The Wellbeing Benefits of Drawing

Discover the profound impact of artistic expression.

(Cast Of Thousands /

For centuries people of all ages and socioeconomic levels have been captivated by the artistic expression that drawing and sketching provide. So whether you like to doodle or a trained artist, picking up a pencil and sketchpad can considerably enhance your mental, emotional and physical health and boost your overall wellbeing. 

Boosting Self-Confidence
As individuals progress in their drawing or sketching journey, they witness their skills evolving and improving over time. This growth fosters a sense of accomplishment and builds self-confidence.  According to the blog 21Draw, completing a piece of art, regardless of its complexity, instills a feeling of pride, which can carry over into other aspects of life. This self-pride can  trigger your brain to release dopamine and can be a huge self-esteem booster as it provides you with a recurring sense of achievement.

Expressing Emotions
Art has a unique ability to communicate emotions that might be difficult to express verbally. Drawing or sketching becomes a safe space for releasing pent-up emotions and finding a sense of catharsis. By visually representing feelings, individuals gain better insight into their emotional state and can better process and understand their experiences.

Artist John Hewitt told the BBC that he enjoys drawing without the expectation of perfection and derives great pleasure from "a line that flows perfectly… unexpected patterns and rhythms, and other small successes. They give me enormous and immediate pleasure as they hold to no standards of 'good' drawing. I've no idea what they look like till I go indoors: the surprise is the reward." 

Mindfulness and Presence
Drawing requires keen observation and attention to detail. This focus on the present moment encourages mindfulness, where individuals become fully aware of their thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. Practicing mindfulness through art can promote a more balanced and centered lifestyle. According to Healthline, when you draw you create space for yourself to detach from unpleasant thoughts and engage in an activity you can control. Since you decide on what to draw and what colors to use, you are focused on the creative process and find relief from anxiety and stress.

Cognitive Benefits
Engaging in drawing or sketching has been linked to improved cognitive abilities. It enhances hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and spatial awareness. These cognitive benefits extend beyond art-related activities and can positively impact daily tasks and activities.

A study published by Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, revealed that despite the differences between arts and sciences, research suggests that scientific study can be enhanced by the arts. The study focused on how visual art learning is reliant on a complex system of perceptual, higher cognitive, and motor functions and suggested a shared neural substrate and strong potential for cross-cognitive transfer in learning and creativity.

The benefits of drawing or sketching extend far beyond artistic expression. From stress relief and enhanced creativity to improved self-confidence and emotional wellbeing, this creative endeavor positively impacts various aspects of life. Embrace your creativity, let your imagination flow, and witness the positive impact drawing can bring to your overall wellbeing.

7 Easy Things to Draw for Budding Artists
5 Self-Care Benefits of Art
Learning How to Make Healing Mandalas 101