The Power of Artistic Expression

Sarah Kumar


March 20, 2024

Have you ever had a hard time putting your feelings into words? Have you ever felt something and couldn’t figure out what it was exactly?

You’re not alone. People have been feeling this way for centuries. Among the different ways to cope with these feelings is expression through art. Art allows you to discover, understand, and communicate in a way that words might not be able to capture. From doodling to drawing to sculpting to dance to music to theater, art has been a long-standing powerful mode of communication.

I, myself have been practicing art all of my life, although I’ve formally been an artist for eight years now. Sculpture is my art of choice, and you will find me in the studio for hours. I find creating my art soothing yet exciting. I get to translate my ideas, feelings, and voice by creating something out of nothing. It takes me away from my anxieties of being a student, especially since I’m pre-med.

There’s a lot of stigma around art especially in student life. People think: you can’t make a living from art, art is a waste of time, I have more important things to do than sit here and draw/paint/dance/etc. I can’t do art because I’m not artistic.

Well, I disagree! No one is bad at art because how can you be bad at expressing the way you feel?  Art is not just about aesthetics! It’s a tool that can help you discover yourself and heal.

Like reading a good book or doing a quick workout, art can be a stress reliever if you let it. It doesn’t have to be exhibition ready. No one even has to see it. All that matters is you: how you feel, what you think, how your art helped you.  

Not yet convinced art can be good for you? Art can also stimulate the brain to promote mental resilience and cognitive flexibility. Studies have shown that exposure to art can enhance neural connectivity, improve problem-solving skills, and boost overall cognitive function. Art challenges your brain to think creatively and confront and overcome mental hurdles with greater resilience and adaptability.

Art may not be for everyone, but don’t dismiss it until you try it!

If you want to learn more, here are some studies about art and health!

1. “The Link Between Creativity, Cognition, and Creative Drives and Underlying Neural Mechanisms”: (https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fncir.2019.00018/full)

2. “Brain research shows the arts promote mental health”: (https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fncir.2019.00018/full) (https://theconversation.com/brain-research-shows-the-arts-promote-mental-health-136668)

3. “Art and Psychological Well-Being: Linking the Brain to the Aesthetic Experience”: (https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/psychology/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00739/full)

4. “Fluid Whole-Brain Connectivity Supports Creative Thinking” : (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/202202/fluid-whole-brain-connectivity-supports-creative-thinking)

Sarah Kumar