Here’s the truth: we aren’t all artists. If we were, the world would certainly be a different place. Another truth: most of us are stressed out. New data from Health Canada found roughly 11 million Canadians are experiencing high levels of COVID-19-related stress, and an IPSOS poll saw a majority of men and women claiming their mental health has been negatively affected by the pandemic.
Enter a distraction that’s typically reserved for kids! On Wednesday, LEGO announced the launch of a “new canvas for creative expression,” specifically tailored to adults. It’s this new line of pop-culture-themed art kits, which are designed so that once you’ve built them, you can hang them up as artwork. Much easier than sculpting, or painting, or taking a good photograph! Call it plastic pointillism.
For $119.99 apiece, you can select from four different art kits to build. When we think of LEGO, we often (wrongly) imagine kids filling in their idle time by playing around on the floor. But adults may find benefits in playing with the interlocking bricks, too. In fact, LEGO Art promises to simultaneously “relieve stress” and “set your creative side free.”
Watch: Practicing mindfulness might help you get through the pandemic. Story continues below.
The four sets are immediately recognizable to any fan of popular culture and each one stokes nostalgia.
There’s a Marvel Studios Iron Man kit. There’s a recreation of Andy Warhol’s iconic diptych of Marilyn Monroe. There’s a Star Wars Sith-themed set, from which you can build portraits of Darth Vader, or Darth Maul, or Kylo Ren; and there’s an homage to The Beatles — all four of them. The point is you can buy more than one of each kit to build out all possible portraits, and hang them next to each other.
Oh, not to mention each is accompanied by a soundtrack. While building your portrait of, say, Sir Paul McCartney, you can listen to “stories and unexpected details about the band.” It’s a whole immersive experience designed to get you thinking a little more like an artist, in the hopes of calming your nerves.
At a cursory glance, it might seem weird to associate an ancient Buddhist technique with the world’s largest toymaker, but a recent Washington Post article would suggest it all makes sense. “To focus singularly on a task is a form of mindfulness,” Carrie Barron, director of the Creativity for Resilience Program at the University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School, told the Post. Working with Lego, apparently, can help you to separate from “the mania of the day.”
And lately, we’ve had so much mania. It’s like a constantly regenerating club that beats everyone over the head just when we think it has crumbled to bits. On the bright side, though, there are a bunch of ways you can try to practice mindfulness in the wake of so much stress: yoga, meditation, long walks, and focusing on your breathing, among them.
All of these things can help not only with slowing down your jittery mind, but also to make you a better parent. It’s like sending your brain to the gym, only the result is not tiredness but rejuvenation. If you can’t get into the whole yoga thing, maybe you can just try out some Lego. You just have to wait until September 1.