How Art Impacts Our Brain

4 min readSep 30, 2020

You may not believe it at first, but art can improve your brain function. No, it’s not a joke or an exaggeration. Scientists have just started uncovering the beneficial impact of art on our brains. Now we know that art alters brain wave patterns thereby affecting emotions. When people create artworks, they experience a sense of well-being. Higher levels of serotonin can explain this phenomenon. But, can art influence the biochemical processes of our body?

Indeed. Scientific evidence demonstrates that art has a positive impact on mental health. In young people, for example, arts enhance academic performance. Moreover, it fosters emotional development and improves social skills. The art value for humans has different aspects. Art fosters creativity, develops fine motor skills, and helps to achieve emotional balance. We will explain all these aspects in more detail.

Arts Makes You Smarter

When you explore art, your brain focuses on a creative process. Your brain directs all your mental resources toward creating an artwork. If you do this regularly, your brain acquires advanced cognitive capabilities. These capabilities and creativity are the main components of problem-solving skills. It’s not a coincidence that people with art training excel at math, science, and similar disciplines.

Also, during the aforementioned creative process, your brain disconnects from everything else. This stimulates a state of happiness since you forget about all other thoughts. This is why some mental health specialists have used art in the treatment of depression and anxiety. Psychologists have also resorted to art to help clients to express their feelings more easily. This type of art therapy can also help people to know more about themselves.

Take Up Art and Be Happier

With so many benefits for your brain, you should take up art. It would be more convenient to start with some form of visual art. Painting, drawing, or ceramics, for example. This is the type of art most commonly used in art therapy (we’ll discuss this topic later). If you need art inspiration for your artworks, you can visit Wikiart. This is an online encyclopedia in which you will find everything about the visual arts.

This site displays thousands of visual arts. Moreover, it features the biographies of many visual artists also. For example, you can learn about the art inspiration behind paintings like “The Scream” by Edvard Munch. The artist depicted human anxiety in this masterpiece. You can also express your mental states with your artwork. To consult this online encyclopedia of visual art, go to

Know Yourself Better through Art Therapy

We’ve mentioned this concept above. What is it? Well, this is a psychotherapeutic method that uses art as a way of inner expression. It is somehow analogous to talk therapy. However, some people have problems expressing their inner emotions through words. Art can be a simpler way to depict thoughts and feelings.

At the beginning of a session, a client gets art materials. This can be pencils, crayons, or some type of paint. Then, instead of talking about their problems, clients draw their emotions. This helps them to get immersed in the creative process mentioned before. When the client completes the artwork, the therapist helps him or her to analyze and interpret it. The choice of colors, for example, has a meaning.

Usually, clients depict things that they would like to happen. This way of self-expression helps clients to know themselves better. After identifying conflicts, the therapist will find ways to address them. Many people didn’t even imagine they could express their inner feelings so easily with art. Anybody can benefit from this type of therapy. You don’t need to have previous art training or any special talent.

Some of the Famous Artists that Used At to Cope

Throughout art history, we find artists that suffered from mental illnesses. They used art to cope. Art has healing properties. These famous artists benefited from their art to obtain a sense of well-being they needed so much.

Edvard Munch

The story of The Scream painting by Edvard Munch

This Norwegian painter had a tormented life. He suffered from alcoholism, which aggravated his mental illness. He adopted the style of painting his mental state to cope. “The Scream” is the pinnacle of this approach.

Louis Wain

Illustration painted by Louis Wain
Untitled illustration by Louis Wain

This English artist became famous for his illustrations of anthropomorphic cats. After the death of his wife, Wain suffered from deep depression and schizophrenia. His last artworks were psychedelic illustrations that the artist painted to cope with his illness.

Francisco de Goya

This famous Spanish painter lost hearing in adulthood. Moreover, he suffered from some mental disorders. These affected his artworks, which depicted melancholy and human suffering.

The Madhouse painting by Francisco Goya
The Madhouse by Francisco Goya

In all these cases, the artists found some relief in art. Some psychiatrists have started using art for the treatment of PTSD and other serious mental disorders.

Final Thoughts

Art has many positive effects on our brains. It fosters creativity and problem-solving skills. Moreover, it creates a sense of well-being during the process of creating an artwork. After the completion of the artwork, one can experience a feeling of accomplishment. In light of these facts, taking up art as a hobby can significantly enhance the mental balance of many people.




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