Joining an Art Class has never been more popular. No longer confined to accomplished artists or retirees, more and more people are taking the plunge and discovering the joys of drawing and painting.
And it’s easy to understand why: from increasing your spacial awareness to improving your mental health, joining an Art Class can have innumerable benefits!
Here are seven ways Art Classes could benefit you:
Drawing at home or on your own is a good idea, but it’s easy to get distracted by the ping of a text. An Art Class is the best excuse to switch off from the world for an hour or two. Not looking at your phone or answering an email immediately is good for you. Studies have proved that physical and mental health are improved when people draw for set periods of time. In a similar way to meditation, blood pressure drops, tension fades away - and it’s fun!
2. Igniting Your Creativity.
If you sit at a computer all day, then you are probably using the left side of the brain – the analytical, problem solving side. The right side is the creative and intuitive side.
If you are not sure what this means, then think about when you see something you like or don’t like – you instantly know! – that’s the right side of your brain giving you a message. Sometimes we overthink problems using the left brain and get in a muddle. Balance both sides and strengthen that right hand brain by doing something creative. Art Classes doesn’t require very much equipment. All you need is a pencil or a paintbrush, and blank canvas!
3. Improving Your Spatial Awareness!
It’s amazing how we usually draw what we think we see rather than what is actually in front of us. It’s common to be frustrated when our first sketch doesn’t look exactly like the object in front of us. That’s when you are likely to chuck the pencil away and say “I can’t draw” - but the more you draw, the more you learn to see.
Just take a look at coffee cup or stapler in front of you, start drawing it and you’ll notice so many more subtle curves and shapes that you hadn’t noticed before. The first attempts might seem wobbly, but each time you start a new drawing your eyes learn to see more accurately, and you will be surprised how your wider perception of distance and space improves.
4. Boosting Your Memory.
Rather than take a snap of your lunch or a view, make a very quick sketch of it. If you get a pocket-sized sketchbook and make a very quick rough drawing (don’t take more than two minutes). Doesn’t matter how rough or sketchy it is – you will have a better memento of that lunch or day out than if you take a photo.
By drawing a salad rather than simply taking a photo, you’ll find you have to look far more carefully, and your looking skills will get better and better along with your drawing – and your memories of the event.
5. Getting Sociable.
As well as learning a lot of from how other people use the pencil or paintbrush, joining an Art Class is a great way to meet new people with shared interests.
Making the time to socialise and make new friends doing an activity you love can have countless benefits for your long-term mental health and happiness, giving you the much-needed emotional lift you need at the end of a long day.
6. Improving Faster.
If you draw or paint at home, then you’re probably familiar with the following scenario: you’ve sharpened all your pencils and arranged them in a nice row but can’t quite bring yourself to make a mark in that lovely new sketchbook. Or maybe you have started painting the kettle or the cat but are now feeling disheartened because the kettle looks like a very wonky jug or the cat looks like a very odd dog…
You will be very pleasantly surprised at how quickly you progress when you are being taught in a group by an experienced teacher. Before long you have forgotten the time and have several drawings under your belt. No more staring at the blank page!
Tutor Tip: However motivated you are to start drawing it’s easy to get distracted and give up– so go to a Beginners’ Class to learn the basics to get you started.
7. Enjoying Art in a New Way!
When you start drawing you can’t help but look at famous artists’ work in galleries and museums in a different way; and your appreciation and understanding of art will improve.
You’ll have a better understanding of how Picasso did it, whether he used pencil or charcoal; and why did Hockney chose acrylic rather than oil paint. Was this done on paper? What kind of paper? That leads to more questions and soon you will be addicted and visiting exhibitions and enjoying learning about art!