Staying Happy as an Artist: Finding a Path

Over the last couple of days we have started to look at tackling the big issue of how to stay happy as an artist. This is also true for non artist types but I’ve focused my writings towards artistic minds as I consider myself one and have seen fellow artists struggle with the same thing again and again over my years in the industry.

It’s not that it’s necessarily harder as an artist to remain happy but I do know a few things that we all seem to deal with. In creating art, and especially creating art for others we build the habit of looking for approval in the things that we create. If we aren’t careful as artists and people this sense of looking for approval can very easy start to leak over into the rest of our lives. Quite literally becoming, “Does this dress make me look good?” “Was dinner really ok?” Everything that we create from our art pieces to our personal look, to food we make for others, our homework for classes…. all of it. It gets to a point that it becomes toxic. We loose our sense of self and self approval and start spiraling downward which can have good or ill affects on our art.

Some artists thrive from the sense of loss *of direction, those around them, pain of all kinds etc.* I personally don’t thrive on these feelings. Sure I might create something but it will be super sketchy and definitely a good outlet, but it’s not necessarily pieces I want to put up for people to see. The art I create at it’s best comes from a place of calm and happy. So I needed to find a way to stay calm and happy.

How did I get there?

When we started I had everyone create a list *I don’t know if you’ve actually done this, but if you’re going along with this blog I’m going to assume you have.*

Once that list was created I told you all to honor yourselves and really acknowledge everything you are going through both big and small.

Now comes the next step of work. Starting to move through the things you’ve listed so that you can start crossing them off of your list. I’d personally start with one of the small things. Whether it was doing dishes, or making the bed. Do one of the things you can immediately cross off your list. It will feel good. Next, pick something that’s a little more difficult. Continue this process this way always remembering to celebrate things when you’re done. It’s YOU doing the work and YOU deserve to be celebrated.

Another thing to try:
–The Ultimate Man or Woman Exercise.
–from book “Path of the White Wolf” by Robin Youngblood and Sandy D’Entremont
 http://www.amazon.com/Path-White-Wolf-Introduction-Shamans/dp/0978795407

This book and especially the first exercise in it, “The Ultimate Man or Woman” has given me a way to work through some of the darkest and hardest times in my life in a productive and gentle manner. In short it asks you two write about “The Ultimate Man or Woman” every day, for at least 15 minutes *or more should you choose* for 27 days. Why 27 days? This is the time in which it takes to make something habit. Writing in a journal is good for personal journeys as is, this I feel is even better. What does the ultimate man or woman do? How do they look? What do they eat? Where do they live? What type of job do they have?

Spoiler Alert: I started recognizing that I was writing about the woman I wanted to be. In writing these things down day after day I was able to start picking up aspects that this Ultimate Woman had, and in doing so became my own Ultimate Woman.

I return to this exercise often, and it has been just as effective the third and fourth time as it was on the first.
******************************************

Whether its the “Path of the White Wolf” and using exercises like “The Ultimate Man or Woman” writing, you’ll want to find a routine or path that works for you. Everyone’s path is going to vary a little bit, and as long as it is non self destructive, non harming to self or others, it is a good path.

How has your experience been so far? What are things you want to work on?

If you ever have questions or want to inquire further to anything I’ve said please feel free to reach out to me through the following channels.

Sylvia@bfrgames.com
Twitter: SaberlinSLA

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.

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