Those of you who follow me on Facebook will know my tagline “Love To Read”. I didn't just put it there to sell my books and journals! No, it's actually great advice for all of us. If we can learn to enjoy things that are good for us then it's win win. Many of us have probably been put off reading books and literature by school. It isn't the best environment in a lot of cases and all the joy of a subject can easily be sapped away. Rediscovering reading is something that bloggers like myself all want people to do. If you like short snappy reads like the ones on Alternative Fruit, then it's a gateway into broader and longer works. Some writers produce lengthy essays full of quotes, circumstantial facts, and varied opinions. These in depth pieces help us to gain a much deeper understanding however can also become cumbersome and over-involved. For me, in my journalism, I am continually thinking of the “so what?” rule. Do we care? That's why I usually stick to a concise style.
Of course, the logical step up from reading journalism is to reading books. It's amazing how many there are, new ones come out each day in their hundreds maybe even thousands. Visit Smashwords and you'll find their list of literature is constantly being added to by indie authors. Go to Kindle and you'll find practically the same. Then with major publishing houses and all their works, we're spoiled for choice in today's society. So, the opportunity is there, we're all able to find something worth reading if we actively seek it, just like you are doing now on this article.
Why is it good for us though? It's entertaining when we enjoy it, but what else is there? If you need any more temptation, here it is.
Mental Exercise – Yes, much like the muscles, the brain gets fit and unfit depending on how much we use it. We have to apply our mind to things in conscious ways to truly give our grey matter a decent work out and a book or blog is the ideal option here. There's no chance of autopilot when we're concentrating on something that always changes like the words in a sentence.
Improved Sleep – Reading before bedtime isn't just a tradition, we do it because it helps us to rest and relax. It gives us something non-vital to think about while we drift off and keeps us from rethinking the same routine from the daytime. This only works with paper though, as the light from screens tricks our mind into thinking it's day.
Better Brain Function – Reading helps our brain to develop in areas such as language, symbolism, and communication. By not only extending our vocabulary with more words to use, we learn new ways of saying things and perspectives on general life issues that could actually benefit our mind. The associations we learn from reading can often be applied to other things in our own lives.
Social Understanding – A writer's insight into social situations can be extremely rewarding to read. Sometimes we need to be told a story about a person who does a thing in order to look at ourselves in the way others do. We can also learn about possible behaviours people we know have and read about how fictional characters deal with it and what happens. If it's in detail in a book then it likely has a root in reality somewhere.
Better Memory – The reading process involves memory as we need to know what happened previously to understand the plot. The more of the story we read, the more we need to remember in the chain of events. New characters open dimensions of the universe that we have to make note of and keep in mind for what happens next. All this greatly improves what we remember in everyday life.
Educational – If we like to learn, and I hope we all do, then reading non-fiction is very rewarding. For me, reading about blogging and making effective websites is really helpful and I do it a lot. As a writer, I like to read books about writing as to continually improve my service to you. That whole process is rewarding as it allows me to make a better product which improves my career. Try to make room for a book about your subject and you'll find even revisiting the basics can be really beneficial.
And Relax – It's shown to reduce stress when we reading something that's not scary or dramatic. Of course if we read a book about war or monsters we'll go through the emotions presented to us, but in general, reading lowers adrenaline and cortisol. It takes our mind away from the things that worry us and get on our nerves and focusses our attention on something far away from it all.
Browse rare and unusual books, what will you find this time?
When it's sunny outside, it's always great to get out and about. Going for a nice long walk might be a welcome activity for many of us, however with children in tow, sometimes it can get a bit boring for them. Also, when they're at school, teachers may want to extend the walls of their classroom to the local park or public field and make a day of it. Even for adults, if we are the kind of person who wants to be productive, even in our time off, finding something to do while on a nature walk could be vital. There are lots of great ideas out there, and here are a few of my favourites.
