Artists Sometimes Bloom Later in Life

artist

Retirement can allow for discovering – or rediscovering creative skills.

Perhaps you have a new neighbor that retired last year.  That neighbor just might be an artist – and there are all sorts of possibilities as to how they came to enjoy creating art.

The neighbor might have thought for many years it would be fun to learn to paint watercolors and finally, in retirement, they took the plunge, attended classes at the community art center and reached a level of competency more quickly than they expected – much to their delight.

Maybe they took art classes when they were young and in school, then chose a career path –along with helping raise a family, that didn’t allow much time for hobbies like drawing, painting or making pottery.  Now, in retirement, they’re enjoying their art hobby once again.

Or – perhaps they had a career as a graphic designer or art director at an advertising agency which left little time or energy for creating traditional fine art.  Now, in retirement, they’re pleased to have the time to create art that pleases them, without the pressures related to their former career.

I’m become acquainted with many artists in my community over the years and have learned stories much like I just described, and more.

It’s well known that people who say they are enjoying retirement are staying busy.  That can mean volunteering for community service organizations and other non-profit charities; participating in sports activities like golf, tennis, pickleball (to name a few); fishing, boating, or the many hands-on creative options –such as the traditional art pursuits mentioned above, and many more.

The psychological benefits of staying socially, intellectually and physically active at any age are easy to understand, but in the case of art, it can go deeper – into something beyond an enjoyable hobby:  Art Therapy, an integrated mental health profession.

Art Therapy is facilitated by a professional art therapist that strives to enrich the lives of individuals and families through active art-making.  The goals of Art Therapy include improving cognitive and sensory-motor functions, fostering self-esteem, and cultivating emotional resilience.

Whether it’s just for fun – or for something more serious, exploring one’s creative side through art can be an enriching experience – both in retirement –and before.  I’ve heard people say many times “I have no artistic talent”.  In my opinion, that matters very little – or not at all.  Drawing, painting, pottery making, jewelry making and so on are all things that can be learned with some proper instruction and a lot of practice.  There are active community art centers in many towns, with classes designed for “mature” adults at all skill levels.  I would encourage anyone to try their hand at creating art.  It’s fun, you’ll meet new people, and who knows – someday you might hear somebody say to you “Wow – I didn’t know you were an artist!”

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