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Art for Dummies: The Art of Understanding Art

Art is ever evolving—everything from the design on our coffee cups to an artistic piece in a museum entails art. It portrays what we say without saying. It gives us an avenue to make the unreal real. Basically, everything in our lives has been created by someone for something. Everywhere we go—we consume art in some form or fashion. Then why are various individuals these days hesitant towards viewing paintings? Why does the word "art" create the blankest stare of deep despair and loathing on faces? In fact, why am I considered a grandma for wanting to go to the art museum? Art museums have now been considered the hub for ~hipsters~ and all, but I’d like to convince you all that art transcends all fashion choices and terms accentuated by TikTok stars.

In general, art is something that transcends boundaries. It can connect culture in various ways whether it is the generation of money or gaining a life-altering experience. Additionally, the impact of art and health is widely understated. The arts have a positive impact on both our physical and psychological health. Those who engage in the arts have claimed that it has helped them reduce loneliness, anxiety and depression. For the elderly, art has helped them create and maintain a more positive sense of self—something that we often forget about as we get older. Additionally, the evolution of the human brain was created on social relationships and for the human population to progress further we have to build a stronger social development by using the arts to create dialogue, empathy and understanding amongst all individuals. Specifically, even the feeling of observing art has been linked to activity in the default mode network. This network is related to the brain’s state during wakeful rest, such as daydreaming, but also active when we’re thinking about future plans. Furthermore, something as simple as doodling can help us pay better attention when we’re listening to something boring and remember it later. A study done by the Applied Cognitive Psychology found that participants, when aided with doodling, were able to recall 29% more information on a surprise memory test than those who didn’t doodle. Doodling and/or creating art trains you to concentrate on details and pay more attention to your environment.

I get that those are facts about improving our physical and psychological health, but what about a non-artsy person tackling art? What does the average Joe gain from all of this? Let me share a little bit of how art gives me serotonin. For example, sometimes I see a sunset outside of my apartment and immediately itch to take a photo. Art, I believe starts where you don’t just snap a photo but start to think about it. It starts when you tell all your friends about the sunset and how you saw the sky burning. But maybe there is a bit more to art then just seeing a burning sky or taking photos. It allows us to communicate our feelings and fantasies. It allows many of us to deal with our emotions. To create a certain atmosphere with ~immaculate~ vibes. Sorry, I can only picture the number of cringes that just occurred. But art such as the starry night, gave a little brown girl like me hope of there being something more in our lives then just our bleak dreary lives. I believe that art truly is both the beginning and the encouragement of innovation, invention and advancement.

Hopefully through this article you learn to appreciate the arts more—no matter what capacity or form they are in. There is much more out there than the classic day-to-day activities we all do. Take that time and go to that art museum or that concert. Remember there is always a little bit of time for art in your day whether it’s taking a self-timer huji at a coffee shop with your roommates or actually attempting to paint ornaments. Maybe it’s time to step out of our comfort zones and take a look around.

A little life advice from two of my favorite artists: make "Monet" and "Gogh" live your dreams.

She's obsessed with black coffee, photography, Grey's Anatomy, and trying new food when not working on her Neuroscience/PUBH coursework.
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