Let’s talk about joy and happiness and how it relates to creativity and the artistic life. Often times the artist is always portrayed as tortured, struggling, incapable of a balanced life and swinging from one extreme to the next: wild inspiration to extreme depression and bouts of blocked creativity. Don’t fall for this image! While artists often have a more sensitive temperament that leads to our creative expression, we can pay attention to ways to keep our own mental health positive, which will ultimately lead to better quality of life and output. Many long term artists that I have studied lead very happy lives that included artistic fulfillment, personal happiness and comfortable living. These artists who seem to have long and rewarding careers (artists never retire, am I right?) have a balance of life that keeps them engaged and happy. Examples: John Singer Sargent, Beatrix Potter, Georgia O’Keefe, Elisabeth Vigee Lebrun, Cecilia Beaux and many more. So what are some things you do to keep yourself happy and grounded on the roller coaster ride of being an artist? For me, a run or walk outside works wonders. Also, writing out my thoughts, and listening to uplifting audiobooks or music. Being grateful for the blessings I currently have in my life always lifts my spirits too. And, listening to my feelings, sleeping when I need to, seeing friends when I need to, and keeping the frame of mind that life needs to be lived. Then we can paint about it! Thoughts?
Stay joyfully creative!