Three EASY ways to trust your art-instincts.

aesthetics art speak body do you like it mind neuroaesthetics own it pupil dialation

Art is truly in the eye of the beholder.Lees-Valley-NZ_art

Art stirs up our emotional selves; love, hate, nostalgia...

art affects each and everyone of us.

Own it.

Our senses are what respond to art even before our brains can react.  Our senses tell us what we like, approved of, are fearful of, or dislike.  This response is extremely quick and can be difficult to translate into words.  It is a feeling, an instinct, a rapid unconscious reaction.  Art making, participation, listening, and viewing are found as biological and emotional reactions in our senses.  The arts have very specific and complicated psychological effects on us. Three EASY ways to trust your art-instincts.
  1. Pause.  Take a moment, look, and then draw your attention inward.  How does your body feel?  Is it tense, did you just breathe a sigh of relief, do you feel transported to a different time or place?  Take note, this is your truth.
  2. Be confident and kind.  You have eyes, you have experiences, you have SEEN things and experienced them.  Whatever your truth is, it's your truth to have.  Do challenge yourself to be curious, investigate, contemplate, and imagine other perspectives.  But you do have voice and an opinion simply by being a living breathing human!
  3. Dare to Disagree. Disagreement is not bad, it simply means we're different people. In the search to be the most self-actualized versions of ourselves, our differences actually make us more interesting.  Talk to your friends, try to hear what they're saying and see what they see.  Open your eyes to the amazing, beautiful truth that we really do all have different perspectives and that we're better (and more colorful!) together.

Our brains on art

It has been found that all types of art enhance our cognition over time and that our reactions to art are very personal.  Each of us likes and dislikes things depending on our personal preference.  This preference shows up in researched results.  The field of “Neuroaesthetics, like evolutionary aesthetics and other scientific notions of aesthetics, is predicated on a class of emotions whose biological function is to generate an appraisal of the properties of objects” (Brown and Dissanayake 44). Our senses react to art before we can make an educated verbal response to what we see or hear.  This reaction has been termed, feel good behavior, because quite simply, it can elicit a change in body state very quickly and allow an individual to experience happiness and contentment.  How our bodies react to art is extremely biologically based and extremely fascinating.

If you like it, it's hard to fight it. 

Art appreciation can allow us all to feel good or alter our state of being but why does this happen?  When we look at a picture that we like, our emotions change triggering a physical response that is then translated into a feel-good emotion.  It has been determined that, "when you look at art – whether it is a landscape, a still life, an abstract or a portrait – there is strong activity in that part of the brain related to pleasure” (Mendick 1).  The level of the response coincides with a larger amount of blood flow.  This is similar to the emotional and physical response that our bodies experience upon attraction, blood flow increase to a specific area of the brain when a person likes what they see, which is evident in pupil dilation and in the blushing of the skin.

So own it friends, enjoy art, talk about art, think about it...and have an opinion all your own!

PS More art talk coming next week!

PPS My bibliography and more information in regards to quotes found in this blogpost are available on my website under Thesis. :)

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