The arts play a fundamental role in how our society is shaped but have become considered to have no educational value by many people. They believe that studying art is impractical and that children and young adults should put more focus on more practical pursuits in fields such as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). So what are the benefits of studying art? We reveal 5 compelling reasons why you should.
For decades, the popularity of receiving an arts education has declined dramatically, but studying art has been found to benefit children of all ages, while also reaping a number of benefits in adults, such as stress relief, empathy, ou-of-the-box thinking, and critical analysis.
There’s little doubt that contemporary society doesn’t value art like we used to. We consider visual arts as “art for the sake of art” more than anything. But art is about way more than just making something pretty and it has far, far more to offer and will make you a better-rounded person.
Why Is It Important To Study Art?
If you have any doubts over the value that education in art has profound benefits, ask yourself why we all began our education with finger painting, coloring books, and so on?
It’s because art allows young children to use their senses, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic, to create something tangible which expresses their thoughts and feelings.
This form of creative expression gives older children self-confidence, discipline, a strong sense of identity, empathy, social awareness, collaborative skills and improves their ability to handle conflicts and adversity as they embark on their journey to adulthood.
Meanwhile, adults are able to benefit from studying art as well. By tapping into their creative tendencies, such as drawing, painting, and so on, adults can relieve all kinds of stress and keep their brains active.
There are countless studies that indicate that studying art can make a significant impact on the academic, social and emotional outcomes of surveyed students.
Furthermore, in a fast-paced world where people not only need healthy distractions but also need to be made aware of various social issues. Artists can envoke empathy and awareness through their various mediums, appealing to people’s shared emotions.
Without education in art, professionals in all of the arts would not be able to call out injustices and inspire change. With our exposure to professional art and informing ourselves about the issues, we can improve cognitive functions such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and spatial reasoning.
And that’s not to say there aren’t plenty of people who studied art and applied their skills in roles as graphic designers, media, and other fields. A degree in art has professional value in its own right, and people that studied creative skills are in demand in countless industries.
Therefore, if you’re asking why art is important, you need to look beyond material and financial value. Instead, consider art as something wholly separate from other pursuits.
A world without art would be an uncultured one. Creative expression is a critical part of our human experience. Most of the benefits are intangible, but that doesn’t diminish its value and the fact that it adds to our personal development.
5 Reasons Why You Should Study Art
You may be considering studying art and have been told that it’s a worthless pursuit, but this is simply untrue. Here are five benefits of studying art and why you should study art:
1. Art improves Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is the ability to use your judgment to analyze and evaluate an issue. It’s a crucial skill for the modern workplace.
Causal links between studying art and students’ abilities to observe the world around them and examine, analyze and consider numerous details make up the foundation of critical thinking.
2. Transferable Skills
One of the things I find so beautiful about art is that it’s not what you call an “exact science” This means that you aren’t limited to a narrow, focused skillset.
You aren’t just learning to paint or take photographs, for example. You learn about history, context, and how to examine the world to find details that the ordinary person doesn’t.
Art education takes a broader scope, equipping you with soft skills. Those skills are transferable, meaning that you could apply them in multiple career paths, such as UX design, communications, or entrepreneurship..”
We live in an age where people are becoming more and more highly specialized in a single task (STEM professionals), and this exists in the context of a world that has become far more complex. Art education helps you understand the world in a broader context and not be limited to a specific field.
3. New Digital Landscape
The rise of digital art and the benefits it provides may be the impetus that makes being an artist a viable career because it saves time, money, and space while being accessible to beginners.
Creative pursuits can become profitable, and therefore being an artist could be considered a viable career, on par with engineering and other highly valued professions.
4. Psychological Benefits
Artistic expression is frequently used as a form of therapy for adults, allowing them to reduce stress, heighten emotional awareness, and just relax. A study from the University of Western Australia found that two hours of exposure to art a week can result in drastic mental health improvements.
5. Tolerance And Empathy
Higher levels of tolerance and empathy are observed among art students due to their exposure to conflicting perspectives of the world, which helps them learn about people, places, and ideas that exist outside of their bubbles.
Tolerance and empathy are essential in a more diverse world than ever, which requires a sense of civic duty and community to correct the shortcomings of our society.
Artists show more tolerance and empathy, and their art provides an opportunity to encourage other people to adopt the same values.
How Is Art Beneficial To Students?
We are still unsure why, but students who pursue an education in art at school improve their test scores in other subjects and graduate at higher rates. Art can tap into parts of the brain that allow them to manage stress better than students who don’t study art.
Art improves psychological resilience, an essential part of any teenager’s mental and emotional development that turns them into well-rounded adults.
In terms of job opportunities, children and young adults will not be short on career prospects. In fact, in a not-so-distant future where automation will disrupt countless industries, art, and other creative careers will continue to be an exclusively human skill.
The benefits of studying art are endless. Even if, at this moment, the skills you acquire from studying art don’t seem like they can lead to viable career opportunities. The soft skills that art education provides you with are perhaps more valuable than ever in the workplace, where critical thinking makes for more adaptable employees.
They will be all that’s left to provide value in future job markets where highly specialized. Repetitive jobs can be carried out by automated employees who can work 24/7, with infinitely more efficiency. You cannot program creativity.
Further reading & Sources
Images from Pixabay.com
How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement | Critical Evidence
The Benefits of Digital Art | The Digital Art World
Arts education in America: What the declines mean for arts participation | National Endowment for the Arts
Does Art Boost a Student’s Critical Thinking? | Walden University
Interest in arts can boost mental health: study | CTV News
Study: Art Education has academic effect | USA Today
Arts Education and Graduation Rates | New York Times
How Art Changes Your Brain: Differential Effects of Visual Art Production and Cognitive Art Evaluation on Functional Brain Connectivity | Plos One
Joseph Colella (Joe Colella) is an Editor and Writer at WastedTalentInc. As a frustrated artist with over 40 years experience making art (who moonlights as a certified Business Analyst with over 20 years of experience in tech).
While Joseph holds a Diploma in Information Technology, in true wasted talent fashion he spent years applying for various Art degrees; from the Accademia di Belle Arti (Napoli), to failing to get into the Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) at the University of Western Sydney.
While he jokes about his failures at gaining formal art qualifications, as a self-taught artist he has had a fruitful career in business, technology and the arts making Art his full time source of income from the age of 18 until 25.
His goal is to attend the Julian Ashton School of Art at The Rocks Sydney when he retires from full time work. Joseph’s art has been sold to private collectors all over the world from the USA, Europe and Australasia.
He is a trusted source for reliable art advice and tutorials to copyright/fair use advice and is committed to helping his readers make informed decisions about making them a better artist.