Make A Map: It doesn't have to be excellent, just have a go. Try to get things in the right place and draw them in. This helps us to learn geography skills which could help us if we're ever lost. It helps us to pay attention to our surroundings and to be mindful of where we are in relation to them.
Paint The Scene: Obvious I know, but how many times have you actually gone outside and painted something? If you're like me, not nearly enough. Go and take the opportunity when you can. This activity helps us learn art skills, and also co-ordination and observation. These all help us in daily life.
Seed Planting: We know that trees are being cut down too fast and if we're not careful from now on, we could lose a lot of natural diversity and beauty. So many medicines and remedies are based on naturally occurring ingredients. If we don't sustain our diversity we stand to lose a huge stockpile of undiscovered chemistry. Where ever you live, if you are in public green space that already has trees in it, then go ahead and plant more. Make sure they're naturally occurring ones and that you mix them up. Planting flowers can take place anywhere as long as the land is free to use. Woods, fields, footpaths, verges, anywhere that flowers naturally grow. We're only doing what the plants do naturally.
Explore The Soil: With a simple magnifying glass, we can take a look under rocks and in loose soil to find all manner of weird and wonderful organisms. These may be far too small to usually see. If we have a stronger lens then use it. Make notes and draw pictures of what you find.
Leaf Hunting: How many types can you find? Can you name them? Who can find the most? This helps us to learn about the environment around us and to appreciate diversity.
Build a Shelter: Engineering games are really exciting. Finding the bits and bobs that fit the purpose and putting them together is tricky fun. It might not be good enough to sleep in first time around, but perhaps it makes a nice shade. The more you try it, the better they will become.
Make Stepping Stones: If there's a river nearby that's not dangerous then building a walkway over it with stones helps us fit pieces together. It also lasts for a long time and helps other people. Hunting for the right size rocks is entertaining, carrying them across is good exercise.
Look For Maths: Repeating patterns and mathematical relationships are all over nature. Point them out and see if others can find any too. Fractals and ratios are found everywhere. Even counting petals is a maths observation.
Make Nature Art: Build something from sticks and stones. Decorate it with all kinds of things you might find laying around. Make sure everything is natural and already on the ground. It's best to not pick flowers and leaves when they're alive.
Hopefully that will keep everyone busy and entertained throughout the summer months. There are of course many books that are rammed with even more ideas.
Not all of us have the freedom to travel far and wide. In the past, only the lucky ones could experience the great richness and diversity of our great world. As media spread around the planet, magazines, newspapers, television, and radio were able to bring culture to our homes. The themes on these services remained fairly localised and within given boundaries. We had no real choice, the editors chose for us. This was however a big step forward in cultural terms, as it was possible to establish community wide concepts via new and creative ideas sourced from around the world.
As the internet evolved and found its way into more people's homes, the ability to search for and discover things about the world increased. No longer did we have to go and see it for ourselves, or find the right book, the information and images could be delivered to our screens. It's not exactly the same as being there, however with so many exhibits behind rails or glass, is there really that much difference? The feeling of being close to it perhaps doesn't reach the digital realm, but the information and learning we can do remains the same.
There's a lot of internet out there, most of it dismal and boring. Sometimes we find something worth our attention, worth linking to, and talking about. Rather than the latest celebrity clothing outrage or what Donald Trump said this time, the rest of us enjoy experiencing the better side of our beautiful planet. Humans as an expression of nature create many things. We create buildings, cities and countries. We humans create art, music, literature, and performances. Our technology is a natural product of our ability to think and learn, it's a product of our bodies as everything is designed for us to use. All of this expression of our kind is available for us to go and see in person or browse on the web.
The digitisation of our universe, as in putting all of human knowledge and culture into computer format, not only compresses what was once a massive and incomprehensible network of ideas and stories into relatively tiny hard-drives, it makes it instantly available to anyone connected to it. So by shrinking it in one way, we expand it in the other, taking everywhere at once and putting it on a relatively small computer network allows a relatively small person to access everywhere at once. This has correspondence with spiritual practice too, where meditation into self reveals a universe within as a mirror of our own reality.
