Focusing on art can help you develop a better perspective by giving you a different lens through which to view history, politics, science and the human condition. In addition to helping you learn more about the world around you, giving art a prominent place in your life can bring about numerous positive physical and mental changes. Research has shown that art can:
- Reduce stress
- Promote creativity
- Enhance problem-solving skills
- Improve brain function
- Develop focus, memory and concentration
- Bring pleasure by activating the brain’s reward system
Whether you learn to appreciate fine art for its visual appearance or deeper meaning, engaging your brain with this type of processing can help you flourish. Experiencing awe, challenging your personal bias and creating with your hands can also help you live a healthier and happier life.
Learning How to Appreciate Art
If you’ve never studied the subject, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. These tips can help you develop a better appreciation for a much wider variety of artwork.
Surround Yourself With Different Styles and Genres
Everyone tends to have colors, subjects and artists that draw them in. While this is a great place to start, expanding your horizons can challenge your thinking and expose you to new concepts you might otherwise miss. If you’re only familiar with the classic styles of Monet or Rembrandt, consider perusing the works of more modern artists, such as Ashley Longshore and Mark Bradford. Take in abstract and surrealist paintings and you may find it easier to appreciate each artist’s unique perspective and style.
Consider the History Behind Each Piece
True art never happens in a vacuum. When you’re taking in new artwork, take the time to consider what happened during the artist’s lifetime that shaped their creativity. When you ponder the social, economic, personal and historical events surrounding the art and artist’s life, you’ll enjoy a better understanding of what led to the finished product.
Choose an Artist or Time Period to Research
If a particular artist or style piques your interest, take the time to do a little more research. Find books, movies or podcasts that can educate you more about the art you love most. Find images of complete works and study them in chronological order. Not only can you develop a richer understanding of your favorite styles, but you can also learn how and why they shaped art in the future.
Adding More Art to Your Life
There are numerous ways you can expose yourself to art these days, especially with the convenience and capabilities of the internet. While browsing the web is a great place to start, nothing can replace viewing art in person.
Visit Museums and Exhibits
Chances are, you’re never more than a few hours away from a worthwhile art museum or exhibit. Research options that are within driving distance and make it a priority to visit them on your next free weekend. When you’re traveling to a place that has renowned artwork, be sure to add it to your itinerary.
Enhance Your Home With Meaningful Pieces
Bringing originals or replicas into your home is a great way to focus on art appreciation while adding beauty to your space. While many choose pieces based on their home’s individual style, focus on things that speak to you or stand out to you instead. Create a gallery in your home where you can display and enjoy each piece without taking away from its unique design.
Find and Support Local Artists
Some of the most exciting and meaningful art you can find are pieces created by locals in your area. Do some research to find out who’s making meaningful art near you and support them by visiting their studio or purchasing some original pieces. It can be fulfilling to invest in something that helps bring beauty to your community.
Creating Your Own Artwork
One of the best ways to enjoy and appreciate art is to make it yourself. If you’ve never dabbled in art, it’s never too late to start, and can be a wonderful way to challenge your mind while practicing healthy self-care.
Take a Class or Enroll in Lessons
It’s challenging to paint, sculpt or create without any training or experience. Taking a class or enrolling in lessons can be incredibly helpful, giving you the tools you need to get started and exposing you to a wider variety of possibilities. It’s also a wonderful way to connect with art enthusiasts.
Set Aside Time to Create
Busy schedules make it hard to find the time to work on your next art project. It can be helpful to put it into your schedule; start by setting aside just two hours a week for you to sit down and create. This way, you won’t let weeks slip by between sessions.
When you make art a priority in your home and schedule, you can enjoy numerous benefits while improving your mind and widening your horizons. Admire, study and create art for a richer, more fulfilling life.