Part 4: WHY Build Your Art Thinking Muscles?

Kirsten Kreiling | Artist to Artist, In the Know, Reflection & Growth | February 3, 2020

Why Build Your Art Thinking Muscles? Part 4

This is the 4th and final part of a blog series on How & Why to Build Your Art Thinking Muscles. Building your capacity for “art thinking” is generally a lot of fun. It can be transformational. There are four basic things you need to do to build up the part of your brain that understands the arts.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."
~ Dr. Albert Einstein

WHY the Build Your Art Thinking Muscles

The most fulfilling reason to build your art thinking muscles is because of the deeper relationship you will have with all sorts of art forever afterward. Every great artist—and every experienced art appreciator—gets to know art well, like a beloved companion. There are many other reasons to learn about the arts, including:

  • Your own work will be seeded with stronger ideas, methods, and vision because of your exposure to other people’s art.
  • You will learn to analyze art and think critically about objects, which will allow you to grow as a person and as an artist.
  • You will be exposed to new types of art and art forms. Besides the sculptures, drawings, and paintings, art history encompasses subjects as varied as:    
    • time-based media
    • installations
    • woodworking
    • landscape & public space design
    • video art
    • animation
    • plays and musicals
    • ceramics
    • performance art
    • metal smithing
    • furniture
  • You will become an expert at spotting a good story. Every artwork tells a story, whether the artist intended to or not. Art history teaches you to decode these fascinating gems.
  • You automatically understand your world better if you are fluent in visual language—the ways that images and objects can be used to communicate.
  • You will learn about a lot of other subjects and how they relate to each other. Art/film/music/performing arts history connects with all of history, all around the globe. The arts lose richness when they are separated from their “context,” the time, place, and reason they were created.
  • You will be smarter, more interesting, and more creative. Interdisciplinary thinking—a hallmark of smart, interesting, creative people—is exactly the skill you practice with art history. It can’t help but seep into the rest of your life.

"More important than a work of art itself is what it will sow. Art can die, a painting can disappear. What counts is the seed." 
~ Joan Miro

Here’s one article that talks about the value of studying art history—the comments are interesting, as well:

We hope you found value in this series on How & Why to Build Your Art Thinking Muscles. This blog series was drawn from Engage Art’s free Choose Your Own Art-venture eCourse and Workbook.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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