Digital Art Helps in Healing Minds: Advice from Top 20 Experts
Today, many people suffer from anxiety, stress, and low self-esteem as a direct consequence of the digitization of our modern world. To combat these modern problems, we require modern solutions. To that effect, healing art therapies serve as impelling remedies for many mental health issues caused by our reliance on digital technology.
As the population ages and settles into sedentary lifestyles, it is vital to create a solution that will help those struggling with long-term mental conditions to cope. That solution lies in the digitization of art. Digital art can promote overall feelings of well-being, happiness, and satisfaction. It is a powerful driver of social connections too.
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As it grows steadily in popularity, digital art inspires creativity and purposefulness to enrich the lives of those dealing with psychological problems. It has given them an avenue to express themselves and connect with others, which has made life better for millions. Even though it might not appear that effective, digital art plays a huge role in healing minds.
If you’re wondering exactly how it achieves such potent results, read on to discover what the top 20 experts have to say about how art affects the brain.
#1 Floortje Visser
For me, creating (digital) art is like mindfulness meditation. While drawing or painting you are performing a high focus task which is sure to keep you in the ‘here and now’. You don’t have to think about anything else but your pen or brush strokes.
I create digital art tutorials which my followers find very relaxing to follow. I create step by step tutorials which are suitable for all levels (you don’t need any experience at all), so they won’t cause fear or stress. People can just relax and follow all the steps and in the end they’ll have a lovely looking result. This is a great reward after their period of focus and gives a boost of confidence. So people will end up feeling relaxed, content and more confident.
#2 Samantha Rothenberg
One of the coolest things about digital art is that you do not need a lot of tools to create seemingly endless styles of artwork. I draw line art comics for a living, but when I am craving a change or want to relax or break out of a rut, I’ll start playing around with new styles like digital collage or painting. The coolest thing about it is I don’t even need new tools – I can do it all with a stylus and tablet.
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#3 Tran Nguyen
Art in general is a wonderful form of visuals that can evoke a visceral response from the viewer. This can take shape in many ways, whether it’s in helping foster a sense of calm or through inspiration. With digital art, it allows these visuals to be more accessible to the general public rather than having to visit them at a gallery or museum. The viewer can have this interactive moment from home and enjoy art as they need it.
#4 Danielle Pioli
Art is one of those things that demands your full attention. In order to fully enjoy the activity of creating art, you need to be fully present. And soon enough you find yourself immersed in the process of creating something.
I like to see art as a vehicle for self-expression and communication. You can express your emotions as well as inspire emotions in other people. It is magical. The fact that art takes your mind off things and focuses on self-expression and/or emotions, being fully present in the moment, is already healing.
Like a meditation practice. In this case, I mean all forms of art, but the biggest advantage of Digital Art is that you can bring this therapeutic practice with you anywhere just by bringing your tablet and stylus. You can be productive and creative on the couch, in bed, in the bathroom, traveling, and you don’t need to bring loads of materials and supplies.
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#5 David Belliveau
For me, digital painting and art, in general, has a huge impact on my mental health. The feeling of accomplishment when I complete a painting or even just a quick sketch is a huge motivation boost. I feel like lots of people don’t feel accomplished in their lives these days, and I talk from experience. I worked for over 10 years at a job that wasn’t fulfilling me.
It’s only when I face my true desire of becoming a full-time professional artist that I felt like I was going in the right direction with my life. It was stressful at first, but the weight it has lifted from my mind was enormous. I’m no doctor, but I know from experience that creating art makes me happier every day, and with the new digital era, we live in… it’s easier than ever to create it.
#6 Rachel Walpole
As a digital artist I have the ability to create worlds never before imagined, or create seemingly impossible creatures and environments and characters that bring awe and wonder into the eyes of anyone who sees them. It’s a means of creating new places to escape to, and you can draw, paint, model, animate, simulate and many more with the wonders of technology and having a free mind to wander in the world of art does so much to keep me happy and satiated. Art is as expansive as the imagination and for most of my waking life it has kept me incredibly happy and fulfilled.
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#7 Toby Gotesman Schneier
Toby Gotesman Schneier
I think we can all agree that during these auspiciously horrendous times, what we have learned radically and ever so disappointingly, is that we really have No Control over ANYTHING…
(or very little in any case…)
Having said all of that, digital art VERY SPECIFICALLY is a CONSUMMATE EXAMPLE of what we CAN CONTROL and even, of course, manipulate…
What better time to heal from all of the havoc, illness and hatred in our current world than now?