It's great when entire museums of work go online, because for many of us it's not in our ability to go there in person. Perhaps one day things will change, with hard work and determination many have found financial freedom. As those who stand astride the broken dreams of so many more can freely walk the corridors of this planet, the rest of us can adequately amble the digital world online. I hope Alternative Fruit will serve as a museum once things draw to a close, for those who've read the about section will know, this site is a shrine to the spirit of creativity in the universe.
What's already a museum is the New York Met. I read in Open Culture today that their collection of art books and catalogues stretches over 50000 in number! And, to make it more exciting, they're all online for you to download! This gives me and you a lot to read about. Let's all spend some time with this collection as in truth, there's nothing quite like exploring collections that span for longer than we have been alive. Enjoy.
Trends are fickle creations, when someone or something cool is seen a particular way then many others follow suit in order to match that relevance associated with particular styles of design. Rather than do what we want to do, a business knows that other people come first. We have to provide what they are looking for, not what we want them to look at. So there needs to be some consideration for the trend of the day when it comes to certain things. Alternative Fruit does stand on its own here, where the idea is to be something different and creative. That's the point of this website, so it doesn't really count so much, however in most circles we have to know what the common themes are.
Logo design is paramount to communicating a business message in a simple way. The design of a logo tells a person not only what the company is called but what it is like. By suggesting certain aesthetic qualities, its possible to draw people's attention to certain qualities a business could have. It makes sense then that the clean cut simple logo has been the flavour of choice of recent times. No frills logo design says a lot about how effective and to the point the service or solution is going to be.
However, people can get tired of the same thing. We know that fashion changes its clothes every few weeks and when it comes to communication and business, the turn over may be slower but it's still there. We know alternative media often remains fairly stable within its own given boundaries as compared to commercial products, which follow the many themes of popular society. Again, we can look to Alternative Fruit to see how that works. This site doesn't try to please the masses by wearing the right clothes or delivering content in the hi-tech new ways, quality and consistency plays a key role instead.
With commercial logo design, we are now seeing a shift into fancy fonts with curves and expressive elements. According to Fastco-design, the Millennial designers of the day are choosing the nostalgic route to conveying information. Dramatic designs with personality and character are gradually replacing those plain and unappealing motifs which served a purpose but failed to make a lasting impression.
Getting a logo right for your business, band, website, etc. is important. It must tell the story of your service in as simple but memorable way as possible. Many people choose to get a professional to do the job they would rather not, however if you're brave enough then take a look at this massive selection of 1970s and 1980s logos from tech companies. For those of us (including me) who were around at the time, it's interesting to see how many we remember. We can thank the clever communicative design for that. Enjoy the blast from the past.
No-one who has ever lived has gone through life without making a mistake. From the moment we're born and we try to look at our mother and miss to the time we're ancient and we're forgetting where the kitchen is, life is full of human errors. People who lead the way in their area are just as prone to error as you or I, and when we are not given set out instructions because we're doing something unique or new, mistakes are bound to happen. So what is the secret to making successful mistakes? How can we best use the experience to our benefit? Once we can change a mistake into an education we can not only help ourselves but those who care to listen to what we have to say.
Here is a four step process that makes sense and is well worth applying to all moments of flawed thinking.
The first step in changing a problem is accepting there is one. The old cliché rings true in this situation. It's not always easy to accept that the ideas we have invested time, energy, and maybe even money in are not as valuable as once thought. Perhaps the most difficult wall to climb is the emotional attachment to our ideas. We can be so consumed by a thing that to let go of it would leave us feeling totally different. It's something that can be done over time if not immediately.
