How Original Artwork Affects Your Mood And Your Room; Art and Emotion
Can Art Boost Your Mood? Let’s explore the idea that merely viewing artwork affects one’s mood, and indirectly promotes health and well-being.
Local studio artists passionately develop their art and art practice in order to share their ideas, experiences, and tell stories so it’s not unusual to think that viewers of their creations will ultimately be affected and stimulated, visually. In this article, I’ll explain what our ancestors have to do with how we feel about art, babies actions mimic the emotion of art, and why, in fact, art does make us happy.
THANK OUR ANCESTORS
Let’s face it, humans are hedonistic creatures – always searching for good vibes, good food and things that make us happy. Not only does art accomplish the feel good tasks but the happiness we experience goes all the way back to our ancestors!
Art is a form of communication developed before the written word. The oldest, secure human art found dates to the Late Stone Age during the Upper Paleolithic, possibly from around 70,000 BC. At that time (as it is currently), art was used to pass along valuable information. Cave paintings were a teaching tool and showcased an increased need for different types, and better communication.
Viewing an image uses different parts of our brain and comes in three stages;
- State of confusion as we attempt to work out what the artwork suggests.
- Identifying the representation which triggers the pleasure centers of our brain.
- Assigned meaning to the artwork which elicits another emotional response.
These three states are akin to the same emotional responses our ancient ancestors received when making connections between objects (images) and their world. Think about it – as infants, humans make connections in our minds to grasp simple concepts; a smiling face equals safety; the family pet is an engaging friend; etc. As humans mature, we expand our ability to make connections in a variety of ways, audible, visual, verbal, etc. Artwork uses the innate visual connections our brains make throughout our lives to create and change our emotions.
Elicits soothing and peaceful emotions. “Tow Path on the Canal, #1” by Paul Bertholet, Maryland. Oil on canvas. 34″H X 28″W
Recent studies suggest the arts can promote health and psychological well-being and offer a therapeutic tool for many, e.g., adolescents, elderly, and vulnerable individuals. – Daykin et al., 2008
ART IS A PERSONAL MATTER
Art typically brings forth one or two types of emotion in a person; sadness, fear, desire, anger, or joy. However, the immediate feeling you receive upon first glance may change if you spend time understanding the artwork or learn the story behind it. Similar to verbal cues, visual cues may be misunderstood unless we dive deeper.
The same image can even produce two different moods in two different people. A lot depends upon a person’s life experiences, background, gender, age, etc. Your taste in art is as personal as the work itself. In fact, some of my clients have increased their attachment to an artwork merely from hearing the artwork title which connected to their personality or background.
So when you find a piece of art that brings forth less than joyous feelings, read about the artist and the artwork – you never know how learning the “why” and the story will change your perception of the artwork and heck, you may actually grow to love it enough to live with it!
How does this digital artwork make you feel? “Atkins” by Diane Rosenblum, California. Pigment print on canvas. 36″H X 36″W.
ART MAKES US HAPPY
2020 was a fearful year for many but now that the pandemic is (hopefully) behind us, it’s time to break out and be happy again – with original art crafted by local artists. Art gives a feeling of joy and boosts a good mood. Artwork fosters the feeling of relaxation, creativity, and inspiration.
Any form of creativity can reduce the stress hormone cortisol and encourage the good hormones endorphins and dopamine in our brains. From playing music to dancing, doodling in a notebook, and cooking. Displaying artwork in your home or office does an excellent job accelerating our mood and the mood of the people around it.
And there’s no one type of art that can make us happy. Traditional and contemporary, fiber, sculpture and paintings – All have the potential to evoke a sense of positivity. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Art triggers powerful mood-enhancing chemicals in our brain. In fact, art can mimic nature because both the natural world and artwork are two of the biggest sources of inspiration, happiness, and mindfulness.
Artwork brings forth different emotions in different people. “Danielle” by Jacob Guerin, Boston. Oil on canvas. 48″H X 24″W
Neuroaesthetics research suggests that pleasure is derived by the interaction between emotion processing in the brain and the relationship of the beholder with the artwork.
When choosing original wall art for your living room, bedroom, kitchen or any other home decor project, after you determine the size and price requirements, ask yourself this question “How will this piece of art make me feel?” Focus on what you love about the piece or what is meaningful to you. If you have no idea, then be sure to chat with a professional art advisor to help you figure that out.
This article was written by Andrea Bogart, professional artist, lead art advisor and founder of Embrace Creatives, an online marketplace for interiors matching you with quality, original art to love.