I have found in my years of teaching the world to paint that everyone wants to know, “Does art making make us happier?” The answer is profoundly true. Not only does the actual process of the creation of art make you more blissful, but just being by its side, a viewer of art, is a dance with joy and a harbor against depression… It was once said by the great poet William Morris that to be truly happy you must surround yourself not just with useful but with beautiful. It is Art which stands side by side with Nature as tangible beauty in our world – so immerse yourself in it, in both.
The University of London also joined in the singing of Art’s restorative and happy making powers. Taking it a step further, they connected the mere viewing of art with an increase in dopamine and activity in the brain’s frontal cortex. This connection resulted in feelings of pleasure that are similar to being the throws of romantic love. What’s more, positive sensations are almost immediate when viewing an enjoyable or stirring work of art. Time to fill your walls and fill your heart at the same time! Magical Museum moments anyone?
Creating art is truly double happiness! There are two main art happiness factors that have enhanced human life for thousands of years. One is the capacity to find joy through the pleasure of invention and exploration. The other is the rejuvenation, pleasure and relaxation gained by creating useful, yet aesthetic objects. This underscores the process of creativity as both practical yet health-enhancing.
For over 25 years of teaching others how to create through art, I have had the fortunate opportunity to hear what my students of all ages consistently say. During their programs they always feel the divine intersection of art and happiness. It is a powerfully happy process! Comfort is found in art’s ability to take them outside their personal struggles, to find pride in their mastery of new skills and to discover their unrealised abilities. Happiness is reminded every time they see their creation.
So without question It seems that no greater joy can be found than through the blissful emotional connection felt in our hearts after beauty touches it through our hands or our eyes. This punctuates that “A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever.”
Seek beauty via art, either made or admired, and you will find happiness.