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Editorial blog

West Design’s Jo Bray, explains how education is embracing wellbeing and mindfulness

08 Jun 2019

Jo Bray, West Design’s Managing Director - Sales and Marketing, discusses how education is embracing wellbeing and mindfulness to support academic performance, and how this can boost back to school sales.

Ever since I was young, I’ve been surrounded by art and craft supplies, which has led me to appreciate more and more the massive benefits that creative expression can bring.

Something which I’ve actively encouraged my own children to take part in - having a very positive impact on their health and wellbeing (especially considering the relentless pull of screen time). With mindfulness beginning to take a prominent role in schools’ and universities’ curriculums across the UK, I wanted to share the benefits that getting creative can have not only on student wellbeing but academic performance. And, how you can ensure that art and its benefits are accessible to all your customers.

Promote a creative mind

It’s no surprise that art is enjoyable. A ‘fridge masterpiece’ needn’t be the only benefit of engaging in art. It’s a gateway to personal expression, while developing other excellent characteristics such as communication and fine motor skills. Promoting and encouraging a creative mind will lead to the development of effective thinking and problemsolving, vital components in educational improvement. Also, getting creative helps to develop an awareness of surroundings, enhances capacity for focus and concentration and provides an effective life-long strategy to deal with stress and anxiety.

Effectively manage wellbeing and mental health

It’s so easy to be consumed by social media; the health and wellbeing of the younger generation is becoming more important than ever. Knowing how to manage their wellbeing effectively goes a long way to support their academic success and development. Stepping away from their screens and engaging in personal expression such as painting, card making, playing an instrument, dance and drama or even film and singing, is important in stabilising their health and wellbeing and shoring a foundation in which growth and success can be easily achieved.

A passion for success

As we all know, it’s impossible to be good at absolutely everything… I, for one, am not the most gifted with a paint brush in hand! Discovering and encouraging a passion in certain topics or activities really helps to drive success in all other areas of life, especially ones that maybe aren’t of particular interest. The more enthusiasm that is shown, the more inclined they will be to work hard on self-improvement, increasing their chances of success. Also, enjoying their passion will give an insight into how that joy can be transferred into other ‘less enjoyable’ topics and activities.

Failure is the making of success

Sometimes, the best life lessons come from failures, or learning how not to do something. It’s healthy to experience success and failure on our own as natural consequences can be great learning opportunities. Art provides a medium in which different techniques, approaches or methods can be experimented with, helping to instil a ‘growth mindset’. And that makes it easier to bounce back from failure. All the while encouraging resilience and the exploration of how they can get better at doing something.

Not just for artists and art students

The world of art materials and tools can often be a complex and daunting place, especially for children, students and beginners. With so much choice at a whole plethora of price points, it’s easy to be intimidated out of making a purchase. As the busy back to school/university period is upon us, it’s a great opportunity to provide a product range that’s easy to understand and caters to all levels – helping you draw a wider audience.

Our Artiste range has been developed with colour-coded designs, ensuring that they are widely accessible and easy to shop for all. The colour-coding by art medium is a great visual way to bring all the products together for merchandising and make the end-user shopping experience simpler, while creating prominent displays in stores that will drive sales.

To find out more about the Artiste range and how you can make art accessible and easy to shop for your customers, call us today on 01303 297888. Or you can email one of the team at and we’ll get straight back to you.

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