Make More Art


Make More Art: The Health Benefits of Creativity

By James Clear

In 2010, the American Journal of Public Health published a review titled, The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health. 

In that article, researchers analyzed more than 100 studies about the impact of art on your health and your ability to heal yourself. The studies included everything from music and writing to dance and the visual arts.

As an example, here are the findings from five visual arts studies mentioned in that review (visual arts includes things like painting, drawing, photography, pottery, and textiles). Each study examined more than 30 patients who were battling chronic illness and cancer.

Here’s how the researchers described the impact that visual art activities had on the patients…

· “Art filled occupational voids, distracted thoughts of illness”

· “Improved well–being by decreasing negative emotions and increasing positive ones”

· “Improved medical outcomes, trends toward reduced depression”

· “Reductions in stress and anxiety; increases in positive emotions”

· “Reductions in distress and negative emotions”

· “Improvements in flow and spontaneity, expression of grief, positive identity, and social networks”

I don’t know about you, but I think the benefits listed above sound like they would be great not just for patients in hospitals, but for everyone. Who wouldn’t want to reduce stress and anxiety, increase positive emotions, and reduce the likelihood of depression?

Furthermore, the benefits of art aren’t merely “in your head.”

The impact of art, music, and writing can be seen in your physical body as well. In fact, this study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine used writing as a treatment for HIV patients found that writing resulted in “improvements of CD4+ lymphocyte counts.”

That’s the fancy way of saying: the act of writing actually impacted the cells inside the patient’s body and improved their immune system.

In other words, the process of creating art doesn’t just make you feel better; it also creates real, physical changes inside your body.

Create More Than You Consume

The moral of this story is that the process of making art — whether that be writing, painting, singing, dancing, or anything in between — is good for you.

There are both physical and mental benefits from creating art, expressing yourself in a tangible way, and sharing something with the world. I’m trying to do more of it each week, and I’d encourage you to do the same.

In our always–on, always–connected world of television, social media, and on–demand everything, it can be stupidly easy to spend your entire day consuming information and simply responding to all of the inputs that bombard your life.

Art offers an outlet and a release from all of that. Take a minute to ignore all of the incoming signals and create an outgoing one instead. Produce something. Express yourself in some way. As long as you contribute rather than consume, anything you do can be a work of art.

Open a blank document and start typing. Put pen to paper and sketch a drawing. Grab your camera and take a picture. Turn up the music and dance. Start a conversation and make it a good one.

Build something. Share something. Craft something. Make more art. Your health and happiness will improve and we’ll all be better off for it.


I found this article online and copied it with the links but can’t seem to figure out how to show them now. I used to be able to create posts fairly easily but now that the process has been ‘simplified’ – well…not so much. 

I’ll just include it here – unfortunately you may have to type it in the old fashioned way – sorry about that!

Life in the Balance


Hi there!  It’s been awhile. 

My computer was under the weather for a bit (a virus) but seems to be doing better now.

One of the main reasons I started this blog was for it to serve as a way to a) hold myself accountable in creating art every day, and  b) to share those creations with you along with any information about the subject in the hopes that, in some small way, it encourages you to do the same.  That doesn’t mean that your art has to be the same as mine – your art may be completely different – it may not even be art at all…but the point is to “inspire” you to do whatever it is you find inspiring.  And to make time for it because it is important.

Sometimes we hear about what another person is doing and, even though we never plan to actually do what that person does, it does broaden our horizons just a tad…kind of like living vicariously through someone else or it simply offers a different perspective.  Either way…its a good thing, I think.  Keeping our minds open to possibilities keeps our minds flexible and open.  No one wants a stiff, closed mind.

I created this piece this weekend – its an encaustic.  I was trying some new techniques and I like how it turned out.  I titled it ‘Life, hanging in the balance’ which reminds me of a topic that seems to be on everybody’s mind’s these days: work/life balance. Also referred to as “WLB”.  Apparently its a hot topic and for good reason.  It seems there is a shortage of it.

How do we get back that work-life-balance?

I think the reason we feel so compromised these days, is because there is no longer a ‘start’ and ‘stop’ time to our work days.

The work day now begins BEFORE we get to work, it continues through lunch (if we even get a lunch break) and follows us home, to the grocery store, to dinner, to parties, to ballgames, to social gatherings, to exercise class…each and every day of the week.  Vacations are no longer off limits.

And when work isn’t following us; we’re following it.  We check for emails and messages each time we pick up our phones to make sure nothing has slipped past us.

It never stops.

24/7 is the new work week.

And until that schedule changes….and I don’t see that happening anytime soon – we’re going to have to figure out how to make it work for us.

About the only way I know how to do that is to ‘work in’ (no pun intended) little ‘vacations’ during the 24/7 time frame; mental vacations that open up those clogged neural pathways – to let some fresh air in.

And my way of doing that is making sure I get creative in some way each and every day – and then, telling you about it.

I’m back on duty!