Staying Happy as an Artist: Honoring Yourself
Yesterday we started on the path of being introspective and starting to look at ourselves under a microscope. I tried to remind people to be kind to themselves throughout this process and it really is important. Especially when you start listing all of the “Flaws” or things you are going through. It’s not easy to admit what we are going through. Even to ourselves. We don’t want to realize that we are going through a rough patch. It means being vulnerable to admit that you are having a trial of some sort.
What sort of things did you find on your list? Before my last great shift in life this is a bit of what my list looked like:
-unsatisfied with artwork and portfolio
-unsatisfied with pay I’m bringing in for artwork
-not advancing my art career enough
-not bringing in enough funds to fund my dream of having the land and lifestyle I want.
-dissatisfied with partner (I’m going to leave this as a TLDR)
-dissatisfied with body and self image
-little to no self esteem which made it harder to work on self image because I didn’t have any energy to do it.
One of those on it’s own would be a lot. The notation of being dissatisfied with partner sort of tumbled into the list that’s below it regarding self image, body, self worth, etc. It was exceedingly toxic. I needed a change. But how do you do that? Where do you even start? “Great, now we have a list, what do we do now?!”
Really Acknowledge all that you are going through!
There’s the cliche saying of, “admitting the problem being the first step,” but it’s true. Not even just admitting there’s a problem, but sometimes writing it down and getting it to paper. Let it sit on the paper instead of in your head. Or a blog post or a personal word document if you prefer a keyboard to pen and paper. Getting something “down on paper” will help you start to move through the process as you are getting it from the inside of your head where it rattles around and often creates problems to a controlled environment. You write it, you put the slant in the letters or bold things or put strikes through them etc. You control that. In giving yourself that extra little bit of control you start to move forward in actually working on those things.
Here’s the other thing that making a list does. It shows you in a very real and physical way ALL that you are dealing with. Tackling ONE of the above issues that I wrote would have been hard enough, having all of them smashing around in my brain at once? GOODNESS!
So to everyone with a list now sitting in front of them: Give yourself a pat on the back. Truly. Do it. Pat your back, pour another cup of tea or coffee, celebrate the fact that you are alive, upright and actively working to make a change. Celebrate the victory of getting all those things from your head to somewhere you can list them in a controlled way.
I used to do this thing I called “Humbling myself to Depression.”
What that meant to me was I never gave myself credit for anything. I’d do a great piece of artwork and people would compliment it and I’d reply with, “no it’s not really that great… I’m not really that great.” So I’d start believing it. I’d be dealing with tons of stuff and when people would try to bring that to my attention I’d pass it off. “No, I’m not really that strong….” The cycle would continue to the point and be reinforced by certain people around me at the time that I’d be left with nothing.
Then came the day I started to change that. I was working on a piece of artwork and I drew this really awesome line. It was beautiful. It was the perfect shape, it fit just right with what I was working on, the line thickness was just the way I had wanted it, and I did it in the first shot. It was BEAUTIFUL. Something changed in me in that moment. I hit save, stood up, got dressed a little fancier *actually did my hair, threw on some eye liner for the first time in MONTHS* and walked all the way down to Starbucks and bought myself the biggest froo froo’fiest (totally a word…) drink on their list. I then lazily walked back home. On the way home I really enjoyed the walk. This was my treat after all. I had done a good thing and I was going to really enjoy and celebrate my little victory.
Your first victory is the completion of your list. Today your task is to really acknowledge all that you are going through and giving yourself the utmost credit for looking at and starting to take into consideration ALL that you have going on in your life right now.
Today my list looks like this:
-helping to get the house ready to put on the market
-keeping my eyes open for job opportunities for where I’m moving
-continue work on my coloring book project
-continue working on BoggsWorld Gameproject
-continue working on M. Condis dating sim Game Project
-continue taking additional freelance jobs to help pay my bills
-do more streaming to set regular hours I’ll stream and get a better base with it.
-need to start working out more
-need to brush dogs more often and give them more attention
-get my tush back into the gym and start lifting again
-continue pursuing archery and learning more of the basics so I can better myself
-make sure I save enough for the move…
Obviously I can’t tackle all of this head on and at once. So the best thing I can do is to go, “Yah… that really is a lot. Let’s find one thing on that list, and work on it little bit by little bit.” The other thing to do with big lists, is to make sure I take time for self *I prefer a bath with herbal tea and a good book, what you do for you is up to you to decide.* Remember everyone, BE KIND to yourself as we move through this process. I can’t state that enough. You are WORTH being kind to yourself and you are WORTH working through all the things you want to.
Tomorrow: Once you’ve sat down and Acknowledged your list of things, pick ONE to start working through.
Disclaimer: The information written here is based purely on my own beliefs and experiences. I am not a licensed psychiatrist, therapist, or persons of medical training.