Knowing we made a mistake, or are continuing to make one, is the first step. The next one is to address it head on. We may well have to learn from someone else in order to get to the bottom of our problem. Try searching your issue online and seeing what other people are saying, or asking someone who has already gone through what you are going through. If it's not so simple then try thinking outside of the box. What is it you want to achieve? Perhaps look at the whole situation from another angle.
Don't Keep It To Yourself
No-one likes to feel that the people around them are secretly watching them fail. If they truly are an expert in the thing you are doing and they know you're making a mistake, you'd want them to tell you, right? Now it's your turn. Tell people about your mistake and what you did to remedy it, put it in a blog or in a video. If you work for someone, tell your boss. The work you've just done in solving a problem is valuable and you can make sure it is available for others to learn from.
Don't be the person who made a mistake and is now making a career out of it. That's the sort of thing reserved for criminals. No, we are better than that. Just move along and quietly put the whole thing behind you. There will always be an opportunity to recall your wisdom when the time comes, and always be able to appropriately administer your knowledge when needed but always have your sights on the next step and yes, the next big mistake that ultimately throws you into orbit (presumably that's where you want to be).
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We all have our methods, I like to mix up my tasks as I find monotony really depressing. What ever we do, if we are creative people, we need to find ways of letting out that spark without doing us harm. We also need to know where to apply that spark and what to do with it once we have it flaring. That creative side of our personality has to be given the space to exist in, and if it isn't allowed to breathe then it can make us really unhappy.
So how do we use our creative side in a way that makes sense to the rest of the world? How do we be ourselves without having the unwanted labels which all too often come with people who call themselves “artistic”? We can look at a variety of behaviours and habits that are helpful for all of us, especially if we are creative types.
Take The Initiative
Creative thinking means that we see things others don't. We create an option that isn't immediately there. So think about things on a deeper level than you may be asked to, and always check first before breaking from routine. If you're working for yourself, test your theories before applying them everywhere, It doesn't always mean being the one who has the great idea either, sometimes taking the initiative means being the first one to accept more work needs to be done. Take some training, fill in those gaps in your already worthy knowledge.
The more people in our network, the more opportunity for growth and development. Also, more people means more options for work. We all need solutions from time to time and finding solutions is a creative activity in many cases. Often people get stuck because they don't know who to turn to, that's where creative thinking comes in. If you're there to be asked, then you're there to be useful. Useful earns payment. Other people often make great companions and help to keep us going when things are getting tough out there, too.
There are always plenty of nay-sayers and anxiety ridden folk who cannot imagine themselves in your shoes. For them you're in uncharted water and they'll project all kinds of negativity at you. Imagine if you were on a sinking ship and the person next to you is shaking you and telling you to jump, you'd find that pretty normal. This is how some people see a career in the arts, and they'll tell you to jump. Don't do it. ,
Develop A Routine
Like I said at the beginning of this article, I have a habit of mixing things up a little. This helps to keep me alert and focussed. It also saves me from going slightly mad. Finding a routine though, is something that has to be achieved in order to make good work. Put things in some kind of order, know your mental and physical limits and work well within them. If one day you have to pull a double shift to get something done, it'll be much easier if you've been doing single shifts for a while.
Don't wait to be told, or for the letter to remind you, do it now. If you have work to do then set yourself a target and make sure you stick to it. Don't accept your own excuses and be your own boss. This is if you work for someone else or not, taking the reins of your life in this way ultimately reduces the stresses of work
Take Feedback Kindly
Honest feedback is valuable. We can learn about how we are perceived and how our services work for people. By listening to feedback, we can get to the bottom of sales funnels and lead leaks in order to maximise our hard earned returns. Only by listening to what our customers and users are saying can we really improve and deliver things people want, need, and enjoy.
Use Your Restlessness
It's difficult to relax when your mind is continually working on things while you're trying to rest. So why not get up and put pen to paper? Even if it's just a bit of reading or elearning, it's not difficult to keep the mind occupied on something worthwhile other than the rest. Embrace the sleeplessness and work through the night, be an inspired inventor, changing the world in little ways with creativity.
