If you ran a Twitter poll asking people to name the world’s most famous painting, what answer do you think would top the results? The Mona Lisa? We concur. Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece is probably the best known in the world, but despite being priceless, it is not the most expensive. Instead the honour of being the priciest painting ever sold goes to Salvator Mundi, another da Vinci wonder. To this day, there is debate among experts over whether it was actually painted by the great man himself, but clearly the fact it could be a fake didn’t put everyone off.
Maybe you’re into art, maybe you’re not, maybe you’re in the ‘I don’t know much, but I know what I like’ camp. Art can be very subjective, but it can also be inclusive. Regardless of skill, art allows us all to create positivity.
We’re currently drawing towards the end of Children’s Art Week 2022, so what better time to think about how art can have a big impact on kids of all ages, even those big grown-up ones like us? Whether it’s finger-painting or portrait-painting, colouring, clay, collage or photography – art is great, no matter what it looks like. For a start, it can help us develop important physical skills. Holding pens and paint brushes, shaping clay – so many art mediums let children hone their fine motor skills. Focussing on an object to paint or photograph it can also allow them work on their visual-spatial skills. These are the things that let us copy dance moves and follow maps, play sports, write and do maths. Who knew drawing could do so much!
That’s not all though, art is also a brilliant way to develop concentration, problem-solving and patience. If you care for a child who struggles to focus or gives up easily, bit by bit completing art projects may really help. Art can take time, especially if you want it to look good. It can require erasing and re-doing sometimes and a little practise too. The end results provide a very tangible reward and sense of achievement though – perfect for encouraging minds that wander or get frustrated.
Art too, is a mental health win. That aforementioned reward can do wonders for boosting our self-esteem, as can developing a particular skill over time. Sometimes stopping to focus on being creative will take us out of a moment or situation, encouraging relaxation and reducing stress and anxiety. Finally, art can be fantastic therapy. It allows us to express our emotions and manage them. Where sometimes children (and adults) cannot express in words a feeling or a trauma, art can give a voice. Consciously or subconsciously, creating lets our inner most thoughts have an outlet, helping us to communicate, deal with things and even heal.
As Children’s Art Week draws to an end and the summer holidays beckon, why not plan a few arty activities to pass the time? Just think of all the positivity they could create. If you’d like any more advice on the benefits of art or want to talk through anything fostering, please contact us. We’ll even let you doodle while we chat.