There’s a wealth of evidence that creativity is a key capability for happiness and growth in our professional and personal lives. From extensive global studies like “State of Create”* to insights from academics, thought leaders and business icons, creativity is increasingly being seen as one of the most important elements to building a growth mindset.
Painting is one of the cornerstones of creativity, and while many of us believe that artists are born, there is a wealth of data that supports the view that painting is a skill which can be both enjoyed and learned at any age.
Verbal communication is often seen as our primary form of communicating. Visual communication however, is often a much more powerful way to express ourselves and to appreciate the expression of others.
In the often-quoted words of Fred R. Barnard “A picture is worth 10,000 words”. For the creator it is not just the end result or piece of art that tells a story, but the journey of discovery that happens along the way.
So while there are many benefits to painting, here are the top 5 most often quoted ways that painting is a powerful tool to boost your creativity, and ultimately your happiness.
Stress relief and relaxation – new ways to release and express our emotions, to tap into non-verbal feelings and thoughts. To move from our normal lives which have high levels of stress and worry, to let go of the fear that often limits our choices and experiences and move into a world of exploration and fun.
Opening our thinking – Removes our natural tendency to think in terms of right or wrong, by adapting and interpreting as we paint. Throwing away habitual frameworks and ingrained thinking.
Concentration and problem-solving skills – Making choices, deciding on particular paths when it comes to materials, brushes, colours, movements. Painting is a form of meditation that builds mindfulness, concentration and focus.
Building different perspectives – Enables us to see things differently in our daily life. A new appreciation for colours, shapes, textures and interpretations, helping us better embrace and enjoy the aesthetic around us.
Engaging our full range of senses – Painting is a form of kinestheic and active learning which engages all our senses. We can experience how “learning by doing” can drive behavioural change through new approaches and habits.
We can research all we like, but as they say, there is nothing like feedback.
As painting is one of the elements of our creative escapes in New York City, it provides an opportunity to get immediate feedback from our new Picasso’s. Here are some comments from participants at our recent program, “we loved it and didn’t want it to stop” to how “relaxing and calming it was to communicate visually rather than through words”.
Many commented that they would not have thought to take time out in an international city to reconnect with their inner creative spirit and just how much fun they had along the way. They were also pretty happy to take a masterpiece home to hang on the wall!
So, what are some tips to help you start painting to find your visual voice?
- Use acrylic paint (it dries quickly).
- Paint something simple – like fruit, vegetable or a favourite image from a photo.
- Paint the canvas with a background colour first. It gets you going with an immediate sense of achievement.
- Use a smock – as acrylic paint does not wash out of clothes!
*In a 2016 Adobe study titled “State of Create“, 70%, of the 5000 study participants acknowledged that being more creative is valuable to society and economies and that it makes people better workers, leaders and parents. The study highlighted that people who are more creative are happier, feel more fulfilled, energized and successful.
Creative Cities 21 re-energises people through 5-day creative escapes in great cities of the world. By combining the benefits of painting, acting, innovation & travel, we ignite your creativity, helping you realise your personal and professional potential. Find out more about our 2019 programs at www.creativecities21.com