And what a profound WAY TO HEAL…
To make beautiful things EXACTLY the way we want them and to share them with the countless people in need of healing and beauty at this very moment…
to simply seek out our OWN joy and sense of artistry through this indelible medium…
Enjoy and God Bless..
#8 Kulit Baru
The mind, like muscles, will atrophy when not used. This happens to busy people who retire and suddenly find themselves with too much time on their hands and endless rounds of netflix will just take you closer to the abyss.
My friends play mahjong to keep sane. I draw. Anywhere and everywhere. And when you take it digital, your avenues to explore and to stretch your mind expands exponentially. 3D, 4D, 5D. New apps. New tools. It never ends. Healing? You won’t have time to get sick.
I only wish I could carry my Wacom with me. And I used Photoshop to paint over my pencil drawing here.
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#9 Irina French
I believe digital painting like any form of art can be beneficial for mental health. Switching off, experimenting and diving into a flow state can bring a lot of relaxation. Getting in touch with your creativity can be very rewarding: it’s interesting to see what ideas you can come up with and what you can achieve.
However, like with any craft once you turn it into a goal and a job, unfortunately it can create stress, insecurity and anxiety – something a lot of artists struggle with. So, my advice would be to have fun with painting or drawing instead! Come to your screen, explore and play! Remember that you’re unique and so are your creative ideas.
#10 Dr. James Lott Jr DD
Dr. James Lott Jr DD
My opinion comes from two directions when it comes to Digital Art and its importance to us & our sanity. One direction I come from is as an artist. For many people creating art helps with depression, anger, and sadness. I feel it doesn’t matter if it’s on a stretched canvas or a computer screen. YOU are still using your brain to create. The other direction I come from its importance. The impact on digital art is the same as any other artform. It can still evoke emotion. It can still heal a person from pain. Digital Art can still affect positive change in the world.
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#11 Kayak Oldaker
Digital art is good for reclaiming a sense of control in a world where you feel like you have no control. Being able to create entire worlds is a great way to help combat feelings of helplessness. There is also a lot of merit to the simple task of sitting down and doing something that doesn’t take too much thought, almost like a meditation routine not dissimilar to practises such as stone stacking. Digital painting allows you to take a few moments to leave behind the burden of “self” and become thoroughly engrossed in a task.
#12 Alex Heywood
I believe that some of my art can help in healing the mind in a very simple way. It acts as a form of mindfulness. It brings you in the moment, where you can relax and simply admire beautiful, natural art.
Normally as you scroll through endless feeds on social media, you are constantly comparing yourself to others who may appear more attractive or successful than you, or reading posts and comments that you disagree with or that make you feel angry, irritated, worthless etc. This is not a good way to heal your mind.
But digital art, whether it’s on Instagram or Facebook or wherever, can be much more easy on the mind and feel very refreshing and calming to see on your feed amongst the usual bickering of social media.
So how is my art mindful?
My art in particular focuses on nature scenes full of little creatures and characters. What this does is make you look around the drawing, discovering and finding more little hidden creatures and animals as you go.
“This is a cool tree, oh look a little bee, oh and there’s a funny little frog poking out behind that rock, oooh that’s a satisfying flower, hey what’s this little guy over here up to”.
Essentially your attention is now fully on the art. It is a quiet, vigilant attention where you calmly look around the drawing. You are in the moment. You’re not thinking about your taxes, or that argument you had with a friend, or your to do list. You’re not comparing yourself to anyone or judging. You’re simply gazing around a drawing of nature, finding little animals, like an innocent child.
As a child I loved to stare at busy illustrations in children’s books. It made me happy. It made me relaxed. And as an adult, I love to do the same with digital art too.
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#13 Lim Chuan Shin
Lim Chuan Shin
Digital Art can help the mind heal as it could be a form of escapism. Escapism is a mental diversion from unpleasant or boring and dreary aspects of daily life. Escapism from digital art may be used to occupy one’s self away from persistent feelings of depression or general sadness. As we can even imagine and paint the idealised version of lives we want to live.
