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How Art Can Enhance Your Life and Career: Uncovering the Benefits of Learning Art

Virtual art class - instructor holds up different sizes of paint brushes
Fei Lu, instructor and founder of Winged Canvas, teaches painting techniques in an online art class.

Why Should We Learn Art?

Humans have been making art for thousands of years. From cave paintings to van Gogh, it’s part of what makes us unique. Maybe it’s because art gives us the chance to express ourselves and depict the current world. Studying art and creating it gives us the opportunity to find moments of calm in a busy day and better understand the world we live in. It helps us think creatively and know that we are capable of making things and that what we make matters. Viewing art gives people the opportunity to, not only look at something beautiful, but to understand other perspectives and build connections.

Making Art Improves Your Mental Health

One of the biggest ways that art benefits us is through its ability to improve our mental health. Learning and making art can help to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. According to the University of Calgary, art making reduces cortisol levels (an anxiety inducing hormone) and helps us better respond to stress. One of the main reasons for this is mindfulness, which is the ability to be fully present in the moment.

Making art requires focus which means that it creates an environment where being present is necessary. Art also helps us tap into our emotions -- to dig into how we feel and relate to how others feel. Visual language is powerful, and this form of expression can help artists express feelings that might be hard to understand with words.

Art Helps You Develop Social Intelligence

Two hands painted by Grace Fullerton, How art builds  social intelligence
Artwork by Winged Canvas instructor, Grace Fullerton.

There are so many people that make art, and each person has a unique perspective on the world, emotions, and how they choose to express themselves. Viewing art gives us the chance to understand the way someone else thinks and develop empathy. This makes the art world an accepting environment where individual truths are valued. Learning art in an educational setting also helps students develop communication skills through critiques. This means that they learn how to receive and give out helpful feedback on art with respect and empathy for the social conditions that shaped each artist.

Learning Art Builds Confidence

Making art is a great way to develop confidence. One of the first ways this happens is through the planning and execution process of an artwork. When you learn art, you’ll be practicing new skills and techniques that, over time, will help you feel more in control and at ease when you create. This creative confidence will also help increase your confidence in other areas of life and work.

Once you know the rules behind making art (even though the rules are very flexible), you’ll be able to express yourself and inspire others whenever an idea strikes. More than that, making art gives you the confidence to present yourself and your ideas to anyone, even if you don’t speak the same language. You’ll learn that you’re capable of creating something awesome and that your creations have a special place in the world.

Art Enhances Your Educational and Professional Life

 Two point perspective in art
Winged Canvas demo teaches two point perspective.

When learning art in school, students are given the opportunity to learn a series of technical skills that ultimately help them better express themselves. Art is a series of problems that the artist has to understand how to fix. Whether it’s proportion, colour theory, or perspective, learning and applying these skills helps artists think critically and problem solve. Art classes offer a creative environment for students to use technical art skills.

Outside of school, artists benefit from a lot of different opportunities. Whether they become a curator, art historian, art director, marketer, art therapist, graphic designer, architect, or a practicing artist, creative professionals have skills that can be applied to a range of industries. That’s because art usually isn’t just one thing -- math, science, history, and visual studies all play a role in art theory and art history. From the clothes we wear to the games we play, visual art and design is everywhere!

Explore the Personal Benefits of Learning Art

Art education is a great tool for people to come out of their shell and build community with other artists. It’s a stepping stone for expression, mental health support, and confidence building. As art students begin their journey into the professional art world (or professional world in general), they’ll learn skills that will help them think critically and develop deeper relationships.

It’s never too late to start learning art! Art benefits children, adults and seniors alike, and it makes a great hobby to connect with more people, as well as a creative outlet to express yourself. Arts education has a lot of perks, so by enrolling in classes, whether offered by schools, in person, or virtually, you can begin to grow with your art.

A student draws an outfit and anatomy in an in-person art class
Student practicing drawing techniques in a Winged Canvas art class.

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Virtual Art Classes

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Art Mentorship

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