10 Reasons Why Drawing Is Good For You

10 Reasons Why Drawing Is Good For You

An exercise for the hands, eyes and mind.
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Drawing is more than just doodling on a sheet of paper. Sketching is a form of visual thinking, a way of expressing emotions, and recording moments in time. There are many benefits to be found if you practice it daily.


A drawing I did from life of a conch shell in graphite. In drawing it, I learned its form, shape, and natural rhythm.

1. Visualization

Drawing helps us to map out mental images of the world we see around us. This is helpful for numerous reasons. We can map out plans, diagrams, and concepts for what we want to bring into the world, or we can make images of how a system works. Visual aids often help us comprehend large amounts of data that our brain cannot understand through numbers or words alone. On the more emotional side, drawing allows the creator to open one’s expressive vents and let emotion become recorded in the marks of your drawing. Often feelings are too complex for us to understand, and art helps record and express them.

2. Coordination

Drawing takes coordination between your hands, eyes, and brain.

If you play basketball, you develop hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills. Drawing works the same way, except for your fine motor skills. The more you practice drawing, the better you get, and the better your hand, eyes, and brain can harmonize together. Your hands become an instrument to help you record the world around you.

3. Cerebral benefits

In today’s world, it is so easy to be distracted by social media and our digital devices. Our brains get a temporary endorphin release from these diversions, and it is easy to devote a large amount of time to them. Unfortunately, this can make us less industrious in our free time. Drawing is a great release, and because we are using our brain while we are drawing, we build new connections and pathways in our brain. Both sides of the brain actively participate, as the left side is responsible for logical thinking and the right supplies the creativity. As a result, our brains grow.

4. Analytical Skills

When drawing, whether consciously or not, we are making decisions about what we are depicting. This improves decision-making skills and helps with problem-solving. If a drawing isn’t going the way it was intended, an artist has to be able to step back and make rational decisions about how to fix it. It is also important to be able to step back and decide what is and isn’t working in a drawing, what step to take next, and what it is we like about it.

5. Concentration

It is almost always safe to say that if we aren’t doodling absentmindedly while on the phone, that we are focused on a drawing. If you want your drawing to go the way you intend, you need to focus on what is going on in your drawing and what you are looking at. If you are drawing from life, you want to be present in the moment, and record the beauty of everything that is going on around you. The relationship between you and the subject matter is one of the most important parts of what is going on in the piece.

6. Understanding

Drawing allows us to better understand our subject matter. That understanding could be the form of the object, the gentle curve of a line, or how we feel and respond to whatever the subject matter is. The more you draw something, the more you remember it and know it. Our minds begin to grasp more of what it really is rather than our conceptual symbols of it.

7. Developing an “eye”

Some people believe that artists “see” differently. This may or may not be true, but those who draw from life regularly are practiced in picking up on proportions, relationships, and compositions. They are often good judges of tonal relationships, as well as of measurements and distances.

8. Communication

Drawing is a visual language of symbols and representations. Whether you are only drawing stick figures or drawing realistic depictions, this visual language exists. As humans, we read a drawing as being something based on the symbols that are given to us and the concept we form through them. This language exists across cultures for all that can see and associate. Just think about how universal signs are.

9. Mental Attitude

Some people feel most at ease when drawing. It is often used for therapy and stress relief. Creating something from nothing also makes us feel productive, and that helps us feel good about ourselves. Being present in the moment and focused during a drawing session can be a feeling akin to meditation. We only get down on ourselves during a drawing if we let our ego get in the way and try to compete with others or ourselves.

10. Pleasure

What could be better than being able to fill an empty page and bring our thoughts and musings to life? Drawing is fun, and should be enjoyed.

I hope this list of the benefits of drawing inspires you to go out into the world and draw!

Cover Image Credit: Julianna Wells

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Things To Do When You're So Bored All You Want To Do Is Cry

Do something artsy

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Everyone has times when they have nothing to do and boredom strikes way too hard. From experience, I have found some top things to do when you literally have nothing else to do!

1. Clean

Not super fun, but will keep you busy.

2. Netflix

Find a new show to binge watch. Watched them all? Rewatch something you haven't seen in a while!

3. Shopping

Retail therapy can always keep you busy.

4. Make a home cooked meal

Spend some time in the kitchen and make something yummy! Even invite some friends.

5. Visit friends/ family

Pop in on some people you care about that you haven't seen in a while!

6. Write

Writing is something we all do and is a great way to express ourselves!

7. Exercise

Hit the gym or go for walk, do something to keep you nice and fit.

8. Volunteer

Go to an animal shelter, food bank, museums, or anywhere in your area that needs help.

9. Look for a job

If you're bored, maybe getting a part time job will keep you a little occupied. Plus it's extra money in your pocket.

10. Draw/ do something artsy

Even if you think you're a bad artist, drawing is something fun to do! You'll get better in time.

11. Join an Odyssey Team!

Writing articles through the Odyssey is an amazing experience and can always keep you busy!

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