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As someone who never excelled in art class, there was a time when I rarely found myself sitting down to draw. It turns out, I didn't know just how many benefits I was missing out on.

Now that I have a drawing board and have discovered my love for drawing, I've come to realise a few things:

The beauty of drawing is that it can be many things. It can be words, patterns, mind-maps, thoughts, feelings, colours – anything.

Equally, if you prefer to find beauty in the little things around you and want to highlight those intricacies, that can be equally as satisfying.

And by forgetting about whether you're creating the next world masterpiece or not, drawing suddenly becomes a lot more open and inviting. After all, it can be hugely beneficial. Not just for honing your artistic skills but for your own mental wellbeing too.

And if you haven't already experienced some of these benefits, here are just a few of the ways picking up a pencil can improve your everyday life:

 

10 reasons why drawing is good for you:

1) It's a way of communicating

Whether you're depicting an emotion or a thought, or even highlighting something of beauty or importance, drawing is a form of communication. It might be a summary of something or just a focus on how you feel. You don't even have to be communicating with other people. Drawing for yourself is just as enjoyable and can make it easier to understand how you think and feel.

2) It's enjoyable

Sometimes when you have lots of built-up energy, just having something to do with your hands can really relax your mind and give you that level of focus. Running a brush over the paper, gliding a pen round a pad or just furiously doodling with a set of squidgy felt-tips can bring immense pleasure to even the most grown-up of people! Seeing the bright colours is thoroughly therapeutic – trust me!

3) It helps to focus your mind

Often when you have lots of thoughts running around your mind, it's a good idea to write everything down. This helps not only by giving you an outlet, but it will also force your brain to focus on exactly it is that you're thinking. And when you identify what's causing any concern, you can find a solution. The same goes for drawing. Feelings, thoughts and emotions are complex – sometimes words are just too black and white to depict what's going on in your brain. Draw, express and feel and you will start to see fewer problems and more resolutions.

4) Attention to detail

Whether you're drawing a scene or object in front of you, or illustrating using an image in your mind, it can really force you to focus on the details. Sometimes we think we know how something works or is put together, but then when you come to draw it, there are pieces of information missing. Drawing gives you a different perspective and lets you learn more about the world and all the lovely things in it.

5) Hand eye coordination

Not everyone is born an artist – even artists! Drawing is a skill and is something that needs to be practised. Getting the shapes, sizes and angles just how you want them means practising that hand-eye coordination. You might draw the same thing a thousand times before you get it how you want it – but it's the same with any art. Writings gets re-written, photos get edited and films get cut and re-mastered.

6) It gets us away from screens

Having the world at our fingertips is truly amazing. However, when you find yourself wide-eyed at 3am from too much blue light, it can become a bit of a problem. Drawing is incredibly relaxing and – as long as you're not drawing on a tablet - it will also give your eyes a break from all the blue light we absorb from various screens. Phones, monitors and TV screens are all culprits. So, give your eyes a break and let your mind switch off by drawing before bed for a good night's sleep.

7) It's mindful 

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Drawing is mindful because it forces you to focus on the present. It's not so taxing that it becomes tiring, but it's taxing enough that it helps you stop thinking about the past or worrying about the future. Mindfulness can really help improve your mental wellbeing, so can really benefit your everyday presence.

8) It improves your creativity

Using your imagination automatically helps you improve your creativity. It certainly helps free-up your brain. I think we get used to thinking in certain ways. So, let yourself go and break down some of those boundaries. After all, creativity is like a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it gets!

9) It captures a moment

Capturing moments is capturing beauty. And just focusing on this can really help improve our mood and make us feel more positive. It also helps us to pay attention to the world as we see more and learn more. An expression, a movement, a reaction – these are all worth our artistic attention and will give you lots of inspiration for your next piece.

10) You develop your own style

As you get more confident with your drawing, you will start to develop your own style. This will really help you hone how you draw and in turn, give you more ideas for future drawings. Create, style, develop and colour – the world's your oyster!

 

Feeling inspired? Grab your pens, paints and pencils and get ready to get creative.

And don't forget to send in pics of your pieces! You can find us on Facebook and Instagram @HartleysDirect.

 

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