Connecting the Dots:
The Art of Taking an Art Break
By Lisa Rasmussen, M.F.A.
Co-Founding Director of Art is Moving
Over the past decade Lauren and I have had the beautiful challenge of getting people to “Take an Art Break.”
Sometimes we just can’t connect the dots.
We’ve encountered a long list of questions and excuses along the way.
“I don’t get it, why should I take an art break?”
“I don’t have time.”
“This is just for kids, right?”
“No thanks, I am an artist, I do this for a living.”
I wanted to explore these objections a little more.
Why do I feel that taking an Art Break is so powerful?
Why do I feel that everyone should be taking art breaks?
Let me break it down for you.
First, why should you take a break? I hate to break it to you (no pun intended) but you are not a robot or a superhero. There are oodles of scientific studies that prove “taking a break” is extremely beneficial to you! One such Huffington Post article, 5 Science-Backed Ways Taking a Break Boosts Our Productivity, says “Taking a break once an hour increases our work productivity and playing hard helps us with working hard.” Read more of the evidence based article HERE.
Breaks are a necessary self-care activity. The article Give Yourself a Break, says “Taking breaks is helpful to avoid physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. As humans, our bodies and minds need time for rest and rejuvenation in order to function optimally.While this may seem obvious, many people push themselves beyond what is healthy and don’t take the time necessary to rejuvenate.” Take a break and read the whole article HERE.
Alright, so we’ve established taking a break is really, really good for you!
Secondly, let’s talk about the amazing power of Art! The article, The Mental Health Benefits of Art are For Everyone, states that “there are a lot of misconceptions floating around about art. Many are afraid that since they aren’t very good at something, there is no point and they won’t get any benefit from doing it. But we are all born with an innate desire to express ourselves and art encompasses a wider range of activities than you may have ever imagined.” Check out why creative expression can make you a healthier and happier person, read the whole article HERE.
Furthermore, Art makes you smarter. Yes, just like eating vegetables, Art makes you smarter. In the article, Does Looking at Art Make You Smarter, author and art historian Jonathan Fineberg argues, “looking at visual images can supercharge your brain’s creativity.” Fineberg continues to explain, why he believes looking at art is like “sending your brain to the gym.” Continue reading this food for thought article HERE.
Art making and viewing is a practice that is healthy for you, plain and simple. It is our birthright. Art is a remedy. It nourishes our being, helps us grow, and guides us to discover and better understand ourselves. Art is good for you! There are so many incredible reasons to create everyday.
Now that I have dissected the eye opening benefits of breaks and art individually, imagine what happens when you combine these two powerful ways of being.
Viola! We have ourselves an ART BREAK.
Think about the mind boggling benefits of synthesizing the two!
So just do it! Take an Art Break! Experience its benefits.
Still need a little more motivation? We think this video might help.
Ok, now you should be ready.
Today, I challenge you to mindfully take an Art break.
Ok, let’s TAKE AN ART BREAK!
Connecting the Dots: The Art of Taking an Art Break
I. Plan and Prioritize
Schedule your art break.
- This Art Break can be done anywhere and everywhere.
- You will need a block of creative time for at least 10 minutes of time.
- Remember this is all be about you!
- Paper or a blank canvas.
- Marker, or pen, pencil, oil pastels, paint and anything else you want to bring to the mix.
Set a Take an Art Break Intention
Be mindful. Be very conscious and aware that you are sitting in a chair, breath into the space, listen to your breath, and fully embrace that you are taking a break to make art.
Think about this experience as a self care activity and that you really deserve this “Me time Art Break!”
- Begin by checking in with yourself. How are you feeling? How was your day? You can write this in your journal or on the back of your paper.
- Sit down and with your marker/pen create dots all around your blank paper. Be as intuitive as possible. Try not to think about it. Just do it.
- Then mindfully and with slow motions connect the dots with a sharpie, paint brush, pen etc..
- Check in within yourself. Any thoughts coming up?
- Feel free to work on this more if you like. It is just a beginning or an end. You can paint it or color it. Whatever you like.
- Reflect on how you feel. Did you feel a shift?
- Are you experiencing the benefits of taking an Art Break?
- Do you have more clarity about what an Art Break is?
- What did your connected dots make?
IV. Show us your Art Break!
If you dare, share. Share it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, whatever with the hashtag #takeanartbreak. We would love to see what you created and hear about your process!
For more information on the benefits of this type of art break, check out the links below:
Engaging with the creative arts can be a powerful healing experience.
Making art lowers corisol levels in just 45 minutes! Talk about a stress buster.
Find your flow and find happiness?
Here are 24 more reasons to draw and paint.
Feel free to read more about the
benefits of art on our resource page here.