Sampling the artistic experience
At DRAW we have an interest in sampling repeated moments of experience in order to explore processes of change and the direct impact of art making in the moment. We have used this method to explore the fluctuations in conscious experience in everyday life (e.g., self-esteem, mood, attention, enjoyment) and how these change after art-making. This type of research uses a method called Experience Sampling Methodology (ESM). We have also used this method to track wellbeing across arts on prescription programmes.
So far, this approach has led to some interesting findings, for example that:
Art-making is associated with the flow state in everyday life and that entering a deep state of absorption like this while art making predicts 'eudaimonic happiness' (feeling that one's life is meaningful)
After attending an art on prescription workshop people tend to report feeling less anxious and tense, and more relaxed and clam. Those people who relax more, in this way, tend to be those who also report improved well-being at the end of a programme of workshops.