Lately I’m surrounded by art at work. My clients have been bringing in art journals, short stories, and even singing songs while playing the guitar. And I love it.
Creativity and mental health occupy a special place in my heart. They are intimately connected: creative expression is a healthy declaration of self worth. It is the equivalent of marking our lives as real, our perceptions as meaningful. Art making is a three-dimensional affirmation which states, “I matter.”
In my own life I write (surprise!), paint, make jewelry, cook, garden, as well as belong to a writing group, a mom’s craft group and a therapist’s art therapy group. My three greatest passions are family, work, and creative play.
But in society at large, the self-destructive examples of certain great and crazy artists have turned away lots of regular folk who have creative tendencies but want to lead stable lives. It’s scary enough to leave the familiar for the unknown without the added worries of going off the deep end.
So for the next month (or so) I’m going to write about, interview and honor some well grounded, low drama folks who combine a life of regularity with a life of creativity.
In addition to exploring their philosophies and experiences of art and life making, I’ll include their ideas about how to incorporate or expand creative practices into a normal (busy) life without hacking off an ear or cozying up to a rifle.
Here’s what you have to look forward to:
- Amy Bloom, clinical social worker and one of my very favorite authors, has graciously agreed to be interviewed.
- Courtney Putnam, reiki and massage therapist, painter and writer gave a terrific interview (to be posted shortly) about her art making process. It’s her art at the top of this page.
- Michelle Rosenthal, HealmyPTSD author and NLP practitioner who just happens to be a former creative process professor, will be doing a blog-talk radio show with me on “Creativity and Self Care.”
So stay tuned! Unless you are busy making art.