Paint in a cup with paintbrushes. Source: Pexels

Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art. - Neil Gaiman

Entering a new year, or in this case - a new decade, is exciting. For most people, January signals a time for a change and a time for improvement. It is an opportunity to do better and be the best version of themselves.

Truth be told, you do not have to wait for the New Year to make a change. In fact, according to studies, most resolutions are already forgotten or abandoned by February.  With the promise of a new life comes the pressure of doing well. Save yourself from stress and anxiety and start living a better life today.

Change doesn't have to be drastic. Incorporating good habits and taking on hobbies that improve your quality of life can be effective small steps. One of the best ways to lead a more fulfilling existence is through art.

Art isn't a difficult hobby to endeavor in. Contrary to popular belief, it isn't reserved for the rich and well-to-do. In metropolitan locations around Canada, like Toronto and Vancouver, art classes and museums are a dime a dozen.

Surrounding yourself with art and creating pieces of your own can do wonders for your well-being. It can affect your physical, mental, and emotional health in ways that you would be surprised by. Below are just a few ways art can change your life:

Restless and Wanting to Travel? Art Can Give You an Escape

Having a 9 to 5 job can take a toll on someone's health. Unfortunately, clocking in for 8 hours every day is the reality for most people. Most take refuge in making the most out of their vacation leaves and taking a good, rejuvenating holiday.

But what happens when you are feeling restless and ready to travel but you don't have the means to?

Thankfully, you don't have to mope around and wait for your vacation leaves. Surrounding yourself with beautiful art can help you alleviate the restlessness that you are feeling. According to studies, beautiful landscape paintings and water scenes are effective in relaxing the brain and lowering stress levels.

So when you are itching to get away from some R&R - escape with painting instead!

Wanting to Learn More About Yourself? Art is a Gateway to Your Personal Style and Taste

Art is a deeply personal experience. Taste and preferences can vary from person to person. Even the meaning an art piece holds can be different.

With that said, if you are on the quest for self-discovery, searching and attending art classes near me is a great way to learn more about who you are, how you work, and what you like. Art is reflective. Working on a piece requires the artist to reach into their souls and reveal what is within through a paintbrush. It can help us grow to become the best version of ourselves.

Feeling Depressed or Anxious? Improve Your Dopamine Levels with Art

The mental and emotional benefits of art is a relatively well-researched topic.  According to studies, looking is similar to falling in love. Because these are scientists, you are sure that they aren't just waxing poetic and using flowery words to describe the effects of art.

Research surrounding the effects of art has shown that taking time to examine a beautiful piece has the same effects to the brain as falling in love. During the activity, the brain produces dopamine aka the feel-good chemical.

So the next time you feeling sad or anxious, making a trip to the museum maybe in Edmonton or enrolling yourself in an art class is a surefire way to feel better. Art is science approved!

Experiencing Physical Aches and Pains? Art Can Help Improve your Physical Health

More than art's positive effects on your mood, did you know that it plays a role in physical healing as well? There is a reason why hospital halls are decked with artwork.

For most people, being in a hospital is never a pleasant experience. Unless you are welcoming a new child into the world, a hospital is equivalent to disease or sickness. The art that lines the halls of your local medical clinic is there in order to make you feel better. According to research, art improves staff morale. It can also result in shorter hospital visits for patients.

Moreover, a particular article by The Huffington Post has shown that chronically ill patients have benefited from taking part in art classes. Those who participated have better medical treatment reception than those who didn't.

Stumped and Unproductive? A Painting or Two can Get Your Inspired

Whether you are decking your home office or decorating your company's workspace, making sure that art is part of your budget can do wonders in your productivity.

Spaces that are rich in visual art can affect output by 15%. Moreover, if you allow yourself to pick out art in your own space - maybe even create your own - you are more likely to be 30% more productive because you are empowered by your own space.

There are many ways art can improve your life. The list above is just a few ways it can affect your way of living for the better. With that said, if you are interested in incorporating art in your day to day, Ottawa is a fine place to start.

Art in Ottawa: What to Expect

Black and White pieces in art museum. Source: Pexels

When it comes to art, Ottawa isn’t exactly the first city in Canada people think of. After all, unlike bigger cities like Calgary and Montréal, the country’s capital is more known for lumber, the cold weather, and good shawarma.

Nevertheless, the last few years have seen the flourishing of Ottawa’s art scene. From a sleepy government town to an urban art settlement, artists have been flocking to Ottawa to take part in the cultural revolution.

If you are interested in visiting or settling in the city, below are must-see art destinations that you shouldn’t miss:

The Ottawa Art Gallery

Otherwise known as OAG, the Ottawa Art Gallery is home to both historical and contemporary art pieces. The gallery hosts new exhibitions frequently which heavily features local artists. The main hall is currently in construction. However, all pieces are currently on display at the OAG annex located in the Ottawa City Hall.

The National Art Gallery of Canada

Whether you are a tourist or a resident, there is no missing the National Art Gallery of Canada. Home to easily one of the most recognizable sculptures of a spider in all of the Great White North, the National Art Gallery of Canada has been host to spectacular exhibitions that includes Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun - Marie Antoinette’s portraitist.

Gallery 101

More than just a gallery, Gallery 101 is an artist-run centre and charity. Aside from exhibitions and solo shows, this art destination hosts workshops and events that support Ottawa’s local art scene.

Bank Street

Want a completely different art experience? Bank street is a must-visit for those who are more interested in urban street murals. From a painting of a woman surrounded by electrical items to vibrant tropical fish, there is something for everyone at Bank Street.

Art Classes in Ottawa: What to Expect

Person using paint palette. Source: Pexels

As an adult, it could be difficult to fathom that you still can learn a new school. However, if you are based in Ottawa and are itching to take on art as a new hobby, then you are in luck. There are plenty of art classes and art tutors in Ottawa for you to choose from.

Below are just a few that you should take into consideration:

Watercolor Bootcamp with Crystal Beshra

For art beginners, watercolor can be a daunting medium to endeavor in. After all, there is much about watercolor that you can’t control. Thankfully, Crystal Beshra’s two-day watercolor bootcamp would teach you how to embrace this medium in all its colorful glory.

Drawing Basics with Kate Green

Want to dive deep into drawing? Then, Kate Green’s drawing basics class is right for you! This intensive six-week course would take you through everything there is to learn about drawing. Guaranteed results and improvement in less than two months!

Exploring Abstract at Wallack’s

Wallack’s is mostly known as an art store. But did you know that the establishment hosts art workshops as well?

In this 8-week workshop, students will get to explore the works of women in abstract. From Yayoi Kusama to Hilma af Klimt, you would be privy to the secrets of the masters.

Learning with Superprof’s Art Tutors

Taking time to pursue a hobby is a great way to perform self-care. However, we at Superprof understand that not everyone is cut out to join a class. There are people who learn better with one-to-one training.

With that said, we want art to be accessible to most people. We have vetted the best tutors in Ottawa and the rest of Canada to provide you with classes that turn results. All you have to do is select a private teacher, schedule a class, and you are good to go!

Who says becoming an artist is difficult? Not with Superprof!

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Mike is a freelance writer with a passion for continuous learning, self-improvement, and helping others through education.