Take the risk and do your project, so what if it doesn't work out. You'll have learned a lot about what ever it is you did in the process. Everything is valuable if we take the right perspective on it. It's just about finding it. Choose the outrageous option if it's what you want to do, make your statement by applying your creative thinking to the max. Don't be shy.
Put Your Back And Your Heart Into It
Use your head of course, but if you want to make a splash then you'll need to put in a lot of work and a lot of care. It needs to be a labour of love as well as sweat. You'll likely need to take training in the right subjects to make it truly something worth showing off to your companions. If we apply care to everything we do, from caring about the project to caring about the people it is meant for, we will be more successful.
It's always worthwhile learning something new. I know that we can sometimes shy away from new information in case it makes us feel stupid, or in case we don't quite understand it, or in case it simply is wrong for us. However, it's always worth while taking on the challenge in education and opening your mental doors to new ideas. Going to the people who make it their business to educate pretty much guarantees a successful venture. Take a few courses over time. They might be a scenic route or they might be a shortcut, you'll have to try and draw your own map to make a precise judgement. Try some now for free.
Make Your Own Rules As You Go Along
Don't be a killjoy and put your work in a flowchart that must be obeyed. Allow some slack, see if you can do something new or a bit crazy within reason and don't worry too much. By putting on too many restrictions, we might not have the right path up the mountain. You sometimes have to go round a few corners before you get to the path that leads up and so always be prepared to take those corners.
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Whether you're a boss or just in charge of your own direction, leadership is a skill we all have to employ from time to time. During our lives, occasionally the light falls on us and we have to take the role of leader. Maybe we know the most about something or perhaps we have a challenge that we must overcome. People who are employed to be leaders such as line managers, directors, and teachers, know that sometimes the right option is a new option. This takes an element of creative thinking, rationalising the most effective route through the various aspects of the problem.
Works of art, especially ones that have elements of the abstract, can help prompt us to see things in the way needed. Often the answer to our problems is brewing in the subconscious and with just a little nudge from our environment, we can get a brainwave to pop up like toast. We are used to taking inspiration from our environment, from construction to poetry, nature often already holds the key to perfection. It could be said that a leader's mind is geared up for looking to the world around them in order to gain the information needed to progress.
Of course, as art is always relative to the individual who is observing it, the information available from abstract and impressionist art will be respective to their own inner topography. Our motivations and inhibitions will guide our thinking process to see the relationships and patterns that make the most sense to us, even if in a non-tangible way.
Professional leaders are already being exposed to artistic based training in order to help them be more effective. According to Harvard Business School, two projects have recently been undertaken involving police officers, doctors, and FBI agents. This shows that there is real value in the use of art as a way to prompt our decision making and problem solving capabilities.
Replicating the way others do things is often a safe bet, if we want to do something we know is working then look to the people that have already made their way in this area. If you're looking for a colour for your new payment button, for example, then look to the big companies like Amazon, Paypal, and eBay, to see what their colour choices are. With more complicated and abstract challenges, try going to the local gallery or flicking through the pages of a quality book about art.
PS. Good job for those who took their Free course at Shaw Academy recently, how many of you took the accredited leadership diploma? There's still time if you haven't taken one yet.
Thanks to the video wizards at Nasa and Mashable, we can now explore a wonderful fly over of the lunar surface. Consider yourself lucky, as only in modern times have only a handful of peple ever reached it. Now we can all get a glimpse of the real thing, even if over the internet.
“Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
The Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter has been capturing high definition images for the past nine years. The collaborative snaps come together to produce a stunning real to life animation. We can see how the rock surface resmbles that of Earth, with contours and valleys, albeit dry and dusty. The Moon is completely volcanic in origin, having been a completely molten ball of rock at its birth. The most widely accepted theory is that an object similar in size to Mars collided with the Earth in its early history. This created the Moon as we know it today from the off-shooting debris.
