The Creative Process of Viewing Art (A Personal Reflection)

What catches your eye when you look at this piece of art? What emotions are evoked? Which colours, and textures strike you the most?

(Art by Ellie Lasthiotaki)

Art therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Sarah Vollmann, says that of viewing art helps people to slow down, catch their breath, and be mindful in the moment. Looking at art can also reduce anxiety and stress, and elevate our overall well-being.

But beyond these psychological benefits, I also believe that viewing art motivates us to pursue creative endeavours of our own. In that sense, viewing art is a part of the creative process in producing something meaningful to us.


I never grew up with a lot of fine art at home, but I’ve always appreciated the way a painting can brighten a room. Or how a sculpture can add a comforting touch of character to an otherwise sterile atmosphere.

Without a doubt, art has the capacity to show us different ways of viewing the world. Where there is darkness, art sheds light. And where there is light, art illuminates the stuff of the shadows.


But specifically, the activity of viewing art has helped me rediscover the beauty of the creative process, and its place in my own life. Here are 3 things that I’ve come to learn from frequently viewing fine art:

1. Inspiration can come from anywhere.

There’s a common misconception that the first stage of the creative process is when that ‘lightbulb’ or ‘eureka’ moment hits.

This is not the case.

A cursory glance at webpages that talk about the creative process, will show that there are in fact multiple stages in the process of creating art. It all begins with a point of inspiration.

For me, inspiration came in the form of a glowing, neon rainbow that lit up a greyish green space. Upon entering the ART SG exhibition, I, and so many other visitors, were struck by the luminous body of light that pierced through the dimly lit convention hall. It was a touch of variety in a monotonous environment. A symbol of hope, and a testament to how art adds colour to our lives. Literally, in this case.


This brilliant jolt of inspiration was the launchpad for an artistic project. I’ve never been much of a painter. But it was this specific moment in that art gallery—and my youthful penchant for taking multiple pictures of interesting sights—that provided me with an artistic vision, months after I’d seen it.

When it comes to inspiration, all it takes is a single moment. That’s why immersing yourself in art is an excellent way to expand the likelihood of gaining that creative ‘spark’. If you’re lacking inspiration, try combing through our diverse range of collections, and take note of which pieces stand out to you, and why.


2. Art nudges us out of our comfort zone.

Many seem to agree that art enriches our lives, but how exactly does it do that? Perhaps it’s in the way that creativity requires us to venture outside of our comfort zones.

A project wouldn’t be complete without its preliminary revisions and reconfigurations. In my case, it took many tests and experimentations before I landed on my final piece. Art makes you push the boundaries of what you know to be ‘real’.

 (my studies of multi-coloured realities)

The multitude of colour studies I did brought to mind one of the prominent artists in our collection — Than Kyaw Htay. His multicoloured landscapes were a welcome source of inspiration and finesse.


3. The definition of ‘art’ knows no bounds, and anyone can be an artist.

Like I’ve said, I’ve never had a flair for painting. Would I have done this piece differently, if I had the chance? I would. I would have enhanced the ‘glowiness’ of the rainbow, to showcase its uplifting effect on the room.


It’s not a perfect piece, and it certainly doesn’t compare to Mario Stabio’s Rainbow, but it’s still art. It’s still a body of work that involved a spark of inspiration, some clarity of thought, and a display of personally held values.


In that respect, anything could be art; from the creation of a simple object, to the composition of a complex musical piece of music.

Ultimately, it’s the process of creation that gives a work of art its value, perhaps more so than the finished product itself. The process of viewing art, is then an integral one in producing a profound and satisfying piece of work.


Far from being mere decorative statements, the pieces of art that you gravitate towards, are also pieces of yourself! In finding art that you love, you’re acknowledging and trusting your own personal taste. And in imparting new sentiments onto the piece, you’re making it a part of your own story.


 What role has creativity played in telling your own story? Are you keen to amplify the presence of creativity and aesthetics in your own spaces? Let us know by dropping us an email or text!