I went to Glad Day on Thursday Oct 19 to take in the ‘Myths And Realities Of Artists’ Health Panel Discussion’ by Mahlikah Awe:ri, Charlie C Petch and Dr. Chase McMurren. The event was co-produced by akinprojects.org & artistshealth.com. It was to start at 7 but by the time I arrived at 6:30 there was already a full house. Each of the panelists presented different myths & realities.
The first myth was our expectation of social media – allowing ourselves to be caught up constantly comparing our progress with the posted progress of others & feeling we never measure up. Personally I think the real myth of social media is that it is a platform for selling yourself & if it isn’t then you are the problem not the medium.
I suspect the only people who make a million selling stuff on the internet are people selling books about how to make a million dollars selling stuff omg the internet. On-line life can be distracting though & somewhat addictive: what so-&-so is faint can be much more compelling that re-writing that poem or working on that painting.
Another myth – the one I really related to – is the yearning to fulfill the expectation of ones passions – if we aren’t always consumed by passion then we aren’t creating – the reality is that passion is the spark, the fuel – not the fire – passion needs to be contained to be productive or it consumes itself & the artist leaving them drained & unproductive. An affirmation that I use is: writers write, not wait, for inspiration.
One of the realities discussed was finding time to create, make a living, & having an opportunity to just be. The myth creatives are constantly productive leaves little opportunity to be still – being still leads to stress one isn’t doing or fulfilling their passion. Stress leads to …. well we all know what stress leads to.
The focus was more on the mental & psychological than the physical health of creative people. With only an hour for the panel & some discussion it was rewarding but it could have gone on for two hours easily & covered these few issues in greater detail. Check out the resources at akin & the Artists’ Health Network – one step towards better health & greater creativity is to step out of isolation.