As modern women, many of us lead exceptionally busy lives. Between working, studying, and family members, any working woman knows the struggle of finding time to socialize, let alone take up a new hobby. But what if you knew that one hobby in particular could actually help you in both your personal life and your career?
Art has always been a major part of human life and culture, and its benefits to both creators and consumers are extensive. While you might think of making and viewing art as more of a hobby than as a career choice, there are plenty of ways art can actually help you professionally.
So, how might embracing art and creativity be able to elevate your career? Consider the following:
Appreciating Art on a Regular Basis Builds Leadership Skills.
One 2017 American study suggests that studying art is a major key to professional success. The study followed a group of first-year medical students and found that participants who were exposed to art were much more likely to develop strong observational skills, which are critical for successful leadership.
Thoughtful art appreciation – whether through music, lyrics, books, visual arts, sculptures, or many other mediums – allows you to examine the expressions of another person, possibly with a very different outlook on life than yourself. Purposeful observation of the details and meanings in art will help you notice finer details in other situations – such as body language during client meetings.
Art helps build your leadership skills by teaching you understanding and empathy. No matter whether you work as part of a team, as a leader, or even from home, empathy and awareness of your own behavior patterns is an essential skill for negotiation, conflict management, and understanding the behavior of people around you.
Most helpfully, studying art will help you understand the perspectives of other people, such as your clients and co-workers. If you’re vying for a promotion or ready to take the next step in your career, why not broaden your mind and creative skills by engaging in an art history course or by picking up a book on your favorite art genre?
Practicing Hobbies Outside of Work will Indirectly Help Your Professional Life.
Especially if you are a naturally creative person, working without taking time off to nurture your creative side is immensely draining. If most of your days consist of working long hours before rushing home and caring for your family without any time to yourself, you’re much more likely to burn out down the track.
Keep your career running smoothly and set yourself up for success by adopting a creative hobby. Creating art stimulates your imagination – and in the case of most coloring and painting, soothes your mind and provides time to relax without thinking about your job.
We Need Creativity to Function as Well as We Possibly Can.
Creativity helps greatly in increasing feelings of fulfillment. In 2010, a group of researchers analysed over one hundred studies in search of the connection between creative arts and health outcomes – and concluded, among other findings, that art worked as a natural therapy for participants battling serious diseases. Extrapolating to the general population, art is a key component to a creative, fulfilling life, and the satisfaction that comes from art can get you through many difficult situations.
By now, you might be wondering how you can incorporate art and creativity into your busy life. Here are some ideas to start you off:
Learn a Hands-On Craft
Working with your hands while working on art such as sculpting, pottery, or woodwork will help you to develop your imagination and patience skills. If you feel apprehensive about starting alone, why not ask a few friends to join you for a class? You’ll have fun starting out with fellow beginners and learning from a professional. Once you feel comfortable with your chosen art form, you can purchase your own materials and practice it in your free time.
Developing skills in patience will serve you well in your career as well as your personal life. Applying your newfound patience to your work tasks and conversations will help shape you into a confident, calm leader who will more easily relate to many different types of people, while developing your imagination will help you to view work situations in a new light and be quicker to discover solutions – a skill necessary for any professional.
Make Time to Visit Local Art Galleries
Although any woman is capable of learning how to draw, that doesn’t mean she is guaranteed to enjoy the process! If creating art yourself really isn’t a relaxing activity for you, you can still benefit from going to see other artists’ works. Visiting your local art galleries on your days off can be a wonderfully relaxing, enjoyable way to spend time – and as a bonus, will give you something to talk about at the office on Monday!
Watch your local gallery social media pages or take note of community notice boards for the latest exhibitions coming up – you might find yourself a new favorite artist! Many art galleries also offer guided tours, during which you can ask questions about style or meaning, leading to a deeper understanding of your favorite art pieces.
Plus, if you have children, giving them a chance to experience art from an early age will help them to maintain an appreciation for creativity throughout their lives. What better excuse could there be for a family outing?
Making and experiencing art is a vital part of the human experience. Introduce art into your life and let it help you maximize your professional potential.
Cloe Matheson is a freelance writer from Dunedin, New Zealand who has produced articles on a broad range of topics including career, travel and lifestyle. She is also interested in arts and design, focusing on the latest trends in modern architecture. Visit Tumblr to read more of Cloe’s published work.