Ahead of our final Art as Play workshop this Friday, 26th November, in collaboration with The Irregular Times (Get your copy here!), the art and design newspaper that we have an agony aunt column in, we thought to send out a little newsletter about the importance of play with some ideas of how to incorporate art as play in our lives.
At Mindful and Body, we’re advocates of play for play’s sake. There’s little else to it. We choose play just because. Play is presence, joy and never a bad idea. There are no goals.
But play it turns out, is not just fun. It’s also essential.
"The opposite of play is not work - the opposite of play is depression," writes Dr. Stuart Brown, in his book Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul.
Play lights up our brains, improves our mood and connects us to our bodies and the world. Play fuels our imagination, improves our problem solving abilities, enhances our creativity and promotes a sense of wellbeing.
Play allows us to laugh, to relax, to feel safe and to foster closeness, trust and empathy with others. Play makes us adaptable and resilient, lowers stress and relieves pain. Play helps us connect with our inner child and let go of pressure and perfection.
Here are some two ways to play using art — alone or with friends:
Draw to the music itself
We might make art with music in the background but we don’t often draw TO music. Think of your hand as an extension of your body and dance on the paper to your favourite song. The more we connect to the body, the less time we spend overthinking.
Use the non-dominant hand to draw
Draw somebody's portrait using the hand you don't normally use to write. Using the non-dominant hand makes us more focused and mindful, slows us down and stimulates the brain's cognitive functions. Above all, it’s impossible to be perfect —which is the point of play.
To explore more ways to enjoy art as play, join us tomorrow. The Zoom workshop is for absolutely everyone - whether you’re an artist (especially if you’re formally trained), non-artist or anybody who thinks they can’t draw! You don’t have to be great at art to enjoy art!
If you’re an Instagram user, we also have two free spots to giveaway thanks to our dear friend Kalapi! The artwork above by Tarini Sethi is from a previous Art as Play session! Simply like our pages, and either tag a friend or share the post!
We can’t wait to see you!