7 Ways Artistic Activities Affect Mental Development

Nowadays, a lot of people believe that being smart is only a question of being good at maths and science. But there’s a good reason why many famous scientists are also great authors, painters and musicians. The best moment to teach children about the different artistic activities is early childhood as they easily absorb information.

A ten-year study by Shirley Brice Heath of Stanford University showed that youngsters involved in non-school based artistic activities as part of community programs for under-resourced communities were: four times more likely to win academic awards, eight times more likely to receive community service awards, and three times more likely to win school attendance awards, when compared to other students. They are also more likely to get higher score highers on their SAT college admission tests if they have been involved in an extracurricular artistic activity for more than four years.

It is therefore very important to include arts as early in life as possible. Here are 7 ways artistic activities affect mental development.

A picture of one A Place FOR YOU workshops during the festival Shak Tuk Tam.

1. Develop lifelong skills

Through art, you can develop skills that will benefit you your whole life! Without even knowing it, you develop your analytical thinking skills, clarity in written and spoken language, sense of collaboration, and creativity. These skills are valuable in any future career!

2. Express yourself

Struggling to explain how you feel? Why not try showing it through art. Art is a helpful tool when it comes to expressing yourself and your inner feelings. It’s a way to externalize your feelings without having to use your words. Feelings are also a very good source of inspiration and will help you improve your artistic skills!

3. Improve motor skills

Many of the motions involved in artistic activities are incredibly useful in the growth of fine motor skills, especially for children. This includes the simple actions of holding a paintbrush or doodling with a pencil.

4. Problem solving

According to a report done by Americans for the Arts, art education helps strengthen skills such as problem solving and critical thinking. Although art can be a matter of improvisation, it is sometimes easier to think ahead before starting a new artistic project.

Creating furniture from old materials during one of the last events by A Place FOR YOU.

5. Decision making

Artistic activities are a very simple way to work on your decision making. Every step involves a decision: from what colour to use, to what form to paint or draw, and what size to make something.

6. Win academic awards

According to the same report by Americans for the Arts, young people who regularly engage in art activities (regularly meaning three times a week for three hours each) are 4 times more likely to receive regnition for academic achievement, to take part in a science or math fair, or to get an award for writing an essay or a poem, than other students.

7. Boost your self-esteem

Creating and sharing art is one of the best ways to work on your self-esteem. Ever felt this jolt of pride and happiness when someone compliments you? That’s what I’m talking about. Receiving praise for making something out of your imagination will definitely lift your spirits for the day!


Painting t-shirts during the recent workshops by A Association FOR YOU.

Still not convinced? Why not try it for yourself?! There are lots of resources online and in real life to get you started. And if you’re currently stuck at home because of the pandemic, you got plenty of time to try as many as you want!

Currently in Varna? Why not join us in one of our workshops? Learn how to paint, make some shirts and bags to offer to your loved ones, or come help us prepare decorations for future events. It’s every Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at Hale 3.

Painting workshop: 3pm-5pm every Thursdays until November 26th

Textile painting workshop: 11am-1pm every Sundays until November 22nd


The article is written by our intern Lea Le Coz from France.