Embrace a pause and explore the boredom in Art

  • 2023
  • STEAM
Vicky Ng, Art Teacher

 

In our fast-paced world, my students have mastered the art of keeping themselves occupied. You might have come across the statistic saying that the average attention span has shrunk to a mere eight seconds. With countless distractions for their attention, it’s not surprising that students turn to their devices whenever the threat of boredom arises. 

As educators, we are all too familiar with the phrase, “I’m bored!” We’ve got your worksheets, activity centers, and various tools to combat boredom. However, what if I told you that boredom could actually hold the key to unlocking one's creative potential? It may sound counterintuitive, but boredom plays a crucial role in the artistic journey, enabling artists to push the boundaries of their craft and explore uncharted territories. 

Boredom sparks creativity by stimulating divergent thinking and making unique connections. It enhances problem-solving skills and encourages innovative approaches. Research and studies have shown that individuals who experience boredom tend to excel in creative activities. They generate more original ideas and exhibit greater perseverance in tackling challenging tasks. When confronted with boredom, our brains actively seek stimulation, motivating us to discover fresh solutions to overcome obstacles.have shown that individuals who experience boredom tend to excel in creative activities. They generate more original ideas and exhibit greater perseverance in tackling challenging tasks. When faced with boredom, our brains actively seek stimulation, motivating us to find new solutions to challenges.

Paradoxically, allowing oneself to experience boredom enhances productivity and focus in the long run. By giving our minds a chance to rest, we replenish our mental energy and improve our ability to concentrate on tasks.

With a compacted learning schedule, the Arts Interim week is crucial to give a pause to the busy week and provide a chance for them to experience boredom by continuously working on one art activity for a week. Students are allowed to slow down their pace and enjoy the moment of fun from Art, the boredom from Art and the replenishment from Art. Boredom of Art fosters personal growth and a deeper understanding of oneself. It promotes relaxation and mindfulness and can alleviate stress and anxiety. Studies revealed that the brain’s “Default Mode Network” becomes active during boredom. Brain imaging shows the network activates when the brain is at rest. This network is associated with creativity and self-reflection while also restoring brain function.

The time you spend while being bored is definitely not time wasted. Many experts agree that boredom is a motivation state, a call to action that pushes you to change your environment. In line with that, numerous studies show that boredom can trigger your creativity and enhance productivity. Moreover, in some cases, being bored can motivate you to be empathetic, and even help you make significant changes in your life.

So, next time you feel bored, try to resist the urge to take your phone. Embrace these moments of mind wandering to see how boredom can activate that imagination network in your brain. Plus, be sure to keep a notebook nearby, in case you come up with some creative ideas.

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