Being artistic is, first and foremost, a highly sought after and almost universally praised attribute for a person to have. All across the globe and across every culture you can think of, artists are considered people of import.
Sure, in modernity some artists can get the bad rap of just being unemployed people who are unsure of what to do with their lives, but that’s more of a stereotype than a fact. People who actually try hard with their art are seen as something special.
This is because art expresses something incredibly fundamental about humanity. It is an expression of what it means to be human. Being human is the ability to give incredible depth and meaning to something that objectively lacks both.
For example, if you are playing Uptown Pokies (or this even happens to video game players) you might find yourself doing little things that you feel help your chances. Like closing your eyes before you draw a card, or banging on the table before you roll dice.
Objectively, these actions have no effect on the game, yet they have some meaning to us. We see it as something that helps us (even if it is only psychological pacification) so people will continue to do it even if they know it won’t truly help them.
But, that is a little off topic, and I would like to go back to my main point. People who are artistic bridge the world that exists in our minds to the material world that we live in. No other animals can do this.
But, that is all well and good, but are there any other real reasons to be an artist or learn trade skills such as woodworking, repairing things, and so on and so forth?
First and foremost, art is an incredible, tangible, and deep medium for expressing ourselves. Have you ever felt like you had an emotion that you just couldn’t express properly?
Or perhaps, you felt a certain way and didn’t know how to deal with that emotion? This is a great reason to turn to art. The power of taking what exists in your mind and making it into something tangible is an incredible aid for dealing with emotions.
People can tend to have difficulty with abstract concepts that we can’t visualize or conceptualize. This is why creative expression is so important. It allows you to realize what you are feeling in an indirect way.
It brings something complex like an emotion, and almost helps you define it a bit better by bringing a representation of it into the world. It could also help you overcome the feelings you have if they are negative.
Dr. Glidden Tracey states in the Arizona State University wellness blog that creative acts like singing can help you relieve stress as they release dopamine. This is a chemical that can calm you and make you feel better (to put it very simply).
So, if you ever feel like you can’t take what is going on, or you are overwhelmed, or don’t feel like you can properly express what you feel, try some form of art! Write a poem, sing a song, paint a painting. You may just realize that you feel better by the end!
I want to jump now from one side of my point which is why it’s important to learn trade skills. These can also be seen as a form of art, but they are also more practical. They aren’t just a form of expression, but a practical skill.
I’m talking about things like carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, being able to build things (as in literal buildings) and just overall knowing your way around tools and repairing or making new things.
The biggest benefit of this is independence. Being able to solve problems that come up in life by yourself is a huge benefit to your life. You are able to fix problems without having to call an expensive repairman to do it for you.
Or, even worse, you might be in a situation where you can’t call a repairman! If your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, you are either going to have to wait a long time for someone to come to you, or you have to fix it yourself.
These situations aren’t just bad for your property and your wallet, they are also bad for your health. Repairs and other problems that can happen in life contribute to the great amount of stress people feel today.
But, if you know how to deal with these problems yourself, you won’t feel so helpless and panic about what to do. Instead, you can jump right into action and get done what needs to be done.
Another point to make is that you can do things exactly how you want them to be done without going through someone else. Don’t forget, when you ask someone else to do something, or make something for you, they aren’t doing what you want.
Instead, they are doing what they interpret as what you want. This means you could end up unsatisfied if the end product doesn’t end up how you imagined in your head. But, if you do it yourself, you don’t have to worry about this problem of interpretation!
Instead, you can jump right and do exactly what you want. And, if you change your mind about how you want something, you don’t have to feel like you are bothering the person doing the work by changing things or experimenting.
One final point about independence is that, depending on where you live, you might not have the convenience of being able to call someone to do things for you. Or, maybe you simply cannot afford it.
If you live in a rural area, it could take hours for a repairman to come by and fix whatever problem you have. But, if your sink is leaking water all over your nice wood floor, you might not have hours to wait before your floor get’s irreparably damaged.
Growing as A person
Finally, learning how to do things yourself, such as learning a new skill, trade, or art, will help you grow as a person. By improving and expanding your knowledge, you will be able to reach out and figure out where you want to go as a person.
You might find a big passion for something that you learned, maybe even to the point where you could start a business based around a new skill you learned and really enjoy.
A big problem people have nowadays is that they feel like their life lacks meaning. Especially amongst those people who work office jobs. Doing digital work can be very monotonous, and feel like you aren’t actually accomplishing anything.
On the other hand, if you have a job where you do physical work, it is easier to feel like you are doing something good in the world. You are providing a tangible service that you know affects people in real life. Not just moving numbers on a screen for some corporate entity…
Finding meaning is something that could literally be the difference between life and death for some people. The sad truth is, some people never find that meaning, and they don’t see a reason to continue.
So, if you go out and look for that meaning, grasp it, and hold onto it, you are bound to live a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life.