Make Art Not War: The Value of Creativity to Good Mental Health

One of the most legendary artists of the 20th Century, Pablo Picasso, said that “every child is an artist, and the problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” While Picasso was speaking to the concept of the innate creativity of children, he touches on a point far deeper to the whole of human existence. This is the power of art to create inner happiness and spiritual healing. Creative people who understand the power of art have described it as a type of nourishment of consciousness. For those who make daily creative endeavors a way of life, artmaking may be described as an internal necessity, both impelling artists to create, and audiences to admire, with a voracious spiritual hunger.

So what does this mean for many who don’t make a spiritual practice of art? Well it means that you need to get busy, because the connection between the creative process and happiness is well-established. In the day-to-day experience of life, it means that greater creativity inspires greater happiness and, even without the talent of Picasso, the creative process is an endless source of joy for most people. In fact, with active creative powers, individuals seem far better at solving life’s little challenges. Research introduced at the University of London connects the mere viewing of art with an increase in dopamine and activity in the brain’s frontal cortex, resulting in feelings of pleasure similar to the “throws of romantic love” (Alleyne, 2011). Positive sensations are almost immediate when making an enjoyable work of art, and this practice should become daily for anyone wishing to improve their overall wellness.

It’s true—recent studies have proven that even viewing art, such as at an art gallery or museum, can positively impact your health and well-being in several essential ways, lowering anxiety and depression and boosting critical thinking skills. Researchers also suggest that art has the ability to improve our empathy –just imagine fine tuning the soul as if a musical instrument, each note unlocking a lifetime of deeply imprisoned doubts, fears, hopes, and joys. These benefits of release are found in people who create or consume art. That means that whether you like to look at art or create it, maintaining a daily practice is good for your health!

Are you depressed or anxious or feel you can benefit from the healing powers of art? Let us guide your practice towards physical and emotional wellness with “The Artists Way:” A MINDFUL MEDITATION WORKSHOP. Are you an artist who struggles with creative block? Or maybe you would like to add creativity to your daily routine but don’t know where to start? Using techniques that are based upon the bestselling book, “The Artists Way” by Julia Cameron, join us for an 11-week workshop (Tuesdays 7PM-9PM, October 26-December 28th) to discover and uncover your fullest creative self. Let us help you transform your life through the healing powers of your imagination. Whether you need to dissolve mental blocks, build inner-confidence, or clear your mental pathway of self-sabotaging beliefs, we can help you reach your creative apex. This workshop is a relaxing and creative group experience taught by Fine Artist and Counselor In Training, Antonia Posey. While we welcome artists of all types, no previous art-making experience is required! To register, email or call 815-283-4596. Materials list is required. Cost is $65 per session.


Alleyne, R. (2011, May 08). Viewing art gives same pleasure as being in love. Retrieved from The Telegraph:

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