Health Benefits of Learning to Draw

Using The Artist’s Secret® to Drawing allows you the ability to draw accurately what you see in one lesson.

You don’t have to ask children ages 3 to 10 why they love to draw. They draw because it makes them happy!  Little preschool children start with the  scribbling stage. Children love making marks, some on paper and sometimes the marks are on the walls. They are beginning to set up a symbol system that expresses their ideas visually on paper.

Around the age of 10 years old children begin to realize they cannot make the marks that clearly represent the objects and people they are drawing.  Someone looks at a picture they drew of a horse and laughs saying it looks like a dog!!  At this point many children stop drawing anything. They think that only talented children can draw pictures of what they see accurately.

What a shame when with only a few minutes of instruction, these children could draw accurately what they see just like their classmates they called talented in art.

The Artist’s Secret® to Drawing makes all the difference in the world. It is a skill learned in only minutes that can last a lifetime.

The ability to draw what you see lies in how your brain works. Noted psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi  can  be found on the Internet discussing the importance of STATE OF FLOW . The STATE OF FLOW is how psychologists explain why some people are able to do really difficult athletic, musical, dance, or artistic tasks so seemingly effortlessly and so wonderfully. If you like to watch sports on television, you cannot help but be amazed when a football player leaps up into the air going for the football and miraculously comes down catching the football. He runs at top speed leaping into the air fighting off a defender and yet miraculously catches the ball. This is true in all sports. It is true in football, basketball, tennis, and any sport that is played. Sometimes people in sports call this BEING IN THE ZONE.

Psychologists have done a lot of work studying what puts people INTO A STATE OF FLOW. When people are in this particular state of being,  things  are done easily and successfully. This is true for artists, musicians, and athletes in all sports.   Psychologists have found that being IN A STATE OF FLOW happens in all cultures, genders, and ages worldwide.

When children or adults experience A STATE OF FLOW they are happy. The psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi  has devoted a lifetime to studying happiness. He has a popular book entitled FLOW; THE PSYCHOLOGY OF OPTIMAL EXPERIENCE. In his book he states that happiness levels can be increased by having people experience the STATE OF FLOW .

He has done a great deal of research and found that when people were creative they were happier when they were in the STATE OF FLOW. He interviewed athletes and musicians at all performance levels to find out how they felt during their athletic experiences. He actually developed the term FLOW STATE. He found that these individuals were able to perform their best when whatever amazing activity they did appeared to happen quickly and easily without much effort.

Some other things that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi  found are very interesting.

  1. He saw that these individuals were able to have complete concentration on what they were doing whether they were athletes, musicians, or artists.
  2. He found that they had a real sense of clarity of goals.
  3. He also found that a sense of time changed.
  4. He found that what they did even though it seemed extraordinary seemed to happen automatically.

In my work as an elementary Art teacher, I had studied psychology as well as drawing. This type of data was very interesting to me. I was very interested in how brains actually work particularly in the act of drawing a picture of what you see. I studied Betty Edward’s  best-selling drawing book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. She had done some interesting studies with college students over a term in college.

I mentioned on my homepage I had an extraordinary experience in my 10-year-old drawing class. When I told my students to do one small thing differently, all of a sudden every single student could accurately draw what they saw. I was the art teacher of these children from kindergarten on and was well acquainted with their artistic ability. I had never ever had a class so successful in drawing. I came to realize the reason they were successful was that they had entered a state of flow in technical terms. They were doing easily and accurately what I thought was impossible. Over the years I tested this method on five succeeding classes with the same remarkable results. After five years of testing my method for teaching drawing to beginning students,  I formed my company Carrousel Studios and it continues teaching children and adults how to enter THE STATE OF FLOW to produce accurate drawings easily and quickly.

Some scientists particularly in the study of Parkinson’s disease have found some interesting facts.

Parkinson’s disease patients lack adequate dopamine. The result of this lack of dopamine results in tremors and difficulty with coordination. Scientists have found that when you draw dopamine is released. This is a very positive effect on the brain. Dr.  Rivka Inzelberg of the Tel Aviv University’s  Sackler faculty of medicine is a neurologist who has done work in this area.

You can do research on the Internet and find other articles about how dopamine is increased by the simple act of drawing. Dopamine is the feel-good chemical in the brain.

The physical act of drawing produces some very positive effects on the human brain that can be measured.

Dr. Rebecca Chamberlain, of the laboratory of experimental psychology University of Leuven , Belgium has done research and has authored an article called  “Drawing on the right side of the brain; A voxel-

based morphometry analysis of observational drawing.” In this study 44 graduate art students and non-art students had their brains gray matter and white matter studied . The  brain scans of the students reveals something very exciting. The art students had significant more gray matter of the brain which is an area involved with fine motor skills.

Rosebud O Roberts, while on the faculty of the Mayo Clinic has done some very interesting research.

Dr. Rosebud Roberts, a Mayo Clinic Epidemiologist and researcher in mild cognitive impairment and dementia, and her colleagues in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging conducted a study to identify risk and preventive factors for mild cognitive impairment (MCI), an intermediate stage between normal cognition and dementia.

Among 256 cognitively normal persons aged 85 years, those who had reported doing artistic activities in both midlife and late life had a 73% reduced risk of developing MCI and those who reported doing craft activities in both midlife and late life had a 45% reduced risk of developing MCI compared to those who did not perform these activities. This suggests that these activities reduce the risk of developing MCI, and consequently, may also reduce the risk of dementia.