re proud of!