Hello everyone and welcome to my first post for the Fearless Friends in Art Guest Blogger Series. After going to CHA this past month, I came home with a renewed sense of self. A sense of knowing that there are so many artists out there that are good, real people. The type of people that you WANT to know, WANT to help and WANT in your life.
I couldn't ask for a sweeter, more genuine artist than JJ Sobey for this first post and considering what my guest post on Dawn's blog was about yesterday, I know this post is meant to be.JJ and I (we both believe) were separated at birth lol. Please take a moment and add this amazing artist to your reader, blog roll or network blogs list. Without further adieu, My first guest blogger... JJ Sobey!!!
When Erika asked me to do a guest post on her blog, I was flattered (immensely). I started planning a project to show to everyone here today, and wondering what I would talk about. Then it hit me on Thursday (about 6 hours before I was due to send her my post) that perhaps I needed to go in a different direction.
We need to talk.
The words creative and artistic scare the crap out of me. My teen years were my most creative time – I sang, played piano, wrote music, wrote short stories, wrote plays, was in theatre, and the list goes on. But it was also a very dark time for me – I was fighting a deep depression through all of it.
It took a long time and medical intervention to come out of it. And at the same time I took it into my head that the creativity was part of the problem. I felt that if I shut it out of my life, I would have more of a chance to get out of my depression. So I stopped being creative. I turned my back on the arts, and tried to ignore the creative urges. And I succeeded for a while, and I thought (mistakenly - I was in my early 20’s), that this was what made things ‘better’.
It didn’t make it ‘better’, by the way. Medication for the chemical imbalance in my brain is what made it better. I was lucky though – I was one of the ones who didn’t have to remain on it for the rest of my life.
For years, every time someone ‘accused’ me of being creative, I got nervous. I wondered if they saw signs, which I hadn’t yet recognized, of a returning depression. I would back off from the ‘creative’ activity, and try to hide from art. I would deny that I was creative – it felt like a sentence, not a compliment. Like it was something I should be ashamed of. I feared art.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is something that I struggle with every winter, and it’s just as real as other forms of depression. And it’s hard. Because when I start to feel more creative in the winter, I fear that the full-blown, not-going-to-go-away depression is coming back.
I’m trying very hard to come to terms with being an artist. I’m trying to own it. But it scares the hell out of me – I have so much baggage associated with that word.
Over the past year, I have discovered that I am not alone. Many, many creative people deal with depression – creativity is sometimes a symptom of the depression itself. For many, to receive that creativity means having to also take the depression that brought it on. I now realize that the creativity is not the cause, but the result, and perhaps it’s the universe’s way of compensating a little bit for the pain.
So why did I feel the need to bring this up today? Most people won’t ask for help even though asking for help is not a sign of weakness – it’s courageous; and often those who refuse to ask, are the ones who need it most. But we don’t talk about this – there’s a stigma attached to it, for some strange reason.
We, as artists, and crafters, and mothers, and sisters, and daughters and friends, we need to talk about this. Because you may be surprised just how many people you already know, who are going through this in silence. Embrace their art, and then embrace the person who created it – they might really need your support, but will never ask.
If you’ve made it this far – thank you for reading! Feel free to come visit my blog – I promise that I don’t get on my soapbox very often. J
One Good Thing
Supplies for the layout:
CS – Bazzill
Glimmer mist, glimmer glam, glimmer glaze – Tattered Angels
Gesso – Liquitex
Flowers, trims – Green Tara
Grungeboard, washers, tiny brads – Tim Holtz
Chipboard – Riff Raff
Corrugated letters – Jillibean Soup
Marker – Faber-Castell PITT pen
Other – dictionary paper
7 hours ago