8 Life Skills You'll Practice in an Art Class

I’m one of those people whom has never been comfortable being the center of attention; never liked drawing attention to myself.  But with art—it’s another thing.  Art is like a giant, sparkling jewel that I am not afraid to wear and share with everyone.  It attracts a lot of attention, but I’m good with it.  I thrive in it.  Art taught me something so ultimately significant about myself, I cannot help but share the power of art with others. 

Now, for me, it’s how I knew that I found “my place,” my purpose, my calling, what I was made for—whatever label you wish to give it.  It’s the only place that I have ever felt comfortable in my own skin. 

Painting live at Saturday's Bentonville Square Farmer's Market

Painting live at Saturday's Bentonville Square Farmer's Market

I didn’t find it until I was almost 40.  I was blessed with many gifts, at which I did pretty well, so I never pinpointed what really fulfilled me.  I didn’t pick up a paintbrush until prompted by my son, the real artist of this family, and a friend.  A summer art workshop literally changed my life’s direction. 

So, where am I going with all of this blabbering self- reflection?  Well, art, specifically painting, taught me more than just how to paint.  Art taught me that I am an artist.   Now that I teach and help others with their art, I see that art teaches so many other things about life:

You may learn that you obsess over little things that don't really matter.   In art, you learn to overlook details that aren't important to a painting—just like life, learning to live in the moment means you must evaluate and let go of the unimportant details.

 You may learn to be brave even when you feel terrified.   When painting, sometimes you just have to take the chance and put the paint on the canvas; see if it works—just like life; you’ll never know whether you can do something until you try it.

You may learn it’s ok to make mistakes.  Mistakes are fixable; some easier than others, but fixable.  You can paint over ugly paint strokes or paintings.  In life, you can develop the courage to make changes and make new choices.

You may learn that learning something new and totally outside your comfort zone, helps you better understand and relate to others different than yourself.

You may be able to let go of something emotionally painful.  Being creative helps us process  traumatic life experiences such as loss or illness. 

You may learn that art offers you an outlet to express your emotions when words fail you.  Sometimes you can paint what you are afraid to speak aloud.

Being creative is scientifically proven to reduce stress.  We all can use a little a less stress!

Art is a great way to practice the really big skills of life without suffering the huge consequences when you get something wrong.

And those are just a few!!!

So, I encourage you to take an art class.  You will come away with more than just a completed piece of art.  You will have dug a little deeper into the mine of self-discovery; with better self-awareness as your gem.   Don’t be concerned with how long it takes to dig up your secret jewel.  It will be worth every shovel full of dirt.  And who knows?  You too, may find your giant, sparkling jewel and wear it beautifully everyday. 

Here are a few links where you can find art classes:

https://shawnacelliottart.squarespace.com/classesworkshops/

http://www.theartlocation.com

http://artistretreatcenter.com/