Perhaps within our own lifetimes people will begin to live and work on the Moon. It's recently been discovered that there is frozen water under the surface and with water there is oxygen and hydrogen. These are two vital ingredients to space exploration and ones we perahaps take for granted at home. What ever happens, for long term off world life to exist, we'll need to build a biosphere. Maybe there will be space-craft manufacturing there with a the lower gravity, launching giant ships from the Moon would be less costly. Perhaps we will someday see hotels where people can stay for the out of this world experience. I imagine Virgin Orbit have some good ideas., I always thought they should do maternity wards but i'm sure they hear that all the time. We will have to see.
Watch the tour here.
Top Tips For Staying Cool When You Work In The Arts
When the arts become your job, we can no longer accept payment in verbal responses and friendly compliments. Like any other job, we do what we do because we need to get paid for it. This changes everything, and instead of creating to satisfy our own private world, we are working to satisfy paying customers. Taking this on board is one of the biggest steps any professional creative has to make, ins and outs on the balance sheet are what it is all about for any employee, self employed or not.
The stress of this situation can be excruciating. Especially when the people who like what we do expect us to live on compliments alone! Don't be afraid of accepting this either, trying to hide from stress only makes it worse. Staying cool is paramount to remain on the good side of creativity. Once we let the pressure get between us and our work, both suffer. Once we can identify the pressures we are under, we can address them with particular mindsets that help us to thrive. We can prevent the natural pressures of being a professional artist from getting between us and our work.
How does this happen? We need to look at a few different things to build a big picture. They all boil back down to how we view our self, our work, and the world we are working in. Putting these things in equal terms is the main issue, and yet the dynamics between all three can be complex and so they need further definition.
It may seem obvious, but it's surprising how many people expect to be successful without learning how first. Simply because you have a knack for doing something well, it won't automatically qualify you to succeed. For any creative product, it must be marketed. Studying marketing is really important to understand how to package and describe your work and then how to get it in front of the people who are most likely to want it. We can learn marketing that is specific to your particular art, whether it's a book, a painting, or a computer game. There's a technique that will help you and it's simple to go and find the right course online.
Brainstorm Your Path
It's never clear cut and the routes to financial success with art are numerous. No two products are the same, and neither are their road. We must be able to plot out a journey for ourselves and actively seek the steps. Knowing where we are and where we need to be leaves us only the way to get there. Opportunities present themselves all the time, if we spot them we can pluck up the courage and see about getting involved. Always keep an open mind about how we can get to where we need to be, and also plan for change meaning don't accept only one outcome but acknowledge that we could go for a number of them safely.
Pull It Together
It's likely you have many projects and ideas that you run around in circles trying to water and keep going. These need to be consolidated or left alone. We will lose our energy very quickly if we try to run lots of various artistic ventures. Stick to one and then try to employ as many of your talents as you can within the main frame of what you do. It takes a bit of creative thinking sometimes to find the way everything can link up, but that's what you're in the creative industry for isn't it? You're good at this sort of thing.
It's Fine To Not Aim For The Top
Not everyone wants to be the next global sensation, and it's very possible to make a great living by being quiet and largely unknown. Think of the cafe on your high street, it makes a good living by serving several hundred people a day. If you were to go to the next high street along, it wouldn't be a well known landmark. We can be like that cafe. If we want to be KFC and become a global phenomenon, we must accept that to cater for many we have to do a lot more work.
Keep It Real
This isn't a game and we're not playing around. Be honest about where you really are in the arts world, and where others around you are too. It's not all about you and you likely are not where you want to be yet. So take notice of the truth and drop the wishful thinking. It's okay to visualise and it's okay to imagine the future but always keep your feet firmly in the now.