#14 Mariano Gabriel Vidal
Mariano Gabriel Vidal
Can Art heal? Can indeed benefit a healing mind? Is there any healing power in it? Whenever I come around with these sorts of questions (which, I’m sure, you might have heard more than once) my immediate answer is always the same: of course! ‘Of course’ to all three of them! And my response, truth to be told, is absolutely intuitive… I mean: I’m neither a psychiatrist nor a psychologist… let alone a researcher specializing in these kind of topics but rather someone who just loves art and makes a living out of it. Most of us know the invaluable role art plays in mental health (and in case you don’t know, then you should). Art is, in my opinion, part of who we are as a species… it’s a natural force that springs directly from our soul. Mind and body act as one, connecting you with one’s feelings, emotions, and sensations, while expressing them in the most varied ways… singing, painting, sculpting, dancing and the list goes on and on. Many times I’ve read about the incredible benefits it provides to all sorts of people and in all sorts of situations and/or realities. Whether it could be stress relief, anxiety alleviation, depression reduction, memory enhancement, or a means to help those suffering with behavioural or social issues, Art has proven (and proves to be) an incredible God given tool for humans. A tool which makes us better, not only as individuals but as a society… indeed, a tool, which should be taken as a gift for mankind.
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#15 Elizabeth Hinders
Digital art, for me, erases some of the barriers people might find with traditional art. It’s easier to ‘undo’ mistakes and to color, whereas traditionally so much is final, you only get one chance. Digital art is more calming, more relaxed, and in a lot of ways feels more natural, despite it being a newer medium. Painting especially tends to soothe, the act of creating something knowing you don’t have to worry as much about technique and ‘messing up’.
#16 Shadow Chen
Digital Art has a different angle from traditional art or absolute art which from schools and goes to galleries, it’s more spontaneous and subconsciously convey ones point of views and emotions, it doesn’t have to be any genre, it has influences from traditional art but can be completely new and raw. The creators mostly are not major in art, some are from design background and some are from completely irrelevant backgrounds, thus creating digital art is their outlets for the souls.
Digital art is created in different dimensions, 2D with absolute flat colors and 3D, 2D animations and 3D animations and mixed media. Also, there are many ways to be showcased.
Digital art is using screen colors which is the most vivid, and it creates more new shades and ingredients all the time, which gives eyes feed of new creations, fresh views. Colors always heal quite directly.
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#17 Christine Sloan Stoddard
Christine Sloan Stoddard
Digital art can help with creative expression and healing. In many ways, it’s lower risk and more cost-effective than traditional studio art. Since digital devices are becoming increasingly necessary for modern life, more and more people are getting tablets and laptops, anyway. You might as well use your device to make art! It’s relatively easy to download digital art apps onto your device; there are even free web-based art-making tools. People suffering from chronic pain or sensory issues may find it more soothing to draw on a tablet, for instance, than paint on a canvas or press charcoal on paper. For me, personally, the freedom and catharsis that comes with creative expression is unmatched. Many others feel the same way.
#18 Jennifer Will
Digital Art is not only soothing and minds healing for patients but also for the hospital staff. Soothing light, magnificent digital landscape, meditative stillness, and calming digital experience can reduce patient’s stress and anxiety. It gives a zen-like environment that soothes our mental wellbeing.
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#19 Stuart Wellbert
Digital art is about capturing an idea in paint, motion and light. The act of creation not only heals individuals, but it also offers a sense of peace even when viewing it in a digital format. Digital art is not just about the final piece, rather it is the process of creation itself that heals the mind. Digital art does not require an artist to have a lot of materials or supplies. Digital art allows for people to create art from the comfort of their home. Because digital art does not require a large amount of supplies, it is a cost effective art form. The process of creating a digital art allows the artist to focus on the creation process instead of focusing on supplies And the result is a sense of peace and tranquility that can be experienced either by viewing the finished product or by experiencing the creation process.
#20 Michael Daly
Michael DalyRead Bio
I believe that digital art is a great medium to express self. In the past few years, with the emergence of tools like photoshop, even more pieces of art are breaking out of the box and getting creative. The first time I intensely used Photoshop was in my senior year of high school, when my friends and I created caricatures of ourselves which still exist on my computer and on some of my friends. Back then, all the features of Photoshop were hardly known to me and I was definitely not interested in learning the program. But after a couple of years of computer science classes, I got acquainted to some handy hacks that helped me learn the program in a short time. With time, I started understanding the basics of color, shades, balance, and design. After I got my first job in the field, I got even more acquainted to digital art and started playing with it in my free time. What drew me to this field is the unlimited amount of opportunities. And new programs are constantly written and released that give you even more opportunities. So how does this help in healing mind? There’s so many opportunities and each of them is an outlet. The odds are high you find an outlet to release the inner tensions, which is the key in healing your mind.
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