The Impact of Art on a Young Mind

Jess Henderson

Have you read Charlie Mackesy’s book, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse? It’s such a beautiful story of endurance, love and kindness revolving around 4 unlikely friends. Recently it was adapted into an animated short film that won best animated short film at The Oscars. 

Charlie Mackesy recently posted this to his Instagram; 

What a wonderful reminder. A reminder that art can have a profound impact on a young mind. Exposure to various forms of art, such as music, literature, painting, and sculpture, can broaden a person’s (no matter their age) perspective and foster creativity, empathy, and critical thinking skills. But in particular, for a young person, art serves as a means of learning and discovering self-expression and emotional regulation. Sometimes as creatives, we will never be able to see or know the full impact of that song, story, painting or performance. Yet our work can give another human the permission to feel and make sense of the world around them. 

One of the first songs that really made me feel understood as a teenager was by Michelle Branch called All You Wanted. I was 13 and it simultaneously summed up all the emotional angst I was feeling at the time and also inspired me to write a song from my own experience. Michelle Branch will probably never know the impression that her song made on me, and I can’t say that moving into adulthood she has been a significant musical influence (she was a bit of a one-hit-wonder.) But to 13-year-old me, for a moment, I had found a way to express myself.

So let this blog be an encouragement to the writers and artists to KEEP GOING. You may never know what is on the other side of your persistence.