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Why Art Is More Important Than Ever Going Into 2021

Elyssa Dorf is the founder and creative director of Cheery Designs. She has an undergraduate degree in Communications Design from Skidmore College and a graduate degree in Design Management from Pratt Institute.

Over the last ten months, the world has had to learn to live in the moment more than ever. When plans were canceled, cities shut down, and countries closed their borders, the things that we all look forward to that help us through the mundanity of life were snatched away at a moment’s notice. It’s in this context that the arts became more crucial than ever, helping us to appreciate life’s beauty and everyday detail through creative outlets like books, films, tv, and of course, art itself.

During this time, many people took advantage of making their home a place that brings them joy. Whether this was redecorating, new furniture, or fresh decor, it was important that home was a pleasant place to be when it became our home office as well as our new social space. When the clock struck midnight on December 31, 2020, much to our dismay, Covid did not end overnight. As much as we are all hopeful that this is the year when things do get better, pandemic fatigue is hitting us hard, and we need to take active steps to look after ourselves and our minds more than ever. Below are five reasons why art is more important than ever in 2021.

Art Boosts Your Mood

Art covers so many different styles, types, forms, and they’re genuinely something out there that will speak to anyone. Art is a mood booster primarily because it can represent a happy place, a cherished memory, a favorite color, or a hobby. It serves as an escape, and if you create it yourself, it can significantly reduce the release of the stress hormone cortisol.

In addition, numerous studies have explored the powerful effects of color in boosting mood and having healing characteristics. This centuries-old healing technique is known as color therapy or chromotherapy and was even practiced by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. Particular colors are identified as having specific physical effects. For example, blue can reduce heart rate, and yellow is known to exude happiness.

Introducing color into your home doesn’t mean committing to a bright wall or investing in expensive furniture. Art is an easy and affordable way to introduce accent colors into your space without breaking the bank. Bringing color into your home office can boost your motivation during the lulls.

Try something different while everything is staying the same

Realizing that life isn’t going to change any time soon is a tough pill to swallow. But while we are pining for international trips and special times with our friends again, we can take comfort in knowing that there are some things we can control. We are still stuck at home for the majority of our days, so it’s important to keep our surroundings fresh while everything else in life feels stagnant. Art is truly transformative in your home. It can completely change the way your house looks, drawing focus to different features in your home and resetting the way these rooms make you feel. 

Committing to redecorating and rearranging the whole room is daunting, but you can achieve the same results by simply introducing or switching out your art. It is amazing how far your wall decor will transform a space. If you invest in affordable art, it can even be rotated seasonally. 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Art is a universal language, transcending borders and evoking emotion in its own way for just about everyone. Whether it’s a toddler who doesn’t know how to read yet or a foreigner who doesn’t speak your native language, anyone can enjoy art — we may not all get the same message from a piece, but we all can appreciate it. If you are a parent, your children will be spending more time at home than ever. Introducing art into your home that represents a particular time, place, or feeling is incredibly powerful in establishing the kind of positive energy and happy vibes you want to remain in your home despite everything going on in the world.

Art Makes a House a Home

Living in your space for a while before committing to particular art and decor can help you know exactly what you want when making decisions. When the time is right, bringing art into your house is what turns it into a home. We find expression in every other aspect of our lives through fashion, hair, music, but in your home, filling your house with pieces that scream ‘you’ is how you channel that expression outside of yourself. In the same way, your dress sense says a lot about you, art does the same. It’s important to hold onto our identity in a time when so much of what makes us come alive is being taken away from us.

Art Means Memories

Creating memories and holding them tight is what keeps us happy and motivated during the 9-5 life. Whether you pick up a foreign art piece on a family vacation, receive art as a gift from a loved one, or create something of your own, art serves as a reminder of a special moment. It’s a time capsule that you can revisit whenever you like from the comfort of your home. And when you move from place to place, and your home and scenery changes, your art can remain the same and provide a sense of comfort and familiarity – two things we also need now more than ever.

2020 was the year we learned to adapt, manage and cope more than we had ever been required to before. We all know by now just how surreal and tough this time is that we’re living through, but 2021 is a significant year in this historic chapter of our lives. Hope, dreams, and distant plans are gradually entering the picture again, though they still remain broad brush strokes in our empty diaries. We are still fighting Covid-19, and the fatigue of this new way of life is hitting us hard at a time that should signal new beginnings. Allow the color, joy, and creative expression of art to unapologetically fill your life with the positive vibes we’re craving now more than ever.