The need to create—whether it’s painting, writing, dance, floral arrangement, you name it—is one of the most basic human impulses, and it doesn’t diminish with age. In fact, studies suggest that with aging comes more creativity. You’ll probably be more creative at 70 than you were at 20, so make time for an old creative pursuit or pick up a new one.
Don’t believe us? Did you know that the Italian painter Titian died while in the act of painting at age 99? Or that Herman Melville, an American novelist, wrote his second masterpiece, “Billy Budd,” in the last years of his life?
The aging brain resembles the creative brain in important ways. It’s simultaneously more distractible and less inhibited. Distractible brains tend to be creative because creativity benefits from a broader focus. Studies also suggest that brain activities used to stave off dementia can spark seniors’ creativity. Moreover, seniors have a broad knowledge base to draw on, offering numerous sources for inspiration.
Don’t let negative internalized judgments inhibit your creativity! Whether or not your artworks ever make it into a gallery show, the process of creativity is rewarding in itself. And hey, who’s to say the work won’t find an audience? Renowned minimalist painter Carmen Herrera sold her first piece at age 89!