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DOPAMINE. A SHORT REFLECTION ON THE POWER OF ART

March 5, 2019

Read the full article on WeTakeNote.com!

WE TAKE NOTE sent Shirley Ju to the LA Art Show. It’s one of the most diverse, politically-charged, socially-conscious exhibitions on the West Coast. So we thought it would be the best place for her to explore art’s power to heal and soothe us all. She explored the halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center in search of peace of mind — and we think she found it.

PHOTO CREDIT: JORDAN VAN DER WEYDEN

It’s humbling to remember what art does for the mind and soul. By definition art is a means of communication. So creating art is an act of expressing one’s emotions, thoughts, and feelings while letting the viewer dictate their own meaning.

They say a picture is a thousand words. But sometimes art comes in the most abstract forms so it’s hard to find the words to express it. Whether that art is music, painting, drawing, writing (woot), shooting, editing, cooking, (the list goes on), the health benefits are both abundant and transparent.

Each one of us is born with an innate desire to express ourselves. With it, we have the ability to create and focus on the things we enjoy most but may have trouble articulating.

PHOTO CREDIT: JORDAN VAN DER WEYDEN

When I was in treatment, I used to dread the weekly art therapy session on our schedule. I hated it. I never was good at drawing or coloring and despised the thought of it. It reminded me of high school and the difficulties I faced there. But once I stopped resisting the power of art I began to understand its therapeutic value.

Simply looking at art increases the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine. It’s known as the “motivation molecule.” It allows artists and viewers to enter a meditative state and become inspired or temporarily healed. It’s also scientifically proven to raise your self-esteem. That’s the beauty of art. There’s no wrong answer and there’s no rules. Everything is accepted and valued.

At the LA Art Show my neurons were being stimulated by some of the most prestigious galleries and artists in the world. It eased my mind and sparked my creative spirit.

PHOTO CREDIT: JORDAN VAN DER WEYDEN

The average person has 60,000 thoughts per day, and 95% of them are exactly the same each and every day. Art is a welcomed distraction. It provides you with a safe space to create and take a break from the stressors of everyday life.

It increases feelings of love, empathy, and tolerance. Imagine what conflicts could be solved on a worldwide scale with art. We need to see more of it in our streets to help ignite the change we want to see in ourselves and the world.

PHOTO CREDIT: JORDAN VAN DER WEYDEN

More photos from the LA Art Show can be found on our GALLERY page.

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