How art can benefit your life, work and business

Recently there's been lots of talk about how art is elitist and luxury. A Finnish right-wing populist politician said it and the AI bros have been all about how AI makes art attainable for everyone, not just the rich.

Sure, lots of art is only available for those with means. Opera tickets tend to be of a higher price range, as well as art of established, famous artists. But then there are many art forms and artworks, that are available for much wider audiences.

Not every artist is famous and not every art form comes with high costs for those who want to experience them. It's just a question of what you value and who you want to pay. Artists have to pay their rents too, you see. And if they cannot, they won't be creating all the art and entertainment you enjoy.

Art isn't something you are born to do. You learn it. Sure, some people have less shaky hands and can therefore create steady lines. And others appear to have been born with an ear to music. Although, these things can be learned, unless there are some greater physical issues. But the fact that there are and have been blind visual artists and deaf musicians tells me it's not that simple either.

And that's the deal. Artistic skills are learned. And basically anyone can learn them, if they have the time, the energy and sometimes, depending on the art form, the tools.

Art isn't nor it should be elitist or luxury. It should be something anyone can access and anyone can create.

Line illustration of a magic wand made by attaching a crystal to a branch, which still has a little leaf on it, with a tread by Mervi Emilia Eskelinen

You have all the options

Okay, it's best to remind that there are multiple forms of art. There are visual still arts, such as drawings, paintings, illustrations, photos, and mixed media stuff. There are literary arts, such as novels, short stories, poetry and non-fiction literary. There are audiovisual arts, such as movies, series and animation. There are performance arts such as theatre, opera and dancing arts. And the list goes on.

So to get into art, no matter if you want to create or if you want to experience it, you've got options. Sure, some of the options are more expensive and some may not be readily available in your area. But since you are reading this I'm going to assume you still have some options.

The fun part is, you don't have to choose just one form of art. Not to create, nor to experience. Some might argue that if you wish to become a highly skilled professional, you should choose one form and stick to it. But then there are lots of people who just are highly skilled professionals in multiple forms. Musician-actor-director-painter types do exist, and some of them are greatly valued in their various areas. But again, the choice is yours.

Creating and experiencing different art forms can increase your creativity and artistic skills. You wouldn't be the first musician to get inspired by a book, or the first painter to get inspired by a dance performance.

Benefits of art in life, work and business

After all that ranting about why art is for everyone, it's best to return to the main point of this piece. How art can benefit your life, work and business, that is.

Humans have been using art as a means to communicate, teach, learn and even heal for a long long time. It's been an integral part of human development since before the cave paintings. Without art humans wouldn't have gotten this far.

There's been studies on how art, creating or experiencing it, affects your body and mind. Making art reduces your stress hormones, making you feel more relaxed, less anxious and generally less stressed.

There are other benefits of making art. It activates the reward center of your brain, increases your focus and helps you to navigate and solve problems of the now and the future. Art boosts your confidence and can even help your body to heal. Art is in many ways like meditation. Even WHO agrees there are health benefits of art.

Both creating and experiencing art can build your resiliency and improve well-being.

This all applies to business and work as well. Making and experiencing art can boost resiliency and innovation at work and business. Art can help you see through norms and boundaries, defeat obstacles, learn by doing, communicate more efficiently, think critically and generate new ideas.

How to get started

With all the information of the Internet you can get into making and experiencing art quite easily.

Internet is full of drawing tutorials. How about video of basic pencil drawing techniques or another with 12 easy flower doodles? Or you could learn how to draw a braid from this blog here.

Same goes with music, dancing, photography, audiovisual arts and pretty much any other form of art you'd like to get into creating.

Additionally there are all sorts of arts available for experiencing all over the web. Some are paid, but there's plenty out there for free or with a smaller price tag too.

If you wish to start your own art collection and buy some art to your home, you can browse artists websites and web stores, portfolio sites (see my stuff at Behance), Etsy and print-on-demand sites. I've got artwork available as multiple print products on both Redbubble and Society6.

For business leaders and owners, or the aspiring ones, I offer a little tailored program for applying art thinking in your business.

Keep your eye on this site and Dreaming Out Loud email list, for other free and paid stuff might be coming your way soon.

Art and creativity is great for your mental health, and it doesn't really matter what your skill level is. As long as you do something creative. You know, everyone has their own opinions and their own taste, so what is "good" is subjective anyway.

Include more art to your life to gain a new perspective.

Mervi Eskelinen

Hello, I'm Mervi!

An artist, nerd and business sorcerer, dedicated to make world more beautiful and strange with art, illustrations and logos + to help you figure your sustainable business out.

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