The New Year is upon us and it’s time to tackle those New Year’s resolutions that you actually intend sticking to: getting fitter, being more organised, leaving work on time are some of the most common resolutions that get made and get broken. Why not make a resolution that you can achieve and that can bring joy, not only to yourself, but an experience you can share with others?
The health benefits of picking up a humble pencil and adding it to paper or your favourite “ground” is astonishing. Creating art relieves stress, encourages creative thinking, increases brain plasticity and imparts other mental health benefits. And anyone can do art.
A recent study proved that 45 minutes of creative activity significantly lessens stress in the body, regardless of artistic experience or talent. You don’t have to be the next Leonardo da Vinci to enjoy the benefits of art or indeed do you need have an array of art products to enjoy the advantages, just time, and the desire to set some time aside to enjoy a simple pleasure. Leonardo Da Vinci proclaimed that: “creating art embraces all the ten functions of the eye; that is to say, darkness, light, body and colour, shape and location, distance and closeness, motion and rest.”
Art is also something that can be done anywhere at any time. In a culture of ‘Desk Top Dining’ and ‘Working Lunches,’ why not stop at lunch, take your notepad and pencil outside and doodle or sketch what you see? Or how about sketch your lunch and share with your friends? It’s Instagramming, but in a new way. We often hear of stories about how loved ones put a note or doodle into lunch boxes so the recipient gets a lovely surprise.
Illustrator Rob Biddulph is a prime example! He pops a note into his daughter’s lunchbox every day – even theming each week by a letter of the alphabet. What a lovely sentiment. You can see his work on his Twitter page – twitter.com/RobBiddulph.
Cognitive stimulation is a key element to long term happiness and longevity of those grey cells! So while you ponder the stresses and strains of every day life and all that a New Year will bring, one thing you can do for yourself is commit to looking after yourself and your mind.
Getting back to work after a break is never much to look forward to, but imagine getting back to work with a plan to get up and out with your notebook and pencils and seeing something different than your computer screen on your lunch break.
Or how about joining an art class? We have met so many artists – both new and experienced – this year at Patchings and in the Derwent Pencil Museum, who are all new to joining an art class and all extol the wonderful benefits of attending a class and meeting you friends.
Our friends at SAA have a list where you can find your nearest art class. Take a look here.
Plus, in an era that is running at 100mph, art is the perfect excuse to get away from your desk with some of your favourite materials – be that Inktense or Coloursoft, Graphic or Metallic – to simply get creative and look after your own mental health (and that of those around you).
The average human has around 60,000 thoughts a day and 95% are on the same topic. Art helps draw out those emotions in an expressive manner and allay fears, worries and concerns. All that leaves us to say is we wish you all a wonderful New Year and thank you for your time and support over 2018! Here’s to you and your commitment to pencilling in ME time in 2019 with Derwent at your side!