Art as antidote.
More than any other group of people, artists are resilient.
Not only do we endure the hardships faced by the masses, we manage to seek out avenues to surprise and delight others.
Not for financial reward, although that may come with time.
Not for widespread recognition, although that too might happen down the line.
Simply because we can’t not make art. The art we make is an antidote to everything that ails us. Political unrest. Heartbreak. Existential angst.
There is nothing that art can’t speak to. Nothing is too painful to be soothed by art or too enraging to be held and witnessed by art.
This is the power of art.
What’s more, art can be a slow-acting antidote. It teaches the delayed gratification that is essential in order for any creative work to have a breathing chance.
In a fast-moving world, art can create a container for us to slow down and process the overwhelming amount of data that’s being thrust at us. There is art. Ready and willing to help us figure out what to make of everything.
Art doesn’t always have answers for us. And still, it offers clarity by asking the right questions.
The main challenge with creating art is that you need the time and space to do it. You need the support so that you don’t have to sacrifice yourself in the birthing process.
Neil Gaiman says that regardless of what’s going on in your life, you need to, “Make good art.” Which I agree with to an extent.
There’s both that and the reality that so many writers and artists and creatives are too overwhelmed by the world we all woke up to. A world where crushing amounts of debt and an unstable economy make creating art difficult.
When technology has given us access to an endless stream of information and no clear parameters with how to mediate what’s coming in.
It’s a lot to process.
Still, art is the antidote. I have no doubt about that.
And sometimes that means going back to the start. To building some financial stability so that you can make art and take care of yourself. To creating clear boundaries around how you engage with social media.
Art is the antidote. And even it can’t heal you if you’re hungry, exhausted, and overwhelmed.
More than any other group of people, artists are resilient. And we’re still human.
So, what self-care will help you create your art?