Mental Health + Art
Looking back at the month of May as a new “professional” artist, trying to balance creativity, productivity and wellbeing.
It didn’t rain enough.
May passed me by while I waited for some refreshing downpour, some cue, some indication that productivity would come.
But now May is over, and I feel as though I spent the whole month
Whether it was the lack of rain, or my own lack of serotonin,
I just felt disconnected from creativity and motivation
for the whole dang month.
I kept hoping for some kind of mental bloom, some revitalization, or moment that would bring me new energy, new ideas....
or just alleviate the tired ache that has
developed from “working” all the time, but never really getting
and how much more rest must be allowed.
Instead of resting recently, I let myself become detached from the exhaustion and the world around me while continue to push brought tasks and burn outs, not realizing I unplugged the vulnerable and creative connections too.
The reality is that existing is hard - being authentic and vulnerable and creative - is HARD.
Each time I approached a canvas last month, it would feel as though
I wish I had anything more exciting or *inspiring* to write about the month of May, but mostly I have realized I need to be okay with the fact that things didn’t go quite how I would have liked...
Creating artwork is my job now, and that is really exciting. Except my relationship with Art, and with my creative sense of self, is being changed
I have been slow to accept the changes.
Creativity is, and always will be, vital to me self care,
but it no longer fills the role with the same ease as before.
This huge shift in how I take care of myself, and how I relate to my artwork seems exaggerated by navigating a new experience of being somewhat “socially accessible” to a lot of people I don’t really know, pretty much all the time.
Social media is a powerful tool that can help a business grow, but it is equally personally draining and potentially toxic.
Sharing myself publicly commands a great deal of focus and energy, especially as someone who struggles with *social anxiety*. It’s difficult to commit that energy, and much harder still to provide it without feeling depleted or out of balance with,
Finding new tools for self care, and recovering my creative energy
and motivation, will take significant effort and time.
I will need to accept that I cannot nail every task, every day.
I must allow my definitions of productivity and success to be more flexible.
May was not a creatively productive month, and that was hard to accept. But I also erased many of my own accomplishments by forgetting that productivity looks like so much more than just producing a new painting.
The lesson I had to learn wasn’t how to be more productive - but rather how to
LOVE MYSELF and MY ARTno matter how productive or successful I’m feeling in that moment.