Enjoy The Process
It's really fun to learn and improve. Finding a method and pathway to success involves a lot of changes to how we work and what we work for. It isn't a drag to learn new skills when those skills provide us with the bread on the table. It's just a fact of life. It's really important to appreciate how much there is left to do and look forward to further study. Once we stop loving learning we won't be able to adapt to new challenges.
Keep Your Wits About You
Listen to your gut feelings all the time. It's really easy to be swept up in the razzmatazz of the arts world and fall for sneaky tricks. A lot of people just want your money without offering anything in return. Perhaps they offer a cosy publishing deal or a cosy arts contract. If it's cosy then it's too good to be true. Nothing is easy and that is especially true in the world of professional art. I will let you in on something now, when I was a new author, I fell for a publishing scam. Someone offered me a publishing deal, they said they had shops in the States and that I'd likely sell many copies. I went for it, and soon after I was asked for money to complete the deal. It wasn't much so against my better judgement I handed over a few dollars. The book did sell a few, and yet I never received anything in royalty. This showed me that with self-publishing I can control my income myself. There is a bit of prejudice still floating around with self-publishing, however anyone who cares to actually look will find all is in order with my work. No vanity intended.
Having Said That, Don't Intentionally Fail
It's easy to be afraid of what the next step could mean for you, your time schedule, and the things you love in life. Taking the job at the big firm will ruin your plans for the next few weeks while you get to grips with it. We all need to accept that change means adaptation and so having the right change that suits us is important. Not everyone can be able to do the things needed, meaning there is opportunity for all, not just you. For me, working at home works extremely well as I struggle with social anxiety. It also means I can be an active parent and also hold down a high pace job. Don't set yourself up to have to quit and also don't be afraid of taking on new challenges when you have the ability. Stop pointing out your flaws and weaknesses and focus on your strengths.
Love What You Do But Don't Expect The World To
In the art business, we are all in it together. Everyone cares the most about their work and yours is only a sideline to them. It will always be like this. We can't expect everyone to suddenly drop their agendas because we created something great. More often the creation will only push others back to their labs to find something that puts them on equal footing. It's not a community with you in the middle, and it likely never will be. Enjoy your place in the art world and stop fighting with it, learn to co-operate and work in unison with your peers. Have fun, and good luck!
Almost 1,300 mental health patients in the British South West have had their anonymous data collated and inspected by researchers at the University of Gloucestershire. The participating individuals each were prescribed an art course as part of their mental health care plan. After publishing the results in the European Journal of Public Health, it's now open knowledge that the arts have positive effects when applied in this way.
Non-medical methods of health-care are called social prescriptions and can include any number of socially relevant tools for better health. Holistic healthcare takes notice of the fact that our well-being is reliant on many factors in life and chemical interventions are not necessarily the most appropriate primary option. Mental health is one of the fastest growing issues in the UK, with loneliness and stress contributing the most. Living nuclear lives in high pressure jobs like so many do can leave us feeling drained and without the community comforts we need to feel supported.
Art courses on prescription are not the same as art therapy, where clients take an amateur approach to creativity under the wing of a professional. The new styled prescriptions offer clients a way of learning a skill, either in painting, drawing, or writing. This hugely benefits them in the way it offers new layers to their life and shows them that they can learn things they enjoy. The courses give participants confidence and helps to increase self-esteem.
One important factor in the data collection is that the anonymous nature of the results means that individual cases can't be traced back to underlying conditions. These could be a diagnosis or a life problem that brought them into mental health care. Even though the results have been highly positive, the scheme is not gaining enough support to become a nationwide mental health care initiative. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health, and Well-Being have credited the investigation and brought the results forward. This first time for such a large data set enables researchers to strike out the small scale patterns which may not translate into a wider area.
It's not always the job of the government to provide benefits to society, we are all able to use this knowledge to improve the lives of those around us. With many arts courses available online, some of which are free for all, the options are already there for many of us to take positive steps to wellness.
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