Why would a busy modern-day adult take an art class? Because making art has many proven scientific benefits, including improving problem-solving skills, enhancing creativity, and reducing stress.
Gosha Levochkin is a full-time artist and the founder of Dirty Hands, an art studio in New York City that teaches contemporary art classes to grown-ups. With Dirty Hands, Levochkin hopes to provide working professionals with an opportunity to experience the benefits of getting creative during the course of their everyday lives.
“My life purpose is to inspire art and to create it myself,” says Levochkin. “Art bleeds into every fiber of my being. I love how art tells a story. It’s a great communication tool of our times and an amazing documentation of history. My goal is to share art with the world.”
Levochkin has had an innate interest in art from a young age, drawing and painting when he was a kid. A self-described “art nerd,” he enjoyed studying the masters of the last 100 years. However, growing up poor, he didn’t have access to art classes as a child or to art school as a young adult.
Beginning in his teens, Levochkin had the wherewithal to apprentice himself to several successful full-time artists, and over the years he was able to study numerous artistic techniques with them. In addition, he worked at an art store in LA for eight years, where he learned everything there is to know about art-making materials and how to use art supplies in the right way to get the most professional results.
When he realized that most adult art classes today are “tacky, not fun, and slow-paced,” Levochkin came up with the idea for Dirty Hands. His goal with the art classes taught there is to change the norm entirely. Each Dirty Hands workshop is just an hour long and yet people leave with a complete piece of art that they’re excited about, which makes the classes both practical and fun.
In addition, Levochkin also enjoys training a base of teachers to be dynamic classroom instructors. Working as an artist and running Dirty Hands, he says, “is truly the coming together of everything that I have mastered and that I love in life.”
Here are four ways being creative helps you succeed in your career:
- Creating art expands your mind and helps you solve larger problems.
According to research, doing art helps you solve problems by expanding your mind and opening you to different perspectives and creative solutions. “I hear all the time from Dirty Hands students that an hour of painting helped them solve a problem they were having at work,” Levochkin says.
- Painting and drawing make you better at design in general.
“The first thing most people do when they have an idea is to jot it down on paper. But most of those drawings look like crap!” says Levochkin. “At Dirty Hands, we show students how to work with perspective and other artistic techniques that help boost their ability to design new products and systems, as well as enhancing their overall creativity.”
- Making art reduces stress.
No matter your skill level, making art has proven benefits in reducing stress. “At Dirty Hands, our students often say after a class, ‘I needed that.’ Painting can work like meditation or a fitness class to bring relaxation and mental clarity to anyone, ,” Levochkin says. This will increase your focus and cognitive performance at work.
- Creating art encourages you to be a producer in your own life.
Levochkin says, “You are either a passive consumer or an active producer in life. At Dirty Hands, we want to encourage you to take a more active role.” Creating art can inspire you to bring new ideas to the table at work, to challenge the status quo, and to suggest different ways of doing things. This will benefit not only your own career but also the entire company.