Why Art Is Crucial for Kids' Mental Health

Art can facilitate major breakthroughs and healing

Kid creating art smiling
Mental health is a topic that's been receiving more and more attention in recent years. Whereas before, mental illness was a topic that was seen as taboo or shameful, it's now being recognized as a pretty standard part of many people's lives and something that needs to be addressed head-on. Within the broader topic of mental wellness, kids' mental health is an especially important area of focus.

A Tough Time to Be a Kid

Today, there are so many kids who are struggling with mental health issues and who could benefit from various forms of intervention. Acknowledging this and addressing it, is something that mental health professionals, educators, and adults in general, need to get better at doing.

There's no one-size-fits-all cure for mental health issues, but luckily, there are lots of things you can try. Many of which have seen amazing results. The medium of art is one of them.

There's no question that the global pandemic we've been experiencing over the past two years has had an impact on the mental wellbeing of our kids to some degree. What we don't know is how much of an impact. Even before the pandemic, a huge number of kids had their own mental health struggles.

Kid struggling with mental health

Art – A way to process and express complex emotions

So, where does art come in? In the context of the pandemic, teachers are using art classes and expression to ease kids back into in-person learning with amazing results.

In a broader context, art has been used for years as a tool to help people with mental health issues understand, explore, and express their emotions and traumas. The creativity and self-expression that art provides kids with, can facilitate major breakthroughs and healing.

Creating art also provides kids with another kind of outlet. While other types of classes in schools might be stressful or difficult, there are no right or wrong answers in art class, which should be a place that's easy, happy, and fun.

The aim is to create works that speak to the child and help them to express feelings and emotions they may have. In art classes and workshops, students often find ways to say the things they are usually unable to, or weren't even aware they felt. This is one of the reasons it's often used as a tool by psychologists working with people of all ages, but especially children.

In short, art can help kids feel free from worry, it can help to improve their mood, and can help them process and express complex emotions.

Fun books that teach your child to draw

Joseph Stevenson is an artist and the author of the best-selling “How to Draw Anime” and “How to Draw Manga” children's book series, as well as the books “How to Draw Figures Simple Anatomy, People, & Forms for Beginners” and “How to Draw Animals: Learn to Draw Animals Using Basic Shapes and Lines,” among many others. He is an advocate of art education and currently resides in Southern Utah with his wife and four children. For more information on Joseph and his work, visit josephstevenson.com.

Featured local art schools

Cordovan Art School Logo
Cordovan Art School 

Southwest Austin: 9217 Highway 290 W Suite 140, Austin, Texas 78736 / 512-531-9353
NW Austin: 8108 Mesa Drive Suite B-102, Austin, Texas 78759 / 737-300-1200
Round Rock: 3810 Gattis School Road #108, Round Rock, Texas 78665 / 512-275-4040
Cedar Park: 200 Buttercup Creek #122, Cedar Park, Texas 78613 / 512-284-9874
Georgetown: 816 S Main Street, Georgetown, Texas 78626 / 512-275-4040

At Cordovan Art School, We Create Artists! Our studios are locally owned by award winning artist, John Howell, who has created an environment where creative people of all ages and skill levels are able to come and enjoy what they were born to do; CREATE! Our studios are happy places where artists can relax and enjoy learning and practicing the fundamentals of art and design in a friendly, positive, and uplifting environment. Only the best teachers work at Cordovan. For 12 years, kids, homeschoolers, teens, and adults have found great growth, personal satisfaction, and a sense of community with others, while developing their artistic talents in weekly classes. Cordovan’s School Break Camps and Summer Camps have been voted “Best Art Camps in Austin”, year after year. Over 5000 kids and teens attended our camps last year. Come on in and create with us at Cordovan Art School!

The Art Garage logo

The Art Garage

11190 Circle Drive Austin TX  78736

At The Art Garage, you can walk in and create art anytime! Whether it’s painting pottery, creating a mosaic, canvas painting, or fusing glass, you don’t need any experience at all to make your own beautiful artwork. The Art Garage has projects for adults and kids of all ages. There are awesome events like Daddy/Daughter Date Night and scheduled classes and camps. We love to help you host amazing art parties, too! Classes, camps and parties happen in our private rooms, so there is always plenty of space. The Art Garage has seating for 50+ walk-in artists at anytime. The Art Garage is an established small business (not a chain) active in South Austin for over 12 years. Ask around, we are proud of our reputation. There is always something fun to do at The Art Garage, come on out and create art with us!
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